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J Cyst Fibros. 2019 Jun 7. pii: S1569-1993(19)30766-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2019.05.014. [Epub ahead of print]

Antisense oligonucleotide eluforsen is safe and improves respiratory symptoms in F508DEL cystic fibrosis.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Department of Paediatrics, Motol University Hospital and Second Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, V Uvalu, 84, Prague 15006, Czech Republic.
Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Blegdamsvej 9, Copenhagen 02100, Denmark.
Cystic Fibrosis Centre -Azienda, Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata di Verona, P. le Stefani 1, Verona 37126, Italy; Cystic Fibrosis Centre, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria di Ancona, via Conca 71, Ancona 60020, Italy.
University Hospital of Leuven, University of Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.
Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Mittelallee 4, Augustenburger Platz 1, Berlin 13353, Germany.
Cytel, Route de Pre-Bois, 20, 1216 Geneva, Switzerland; GSK Consumer Health, Route de l'Etraz 2, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland.
Cytel, Route de Pre-Bois, 20, 1216 Geneva, Switzerland.
ProQR Therapeutics, Zernikedreef 9, 2333 CK Leiden, the Netherlands; Breath Therapeutics Inc., 633 Menlo Ave Ste 230, Menlo Park, CA, USA.
ProQR Therapeutics, Zernikedreef 9, 2333 CK Leiden, the Netherlands; Blueprint Medicines Corporation, 45 Sidney St., Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
ProQR Therapeutics, Zernikedreef 9, 2333 CK Leiden, the Netherlands; Gyroscope Therapeutics, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, Gunnels Wood Road, Stevenage, Herts SG1 2FX, UK.
ProQR Therapeutics, Zernikedreef 9, 2333 CK Leiden, the Netherlands.
Faculty of Medicine, Health & Life Sciences, 90 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 6AG, Northern Ireland. Electronic address:



Eluforsen is an antisense oligonucleotide designed to bind to the mRNA region around the F508-encoding deletion and restore the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein function in the airway epithelium. We assessed the safety and tolerability, pharmacokinetics and exploratory measures of efficacy of inhaled eluforsen in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients homozygous for the F508del-CFTR mutation.


This randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose escalation 1b study recruited adult CF subjects with a FEV1 > 70% predicted in four single ascending dose cohorts and four multiple ascending dose cohorts. Primary objectives were safety and tolerability. Secondary endpoints included pharmacokinetics, percent predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 s (ppFEV1), and Cystic Fibrosis Questionnaire-Revised (CFQ-R) Respiratory Symptom Score (RSS).


Single and multiple doses of inhaled eluforsen up to 50 mg were safe and well tolerated. A maximum tolerated dose was not established. Systemic exposure was low in all cohorts and lung function remained stable throughout the study. Three of four eluforsen-treated groups in the MAD study demonstrated an improvement in CFQ-R RSS at end of treatment with adjusted mean change from baseline values ranging from 6.4 to 12.7 points. In comparison, there was a mean decrease of 6.5 points in the placebo group from baseline to end of treatment.


Inhaled eluforsen up to 50 mg dosed 3 times per week for 4 weeks was safe and well tolerated, showed low systemic exposure, and demonstrated improvement in CFQ-R RSS, a relevant measure of clinical benefit in CF patients.


Antisense oligonucleotide; CFQ-R RSS; Clinical trial; Delta F508; Pulmonary medicine

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