Replacement therapy using recombinant factor VIII (rFVIII) is currently the most common therapy for hemophilia A, a bleeding disorder caused by the deficiency of FVIII. However, 15–30% of patients develop inhibitory antibodies against administered rFVIII which complicates the therapy. Encapsulation or association of protein with lipidic structures can reduce this immune response. Previously, we developed and characterized rFVIII-containing phosphatidylserine (PS) cochleate cylinders using biophysical techniques. We hypothesized that these structures may provide a reduction in immunogenicity while avoiding the rapid clearance by the reticuloendothelial system (RES) previously observed with liposomal vesicles of similar composition. We investigated in vivo behavior of the cochleates containing rFVIII including immunogenicity and pharmacokinetics in hemophilia A mice. The rFVIII-cochleate complex significantly reduced the level of inhibitory antibody developed against rFVIII following intravenous (i.v.) administration. Pharmacokinetic modeling allowed assessment of in vivo release kinetics. Cochleates acted as delayed release delivery vehicle with an input peak of rFVIII observed around 2 hrs post-injection. rFVIII associated with cochleates showed limited RES uptake and a similar disposition to the free protein upon release from the structure. Incomplete disassociation from the complex limits systemic availability of the protein. Further formulation efforts are warranted to regulate the rate and extent of release of rFVIII from cochleate complexes.
A major clinical complication in the treatment of Hemophilia A using exogenously administered recombinant Factor VIII (FVIII) is the development of neutralizing antibodies. It has been shown previously that FVIII complexed with phosphatidylserine (PS) reduces the development of total and neutralizing antibody titers in hemophilic mice. The effect of complexation of FVIII with PS upon dendritic cell (DC) uptake, maturation and processing, T-cell proliferation and cytokine secretion profiles was investigated. Flow cytometric studies of DC showed that PS inhibited the up-regulation of cell surface co-stimulatory markers (CD86 and CD40). PS reduced T-cell proliferation and increased significantly levels of TGF-β and IL-10 but reduced secretion of IL-6 and IL-17 compared to controls. The data suggest that PS reduces immunogenicity of FVIII by regulating dendritic cell maturation and subsequent T-lymphocyte activity through modulation of cytokine secretion. A possible mechanism for PS-mediated induction of FVIII tolerance is discussed.
Immunogenicity; Phosphatidylserine; Tolerance; Factor VIII; Regulatory T cell; Tolerogenic dendritic cell
Hemophilia A, a life threatening bleeding disorder is caused by deficiency of Factor VIII (FVIII). Replacement therapy using rFVIII is the first line therapy for hemophilia A. However, 15-30% of patients develop neutralizing antibody, mainly against the C2, A3 and A2 domains. It has been reported that PS-FVIII complex reduced total and neutralizing anti-rFVIII antibody titers in hemophilia A murine models. Here, we developed FVIII – containing cochleate cylinders, utilizing PS-Ca2+ interactions and characterized these particles for optimal in vivo properties using biophysical and biochemical techniques. Approximately 75% of the protein was associated with cochleate cylinders. Sandwich ELISA, acrylamide quenching and enzymatic digestion studies established that rFVIII was shielded from the bulk aqueous phase by the lipidic structures, possibly leading to improved in vivo stability. Freeze – thawing and rate limiting diffusion studies revealed that small cochleate cylinders with a particles size of 500 nm or less could be generated. The release kinetics and in vivo experiments suggested that there is slow and sustained release of FVIII from the complex upon systemic exposure. In vivo studies using tail clip method indicated that FVIII-cochleate complex is effective and protects hemophilic mice from bleeding. Based on these studies, we speculate that the molecular interaction between FVIII and PS may provide a basis for the design of novel FVIII lipidic structures for delivery applications.
cochleate cylinders; B Domain Deleted recombinant factor VIII; epitope shielding; Laurdan; protein formulation; acrylamide quenching
Factor VIII (FVIII) is a multidomain protein that is deficient in hemophilia A, a clinically important bleeding disorder. Replacement therapy using recombinant human FVIII (rFVIII) is the main therapy. However, approximately 15-30% of patients develop inhibitory antibodies that neutralize rFVIII activity. Antibodies to epitopes in C2 domain, which is involved in FVIII binding to phospholipids, are highly prevalent. Here, we investigated the effect of phosphatidylserine (PS)-containing liposomes, which bind to C2 domain with high affinity and specificity, upon the immunogenicity of rFVIII. Circular dichroism studies showed that PS-containing liposomes interfered with aggregation of rFVIII. Immunogenicity of free- versus liposomal-rFVIII was evaluated in a murine model of hemophilia A. Animals treated with s.c. injections of liposomal-rFVIII had lower total- and inhibitory titers, compared to animals treated with rFVIII alone. Antigen processing by proteolytic enzymes was reduced in the presence of liposomes. Animals treated with s.c. injections of liposomal-rFVIII showed a significant increase in rFVIII plasma concentration compared to animals that received rFVIII alone. Based on these studies, we hypothesize that specific molecular interactions between PS-containing bilayers and rFVIII may provide a basis for designing lipidic complexes that improve the stability, reduce the immunogenicity of rFVIII formulations, and permit administration by s.c. route.
hemophilia A; recombinant FVIII; immunogenicity; inhibitor antibodies; phosphatidylserine liposomes; protein delivery; protein formulation; lipids; immunology
The replacement therapy using recombinant human FVIII (rFVIII) is the first line of therapy for hemophilia A. Approximately 15-30% of the patients develop inhibitory antibodies. Recently, we reported that liposomes composed of phosphatidylserine (PS) could reduce the immunogenicity of rFVIII. However, PS containing liposomal-rFVIII is likely to reduce the systemic exposure and efficacy of FVIII due to rapid uptake of the PS containing liposomes by the reticuloendothelial system (RES). Here, we investigated whether phosphatidylserine (PS) liposomes containing polyethyleneglycol (PEG) (PEGylated), could reduce the immunogenicity of rFVIII and reverse the reduction in systemic exposure of rFVIII. Animals given PEGylated liposomal-rFVIII had lower total and inhibitory anti-rFVIII antibody titers, compared to animals treated with rFVIII alone. The mean stimulation index of CD4+ T-cells from animals given PEGylated liposomal-rFVIII also was lower than for animals that were given rFVIII alone. Pharmacokinetic studies following intravenous dosing indicated that the systemic exposure (area under the activity curve, AUAC0-24h) of PEGylated liposomal-rFVIII was ∼59 IU/mL×h and significantly higher than that of non-PEGylated liposomal-rFVIII (AUAC0-24h∼36 IU/mL×h). Based on these studies, we speculate that PEGylated PS-containing liposomal rFVIII may improve efficacy of rFVIII.
hemophilia A; recombinant FVIII; immunogenicity; inhibitory antibodies; PEGylated-liposomes
Factor VIII (FVIII) is an important cofactor in the blood coagulation cascade. A deficiency or dysfunction of FVIII causes hemophilia A, a life-threatening bleeding disorder. FVIII circulates in plasma as a heterodimer comprising 6 domains (heavy chain, A1-A2-B and light chain, A3-C1-C2). Replacement therapy using FVIII is the leading therapy in the management of hemophilia A. However, ∼15% to 30% of patients develop inhibitory antibodies that neutralize the activity of the protein. Neutralizing antibodies to epitopes in the lipid binding region of FVIII are commonly identified in patients’ plasma. In this report, we investigated the effect of O-phospho-L-serine (OPLS), which binds to the lipid binding region, on the immunogenicity of B domain deleted recombinant factor VIII (BDDrFVIII). Sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) studies showed that OPLS specifically bind to the lipid binding region, localized in the C2 domain of the coagulation factor. Size exclusion chromatography and fluorescence anisotropy studies showed that OPLS interfered with the aggregation of BDDrFVIII. Immunogenicity of free-vs BDDrFVIII-OPLS complex was evaluated in a murine model of hemophilia A. Animals administered subcutaneous (sc) injections of BDDrFVIII-OPLS had lower neutralizing titers compared with animals treated with BDDrFVIII alone. Based on these studies, we hypothesize that specific molecular interactions between OPLS and BDDrFVIII may improve the stability and reduce the immunogenicity of BDDrFVIII formulations.
B domain deleted recombinant factor VIII; O-phospho-L-serine; protein formulation; excipient; physical stability; immunogenicity; inhibitor development
Inhibitors of epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor tyrosine kinases show efficacy in cancers that are highly addicted to non-mutated EGF signaling, but off-target effects limit therapy. Carrier-based formulations could reduce drug deposition in normal tissues, enhance tumor deposition, and reduce free drug concentrations, thereby reducing side effects. Therefore, the feasibility of developing nano-liposomal formulations of EGF receptor inhibitors was investigated. Gefitinib and erlotinib fluorescence was characterized as a tool for formulation development. Peak excitation was 345 nm and peak emission was 385–465 nm, depending upon environment polarity. Emission was negligible in water but intense in non-polar solvents, membranes, or bound to serum proteins. Cellular uptake and distribution also could be imaged by fluorescence in drug-resistant tumor spheroids. Gefitinib fluorescence characteristics enabled facile optimization of formulations. Whereas 4–6 mol% gefitinib could be incorporated in the liposome bilayer, 40–60 mol% could be encapsulated in stable, remote-loaded liposomes consisting of distearoylphosphatidylcholine:polyethylene glycol-distereoylphosphatidylethanolamine:cholesterol (9:1:5 mol:mol:mol). Drug leakage in serum, monitored by fluorescence, was minimal over 24 h at 37°C. The results provide both promising lead formulations as well as novel tools for evaluating new formulations of structurally-similar receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors and their cellular uptake and tissue biodistribution.
Liposomes; Nanoparticles; Fluorescence spectroscopy; Cancer chemotherapy; Physicochemical properties; Encapsulation; Tyrosine kinase inhibitor; Gefitinib; Erlotinib
The administration of therapeutic proteins via the subcutaneous route (sc) is desired for compliance and convenience, but could be challenging due to perceived immunogenic potential or unwanted immune responses. There are clinical and preclinical data supporting as well as refuting the generalized notion that sc is more immunogenic. We provide a mechanistic perspective of immunogenicity of therapeutic proteins administered via the sc route and discuss strategies and opportunities for novel therapeutic approaches to mitigate immunogenicity.
biotechnology; immunogenicity; mitigation of immunogenicity; protein therapeutics; subcutaneous administration
Allometric scaling has been applied to the pharmacokinetics (PK) of factor VIII (FVIII), but published relationships are based on relatively small subsets of available data. Numerous next generation forms of FVIII are being developed (e.g. Fc fusion, PEGylated, and liposomal formulations) and traditional pharmacokinetic scaling of these products would not incorporate the wealth of existing knowledge for current FVIII therapy in humans. We conducted a meta-analysis and developed allometric relationships of FVIII from over 100 PK studies collected from literature. Normalized Wajima curves were used to relate mean FVIII profiles between species. An ‘informed scaling’ approach was derived for predicting first-in-human PK parameters and demonstrated with a case study for an Fc fusion FVIII. NCA values for FVIII PK were well described by the allometric equations CL=6.59·W0.85 and Vss=65.0·W0.97. A subset of studies characterized by two compartment modeling showed strong linearity in scaling of total clearance and central volume, but more variability in distributional clearance and peripheral volume. Wajima curves for FVIII superimposed across species and the disposition of Fc fusion FVIII in humans was well predicted by ‘informed scaling.’ This approach might be generally applicable for predicting human PK of next generational therapeutics.
Factor VIII (FVIII) is an important coagulation cofactor and its deficiency causes Hemophilia A, a bleeding disorder. Replacement therapy using recombinant FVIII is currently the first line of therapy for Hemophilia A, but the development of neutralizing antibody is a major clinical complication for this therapy. Recently, it has been shown that FVIII associated with Phosphatidylinositol (PI) containing lipidic nanoparticles reduced development of neutralizing antibodies in Hemophilia A mice (1). Here, we investigated the underlying mechanism of this reduction in antibody response in culturing conditions. In vitro, PI interfered with the processing of FVIII by cultured dendritic cells, resulting in a reduction in the up-regulation of phenotypic co-stimulatory signal CD40. Furthermore, PI increased secretion of regulatory cytokines Transforming Growth Factor beta1 (TGF-β1) and Interleukin 10 (IL-10) but reduced the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-17. The data suggests that PI reduces the immunogenicity of FVIII by modulating DC maturation and by secretion of regulatory cytokines.
Biotechnology; Phospholipids; Nanoparticle; Therapeutic protein; Immunogenicity; Immunology; Dendritic cell; Cell-culture; Co-stimulatory signal; Transforming Growth Factor-β
The administration of recombinant Factor VIII (FVIII) is the first line therapy for Hemophilia A (HA), but 25–35% of patients develop an inhibitory antibody response. In general, the presence of aggregates contributes to unwanted immunogenic responses against therapeutic proteins. FVIII has been shown to form both native-like and non-native aggregates. Previously, we showed that non-native aggregates of FVIII are less immunogenic compared to the native protein. Here we investigated the effect of native-like aggregates of FVIII on immunogenicity in HA and von Willebrand Factor knockout (vWF−/−) mice. Mice immunized with native-like aggregates showed significantly higher inhibitory antibody titers compared to animals that received native FVIII. Following re-stimulation in vitro with native FVIII, the activation of CD4+ T cells isolated from mice immunized with native-like aggregates is ~4 fold higher than mice immunized with the native protein. Furthermore, this is associated with increases in the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-17 in the native-like aggregate treatment group. The results indicate that the native-like aggregates of FVIII are more immunogenic than native FVIII for both the B cell and T cell responses.
Factor VIII; Protein Aggregation; Immunogenicity; Native-like aggregates; von Willebrand Factor; Immunology
Despite an initial response to chemotherapy, most patients with ovarian cancer eventually progress and succumb to their disease. Understanding why effector T cells that are known to infiltrate the tumor do not eradicate the disease after cytoreduction is critically important to the development of novel therapeutic strategies to augment tumor immunity and improve patient outcomes. Such studies have been hampered by the lack of a suitable in vivo model. We report here a simple and reliable model system in which ovarian tumor cell aggregates implanted intraperitoneally into severely immunodeficient NSG mice establish tumor microenvironments within the omentum. The rapid establishment of tumor xenografts within this small anatomically well-defined site enables the recovery, characterization, and quantification of tumor and tumor-associated T cells. We validate here the ability of the omental tumor xenograft (OTX) model to quantify changes in tumor cell number in response to therapy, to quantify changes in the tumor vasculature, and to demonstrate and study the immunosuppressive effects of the tumor microenvironment. Using the OTX model, we show that the tumor-associated T cells originally present within the tumor tissues are anergic and that fully functional autologous T cells injected into tumor-bearing mice localize within the tumor xenograft. The transferred T cells remain functional for up to 3 days within the tumor microenvironment but become unresponsive to activation after 7 days. The OTX model provides for the first time the opportunity to study in vivo the cellular and molecular events contributing to the arrest in T cell function in human ovarian tumors.
human ovarian tumor microenvironment; tumor-associated T cells
Liposomes consisted of phosphatidylinositol (PI) and phosphatidylcholine (PC) have been utilized as delivery vehicle for drugs and proteins. In the present work, we studied the effect of soy PI on physical properties of 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC) liposomes such as phase state of lipid bilayer, lipid packing and phase properties using multiple orthogonal biophysical techniques. The 6-dodecanoyl-2-dimethylamino naphthalene (Laurdan) fluorescence studies showed that presence of PI induces the formation of fluid phases in DMPC. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), temperature dependent fluorescence anisotropy measurements, and generalized polarization values for Laurdan showed that the presence of as low as 10 mol% of PI induces substantial broadening and shift to lower temperature of phase transition of DMPC. The fluorescence emission intensity of DPH labeled, PI containing DMPC lipid bilayer decreased possibly due to deeper penetration of water molecules in lipid bilayer. In order to further delineate the effect of PI on the physico chemical properties of DMPC is due to either significant hydrophobic mismatch between the acyl chains of the DMPC and that of soy PI or due to the inositol head group, we systematically replaced soy PI with PC species of similar acyl chain composition (DPPC and 18:2 (Cis) PC) or with diacylglycerol (DAG) respectively. The anisotropy of PC membrane containing soy PI showed largest fluidity change compared to other compositions. The data suggests that addition of PI alters structure and dynamics of DMPC bilayer in that it promotes deeper water penetration in the bilayer, induces fluid phase characteristics and causes lipid packing defects that involve its inositol head group.
phosphatidylinositol; Laurdan fluorescence; drug delivery; phase transition; lamellarity; phosphatidylcholine
Hemophilia A is an X-linked bleeding disorder caused by the deficiency of factor VIII (FVIII). Exogenous FVIII is administered therapeutically, and due to a short half-life, frequent infusions are often required. Fifteen to thirty-five percent of severe hemophilia A patients develop inhibitory antibodies toward FVIII that complicate clinical management of the disease. Previously, we used phosphatidylinositol (PI) containing lipidic nanoparticles to improve the therapeutic efficacy of recombinant FVIII by reducing immunogenicity and prolonging the circulating half-life. The objective of this study is to investigate further improvements in the FVIII–PI formulation resulting from the addition of polyethylene glycol (PEG) to the particle. PEGylation was achieved by passive transfer of PEG conjugated lipid into the FVIII–PI complex. PEGylated FVIII–PI (FVIII–PI/PEG) was generated with high association efficiency. Reduced activity in vitro and improved retention of activity in the presence of antibodies suggested strong shielding of FVIII by the particle; thus, in vivo studies were conducted in hemophilia A mice. Following intravenous administration, the apparent terminal half-life was improved versus both free FVIII and FVIII–PI, but exposure determined by area under the curve was reduced. The formation of inhibitory antibodies after subcutaneous immunization with FVIII–PI/PEG was lower than free FVIII but resulted in a significant increase in inhibitors following intravenous administration. Passive transfer of PEG onto the FVIII–PI complex does not provide any therapeutic benefit.
factor VIII; hemophilia A; immunogenicity; inhibitor development; PEGylation
Immunogenicity against therapeutic proteins is a clinical problem in the successful treatment of many diseases and as such, immunogenicity risk assessment in preclinical setting would be useful to improve safety and efficacy of protein based therapeutics in the product development stages. Here, we attempted a mechanism based in vitro studies as screening tool to capture clinically observed antibody based immune response against two representative therapeutic proteins; recombinant human Erythropoietin-alpha (rHuEPO) and recombinant Factor VIII (rFVIII). Flow cytometry was used to determine the maturation level of dendritic cells (DCs), a primary initiator of T-cell responses. Studies to capture T-lymphocyte proliferation upon challenge with free rFVIII were performed and secretion of immunomodulatory cytokines was analyzed by ELISA assay. These in vitro techniques could be used as risk assessment tool to determine the immunogenic potential of formulations of recombinant proteins in preclinical setting.
Cytokine; dendritic cell; ELISA; Erythropoietin; Factor VIII; flow-cytometry; immunogenicity; recombinant protein; T-cell proliferation
Ovarian cancer is the most common cause of death from gynecological cancer. Understanding the biology of this disease, particularly how tumor-associated lymphocytes and fibroblasts contribute to the progression and metastasis of the tumor, has been impeded by the lack of a suitable tumor xenograft model. We report a simple and reproducible system in which the tumor and tumor stroma are successfully engrafted into NOD-scid IL2Rγnull (NSG) mice. This is achieved by injecting tumor cell aggregates derived from fresh ovarian tumor biopsy tissues (including tumor cells, and tumor-associated lymphocytes and fibroblasts) i.p. into NSG mice. Tumor progression in these mice closely parallels many of the events that are observed in ovarian cancer patients. Tumors establish in the omentum, ovaries, liver, spleen, uterus, and pancreas. Tumor growth is initially very slow and progressive within the peritoneal cavity with an ultimate development of tumor ascites, spontaneous metastasis to the lung, increasing serum and ascites levels of CA125, and the retention of tumor-associated human fibroblasts and lymphocytes that remain functional and responsive to cytokines for prolonged periods. With this model one will be able to determine how fibroblasts and lymphocytes within the tumor microenvironment may contribute to tumor growth and metastasis, and will make it possible to evaluate the efficacy of therapies that are designed to target these cells in the tumor stroma.
Factor VIII (FVIII) is an important cofactor in blood coagulation cascade. It is a multidomain protein that consists of six domains, NH2-A1-A2-B-A3-C1-C2-COOH. The deficiency or dysfunction of FVIII causes hemophilia A, a life-threatening bleeding disorder. Replacement therapy using recombinant FVIII (rFVIII) is the first line of therapy, but a major clinical complication is the development of inhibitory antibodies that abrogate the pharmacological activity of the administered protein. FVIII binds to anionic phospholipids (PL), such as phosphatidylinositol (PI), via lipid binding region within the C2 domain of FVIII. This lipid binding site not only consists of immunodominant epitopes but is also involved in von Willebrand factor binding that protects FVIII from degradation in vivo. Thus, we hypothesize that FVIII–PL complex will influence immunogenicity and catabolism of FVIII. The biophysical studies showed that PI binding did not alter conformation of the protein but improved intrinsic stability as measured by thermal denaturation studies. ELISA studies confirmed the involvement of the C2 domain in binding to PI containing lipid particles. PI binding prolonged the in vivo circulation time and reduced catabolism of FVIII in hemophilia A mice. FVIII–PI complex reduced inhibitor development in hemophilia A mice following intravenous and subcutaneous administration. The data suggest that PI binding reduces catabolism and immunogenicity of FVIII and has potential to be a useful therapeutic approach for hemophilia A.
factor VIII; hemophilia A; inhibitor development; immunogenicity; phosphatidylinositol
The safety and efficacy of protein therapeutics are limited by three interrelated pharmaceutical issues, in vitro and in vivo instability, immunogenicity and shorter half-lives. Novel drug modifications for overcoming these issues are under investigation and include covalent attachment of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), polysialic acid, or glycolic acid, as well as developing new formulations containing nanoparticulate or colloidal systems (e.g. liposomes, polymeric microspheres, polymeric nanoparticles). Such strategies have the potential to develop as next generation protein therapeutics. This review includes a general discussion on these delivery approaches.
Protein delivery; PEGylation; Liposomes; hyperglycosylation; Poly(lactic/glycolic) acid
Factor VIII is a multi-domain glycoprotein and is an essential cofactor in the blood coagulation cascade. Its deficiency or dysfunction causes Hemophilia A, a bleeding disorder. Replacement using exogenous recombinant Factor VIII (FVIII) is the first line of therapy for Hemophilia A. Immunogenicity, the development of binding (total) and neutralizing (inhibitory) antibody against administered protein is a clinical complication of the therapy. There are several product related factors such as presence of aggregates, route and frequency of administration and glycosylation have been shown to contribute to immunogenicity. The effect of route of administration of Factor VIII on antibody development in Hemophilia A is not completely understood. Here we investigated the effect of route of administration (sc or iv) on immunogenicity in Hemophilia A mice. The total and inhibitory titers were determined using ELISA and modified Bethesda Assay respectively. The results indicated that sc is more immunogenic compared to iv route in terms of total antibody titer development (binding antibodies) but no significant differences in inhibitory titer levels could be established.
Hemophilia A; Inhibitor development; Immunogenicity; Route of administration
Factor VIII (FVIII) is a multi-domain glycoprotein that is an essential cofactor in the blood coagulation cascade. Its deficiency or dysfunction causes hemophilia A, a bleeding disorder. Replacement using exogenous recombinant human factor VIII (rFVIII) is the first line of therapy for hemophilia A. The role of glycosylation on the activity, stability, protein–lipid interaction, and immunogenicity of FVIII is not known. In order to investigate the role of glycosylation, a deglycosylated form of FVIII was generated by enzymatic cleavage of carbohydrate chains. The biochemical properties of fully glycosylated and completely deglycosylated forms of rFVIII (degly rFVIII) were compared using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, size exclusion chromatography, and clotting activity studies. The biological activity of degly FVIII decreased in comparison to the fully glycosylated protein. The ability of degly rFVIII to interact with phosphatidylserine containing membranes was partly impaired. Data suggested that glycosylation significantly influences the stability and the biologically relevant macromolecular interactions of FVIII. The effect of glycosylation on immunogenicity was investigated in a murine model of hemophilia A. Studies showed that deletion of glycosylation did not increase immunogenicity.
factor VIII; glycosylation; hemophilia A; immunogenicity; inhibitor development
Factor VIII (FVIII) is an important cofactor in the blood coagulation cascade. A deficiency or dysfunction of FVIII causes hemophilia A, a life-threatening bleeding disorder. FVIII circulates in plasma as a heterodimer comprising 6 domains (heavy chain, A1-A2-B and light chain A3-C1-C2). Replacement therapy using FVIII is the leading therapy in the management of hemophilia A. However, ∼15% to 30% of patients develop inhibitory antibodies that neutralize the activity of the protein. Neutralizing antibodies to epitopes in the lipid binding region of FVIII are commonly identified in patients' plasma. In this report, we investigated the effect of O-phospho-L-serine (OPLS), which binds to the lipid bindinding region, on the immunogenicity of B domain deleted recombinant factor VIII (BDDrFVIII). Sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) studies showed that OPLS specifically bind to the lipid binding region, localized in the C2 domain of the coagulation factor. Size exclusion chromatography and fluorescence anisotropy studies showed that OPLS interfered with the aggregation of BDDrFVIII. Immunogenicity of free-vs BDDrFVIII-OPLS complex was evaluated in a murine model of hemophilia A. Animals administered subcutaneous (sc) injections of BDDrFVIII-OPLS had lower neutralizing titers compared with animals treated with BDDRFVIII alone. Based on these studies, we hypothesize that specific molecular interactions between OPLS and BDDrFVIII may improve the stability and reduce the immunogenicity of BDDrFVIII formulations.
B domain deleted recombinant factor VIII; O-phospho-L-serine; protein formulation; excipient; physical stability; immunogenicity; inhibitor development