Gene-Corrected Fibroblast Therapy for Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa using a Self-Inactivating COL7A1 Retroviral Vector.

Jacków J, Titeux M, Portier S, Charbonnier S, Ganier C, Gaucher S, Hovnanian A.

Source :

J. Invest. Dermatol.

2017 Jul 17

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Patients with recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) lack type VII collagen and therefore have severely impaired dermal-epidermal stability causing recurrent skin and mucosal blistering. There is currently no specific approved treatment for RDEB. We present preclinical data showing that intradermal injections of genetically corrected patient-derived RDEB fibroblasts using a Good Manufacturing Practices grade self-inactivating COL7A1 retroviral vector reverse the disease phenotype in a xenograft model in nude mice. We obtained 50% transduction efficiency in primary human RDEB fibroblasts with an average low copy number (range = 1-2) of integrated provirus. Transduced fibroblasts showed strong type VII collagen re-expression, improved adhesion properties, normal proliferative capabilities, and viability in vitro. We show that a single intradermal injection of 3 × 10(6) genetically corrected RDEB fibroblasts beneath RDEB skin equivalents grafted onto mice allows type VII collagen deposition, anchoring fibril formation at the dermal-epidermal junction, and improved dermal-epidermal adherence 2 months after treatment, supporting functional correction in vivo. Gene-corrected fibroblasts previously showed no tumorigenicity. These data show the efficacy and safety of gene-corrected fibroblast therapy using a self-inactivating vector that has now been good manufacturing grade-certified and pave the way for clinical translation to treat nonhealing wounds in RDEB patients.

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