Randomized phase I trial HIV-CORE 003: Depletion of serum amyloid P component and immunogenicity of DNA vaccination against HIV-1.
Borthwick NJ., Lane T., Moyo N., Crook A., Shim JM., Baines I., Wee EG., Hawkins PN., Gillmore JD., Hanke T., Pepys MB.
BACKGROUND: The failure of DNA vaccination in humans, in contrast to its efficacy in some species, is unexplained. Observational and interventional experimental evidence suggests that DNA immunogenicity may be prevented by binding of human serum amyloid P component (SAP). SAP is the single normal DNA binding protein in human plasma. The drug (R)-1-[6-[(R)-2-carboxypyrrolidin-1-yl]-6-oxo-hexanoyl]pyrrolidine-2-carboxylic acid (CPHPC, miridesap), developed for treatment of systemic amyloidosis and Alzheimer's disease, depletes circulating SAP by 95-99%. The proof-of-concept HIV-CORE 003 clinical trial tested whether SAP depletion by CPHPC would enhance the immune response in human volunteers to DNA vaccination delivering the HIVconsv immunogen derived from conserved sub-protein regions of HIV-1. METHODS: Human volunteers received 3 intramuscular immunizations with an experimental DNA vaccine (DDD) expressing HIV-1-derived immunogen HIVconsv, with or without prior depletion of SAP by CPHPC. All subjects were subsequently boosted by simian (chimpanzee) adenovirus (C)- and poxvirus MVA (M)-vectored vaccines delivering the same immunogen. After administration of each vaccine modality, the peak total magnitudes, kinetics, functionality and memory subsets of the T-cell responses to HIVconsv were thoroughly characterized. RESULTS: No differences were observed between the CPHPC treated and control groups in any of the multiple quantitative and qualitative parameters of the T-cell responses to HIVconsv, except that after SAP depletion, there was a statistically significantly greater breadth of T-cell specificities, that is the number of recognized epitopes, following the DDDC vaccination. CONCLUSIONS: The protocol used here for SAP depletion by CPHPC prior to DNA vaccination produced only a very modest suggestion of enhanced immunogenicity. Further studies will be required to determine whether SAP depletion might have a practical value in DNA vaccination for other plasmid backbones and/or immunogens. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02425241.