Safe mobilization of CD34+ cells in adults with β-thalassemia and validation of effective globin gene transfer for clinical investigation
Gene Transfer Techniques
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Mobilization
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
We conducted a pilot trial to investigate the safety and effectiveness of mobilizing CD34(+) hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) in adults with β-thalassemia major. We further assessed whether thalassemia patient CD34(+) HPCs could be transduced with a globin lentiviral vector under clinical conditions at levels sufficient for therapeutic implementation. All patients tolerated granulocyte colony-stimulating factor well with minimal side effects. All cell collections exceeded 8 × 10(6) CD34(+) cells/kg. Using clinical grade TNS9.3.55 vector, we demonstrated globin gene transfer averaging 0.53 in 3 validation runs performed under current good manufacturing practice conditions. Normalized to vector copy, the vector-encoded β-chain was expressed at a level approximating normal hemizygous protein output. Importantly, stable vector copy number (0.2-0.6) and undiminished vector expression were obtained in NSG mice 6 months posttransplant. Thus, we validated a safe and effective procedure for β-globin gene transfer in thalassemia patient CD34(+) HPCs, which we will implement in the first US trial in patients with severe inherited globin disorders. This trial is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01639690.