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Selected Publications

Below is a selection of publications that are associated with Etubics next generation adenovirus vector.

Tsang, K. Y., et al. (2017). "Identification and characterization of enhancer agonist human cytotoxic T-cell epitopes of the human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) E6/E7." Vaccine 35(19): 2605-2611.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is associated with the etiology of cervical carcinoma, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, and several other cancer types. Vaccines directed against HPV virus-like particles and coat proteins have been extremely successful in the prevention of cervical cancer through the activation of host HPV-specific antibody responses; however, HPV-associated cancers remain a major public health problem. The development of a therapeutic vaccine will require the generation of T-cell responses directed against early HPV proteins (E6/E7) expressed in HPV-infected tumor cells. Clinical studies using various vaccine platforms have demonstrated that both HPV-specific human T cells can be generated and patient benefit can be achieved. However, no HPV therapeutic vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to date. One method of enhancing the potential efficacy of a therapeutic vaccine is the generation of agonist epitopes. We report the first description of enhancer cytotoxic T lymphocyte agonist epitopes for HPV E6 and E7. While the in silico algorithm revealed six epitopes with potentially improved binding to human leukocyte antigen-A2 allele (HLA-A2)-Class I, 5/6 demonstrated enhanced binding to HLA-Class I in cell-based assays and only 3/6 had a greater ability to activate HPV-specific T cells which could lyse tumor cells expressing native HPV, compared to their native epitope counterparts. These agonist epitopes have potential for use in a range of HPV therapeutic vaccine platforms and for use in HPV-specific adoptive T- or natural killer-cell platforms.

Rice, A. E., et al. (2015). "An HPV-E6/E7 immunotherapy plus PD-1 checkpoint inhibition results in tumor regression and reduction in PD-L1 expression." Cancer Gene Ther 22(9): 454-462.

We have investigated if immunotherapy against human papilloma virus (HPV) using a viral gene delivery platform to immunize against HPV 16 genes E6 and E7 (Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-E6/E7) combined with programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-1) blockade could increase therapeutic effect as compared to the vaccine alone. Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-E6/E7 as a single agent induced HPV-E6/E7 cell-mediated immunity. Immunotherapy using Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-E6/E7 resulted in clearance of small tumors and an overall survival benefit in mice with larger established tumors. When immunotherapy was combined with immune checkpoint blockade, an increased level of anti-tumor activity against large tumors was observed. Analysis of the tumor microenvironment in Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-E6/E7 treated mice revealed elevated CD8(+) tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs); however, we observed induction of suppressive mechanisms such as programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression on tumor cells and an increase in PD-1(+) TILs. When Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-E6/E7 immunotherapy was combined with anti-PD-1 antibody, we observed CD8(+) TILs at the same level but a reduction in tumor PD-L1 expression on tumor cells and reduced PD-1(+) TILs providing a mechanism by which combination therapy favors a tumor clearance state and a rationale for pairing antigen-specific vaccines with checkpoint inhibitors in future clinical trials.

Gabitzsch, E. S., et al. (2015). "The generation and analyses of a novel combination of recombinant adenovirus vaccines targeting three tumor antigens as an immunotherapeutic." Oncotarget 6(31): 31344-31359.

Phenotypic heterogeneity of human carcinoma lesions, including heterogeneity in expression of tumor-associated antigens (TAAs), is a well-established phenomenon. Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), MUC1, and brachyury are diverse TAAs, each of which is expressed on a wide range of human tumors. We have previously reported on a novel adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) vector gene delivery platform (Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]) in which regions of the early 1 (E1), early 2 (E2b), and early 3 (E3) genes have been deleted. The unique deletions in this platform result in a dramatic decrease in late gene expression, leading to a marked reduction in host immune response to the vector. Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-CEA vaccine (ETBX-011) has been employed in clinical studies as an active vaccine to induce immune responses to CEA in metastatic colorectal cancer patients. We report here the development of novel recombinant Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-brachyury and-MUC1 vaccine constructs, each capable of activating antigen-specific human T cells in vitro and inducing antigen-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in vaccinated mice. We also describe the use of a combination of the three vaccines (designated Tri-Ad5) of Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-CEA, Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-brachyury and Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-MUC1, and demonstrate that there is minimal to no “antigenic competition” in in vitro studies of human dendritic cells, or in murine vaccination studies. The studies reported herein support the rationale for the application of Tri-Ad5 as a therapeutic modality to induce immune responses to a diverse range of human TAAs for potential clinical studies.

Balint, J. P., et al. (2015). "Extended evaluation of a phase 1/2 trial on dosing, safety, immunogenicity, and overall survival after immunizations with an advanced-generation Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-CEA(6D) vaccine in late-stage colorectal cancer." Cancer Immunol Immunother 64(8): 977-987.

A phase 1/2 clinical trial evaluating dosing, safety, immunogenicity, and overall survival on metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients after immunotherapy with an advanced-generation Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-CEA(6D) vaccine was performed. We report our extended observations on long-term overall survival and further immune analyses on a subset of treated patients including assessment of cytolytic T cell responses, T regulatory (Treg) to T effector (Teff) cell ratios, flow cytometry on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and determination of HLA-A2 status. An overall survival of 20 % (median survival 11 months) was observed during long-term follow-up, and no long-term adverse effects were reported. Cytolytic T cell responses increased after immunizations, and cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses were induced whether or not patients were HLA-A2 positive or Ad5 immune. PBMC samples from a small subset of patients were available for follow-up immune analyses. It was observed that the levels of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)-specific CMI activity decreased from their peak values during follow-up in five patients analyzed. Preliminary results revealed that activated CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were detected in a post-immunization sample exhibiting high CMI activity. Treg to Teff cell ratios were assessed, and samples from three of five patients exhibited a decrease in Treg to Teff cell ratio during the treatment protocol. Based upon the favorable safety and immunogenicity data obtained, we plan to perform an extensive immunologic and survival analysis on mCRC patients to be enrolled in a randomized/controlled clinical trial that investigates Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-CEA(6D) as a single agent with booster immunizations.

Morse, M. A., et al. (2013). “Novel adenoviral vector induces T-cell responses despite anti-adenoviral neutralizing antibodies in colorectal cancer patients.” Cancer immunology, immunotherapy : CII 62(8): 1293-1301.

First generation, E1-deleted Adenovirus subtype 5 (Ad5)-based vectors, although promising platforms for use as cancer vaccines, are impeded in activity by naturally occurring or induced Ad-specific neutralizing antibodies. Ad5-based vectors with deletions of the E1 and the E2b regions (Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]), the latter encoding the DNA polymerase and the pre-terminal protein, by virtue of diminished late phase viral protein expression, were hypothesized to avoid immunological clearance and induce more potent immune responses against the encoded tumor antigen transgene in Ad-immune hosts. Indeed, multiple homologous immunizations with Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-CEA(6D), encoding the tumor antigen CEA, induced CEA-specific cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses with antitumor activity in mice despite the presence of pre-existing or induced Ad5-neutralizing antibody. In the present phase I/II study, cohorts of patients with advanced colorectal cancer were immunized with escalating doses of Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-CEA(6D). CEA-specific CMI responses were observed despite the presence of pre-existing Ad5 immunity in a majority (61.3%) of patients. Importantly, there was minimal toxicity, and overall patient survival (48% at 12 months) was similar regardless of pre-existing Ad5 neutralizing antibody titers. The results demonstrate that, in cancer patients, the novel Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] gene delivery platform generates significant CMI responses to the tumor antigen CEA in the setting of both naturally acquired and immunization-induced Ad5-specific immunity.

Gabitzsch, E. S., et al. (2012). “Control of SIV infection and subsequent induction of pandemic H1N1 immunity in rhesus macaques using an Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] vector platform.” Vaccine 30(50): 7265-7270.

Anti-vector immunity mitigates immune responses induced by recombinant adenovirus vector vaccines, limiting their prime-boost capabilities. We have developed a novel gene delivery and expression platform (Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]) that induces immune responses despite preexisting and/or developed concomitant Ad5 immunity. In the present study, we evaluated if this new Ad5 platform could overcome the adverse condition of pre-existing Ad5 immunity to induce effective immune responses in prime-boost immunization regimens against two different infectious diseases in the same animal. Ad5 immune rhesus macaques (RM) were immunized multiple times with the Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] platform expressing antigens from simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). Immunized RM developed cell-mediated immunity against SIV antigens Gag, Pol, Nef and Env as well as antibody against Env. Vaccinated and vector control RMs were challenged intra-rectally with homologous SIVmac239. During a 7-week follow-up, there was perturbation of SIV load in some immunized RM. At 7 weeks post-challenge, eight immunized animals (53%) did not have detectable SIV, compared to two RM controls (13%) (P<0.02; log-rank Mantel-Cox test). There was no correlation of protective MHC contributing to infection control. The RM without detectable circulating SIV, now hyper immune to Ad5, were then vaccinated with the same Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] platform expressing H1N1 influenza hemaglutinin (HA). Thirty days post Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-HA vaccination, significant levels of influenza neutralizing antibody were induced in all animals that increased after an Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-HA homologous boost. These data demonstrate the versatility of this new vector platform to immunize against two separate disease targets in the same animal despite the presence of immunity against the delivery platform, permitting homologous repeat immunizations with an Ad5 gene delivery platform.

Wieking, B.G., et al. (2012). “A non-oncogenic HPV 16 E6/E7 vaccine enhances treatment of HPV expressing tumors.” Cancer Gene Ther 19(10): 667–674.

Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are the causative factor for >90% of cervical cancers and 25% of head and neck cancers. The incidence of HPV positive (+) head and neck squamous cell carcinomas has greatly increased in the last 30 years. E6 and E7 are the two key viral oncoproteins that induce and propagate cellular transformation. An immune response generated during cisplatin/radiation therapy improves tumor clearance of HPV(+) cancers. Augmenting this induced response during therapy with an adenoviral HPV16 E6/E7 vaccine improves long-term survival in pre-clinical models. Here, we describe the generation of an HPV16 E6/E7 construct, which contains mutations that render E6/E7 non-oncogenic, while preserving antigenicity. These mutations do not allow E6/E7 to degrade p53, pRb, PTPN13, or activate telomerase. Non-oncogenic E6/E7 (E6Δ/E7Δ) expressed as a stable integrant, or in the [E1-, E2b-] adenovirus, lacks the ability to transform human cells while retaining the ability to induce an HPV-specific immune response. Moreover, E6Δ/E7Δ plus chemotherapy/radiation statistically enhances clearance of established HPV(+) cancer in vivo.

Gabitzsch, E. S., et al. (2012). "Control of SIV infection and subsequent induction of pandemic H1N1 immunity in rhesus macaques using an Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] vector platform." Vaccine 30(50): 7265-7270.

Anti-vector immunity mitigates immune responses induced by recombinant adenovirus vector vaccines, limiting their prime-boost capabilities. We have developed a novel gene delivery and expression platform (Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]) that induces immune responses despite pre-existing and/or developed concomitant Ad5 immunity. In the present study, we evaluated if this new Ad5 platform could overcome the adverse condition of pre-existing Ad5 immunity to induce effective immune responses in prime-boost immunization regimens against two different infectious diseases in the same animal. Ad5 immune rhesus macaques (RM) were immunized multiple times with the Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] platform expressing antigens from simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). Immunized RM developed cell-mediated immunity against SIV antigens Gag, Pol, Nef and Env as well as antibody against Env. Vaccinated and vector control RMs were challenged intra-rectally with homologous SIVmac239. During a 7-week follow-up, there was perturbation of SIV load in some immunized RM. At 7 weeks post-challenge, eight immunized animals (53%) did not have detectable SIV, compared to two RM controls (13%) (P<0.02; log-rank Mantel-Cox test). There was no correlation of protective MHC contributing to infection control. The RM without detectable circulating SIV, now hyper immune to Ad5, were then vaccinated with the same Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] platform expressing H1N1 influenza hemagglutinin (HA). Thirty days post Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-HA vaccination, significant levels of influenza neutralizing antibody were induced in all animals that increased after an Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-HA homologous boost. These data demonstrate the versatility of this new vector platform to immunize against two separate disease targets in the same animal despite the presence of immunity against the delivery platform, permitting homologous repeat immunizations with an Ad5 gene delivery platform.

Gabitzsch, E.S., et al. (2012). “New Recombinant Ad5 Vector Overcomes Ad5 Immunity Allowing for Multiple Safe, Homologous Immunizations.”J Clin Cell Immunol S4:001.
Gabitzsch, E. S., et al. (2011). “Induction and comparison of SIV immunity in Ad5 naïve and Ad5 immune non-human primates using an Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] based vaccine.” Vaccine 29(45): 8101-8107.

The effectiveness of recombinant Adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) vectors to induce immune responses against targeted antigens has been limited by the presence of pre-existing or Ad5 vaccine induced anti-vector immunity. The Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] platform, a recombinant Ad5 with additional deletions, has been previously reported by us to induce immune responses in the presence of Ad5 immunity. In an Ad5 immune non-human primate (NHP) model, an Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] construct expressing HIV-1 Gag induced immune responses in the presence of pre-existing Ad5 immunity. In the present study we expand on these prior observations by comparing the cell mediated immune (CMI) responses induced by Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-SIV-gag/nef in Ad5 naïve and Ad5 immune NHP. Additionally, NHP were immunized with an Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-HIV-pol construct following two homologous administrations of Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-SIV-gag/nef to determine if an immune response could be induced against a third antigen in the presence of vaccine induced Ad5 immunity. Positive CMI responses, as assessed by interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) secreting lymphocytes, were induced against all three antigens. These CMI responses increased over a course of multiple immunizations and the response profiles observed in Ad5 naïve and Ad5 immune NHP were similar. No influence of the major histocompatibility complex on CMI responses was observed. These data indicate that the new Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] platform based vaccine could be used for homologous vaccination regimes to induce robust CMI responses in the presence of Ad5 vector immunity.

Jones, F. R., et al. (2011). “Prevention of influenza virus shedding and protection from lethal H1N1 challenge using a consensus 2009 H1N1 HA and NA adenovirus vector vaccine.” Vaccine 29(40): 7020-7026.

Vaccines against emerging pathogens such as the 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus can benefit from current technologies such as rapid genomic sequencing to construct the most biologically relevant vaccine. A novel platform (Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]) has been utilized to induce immune responses to various antigenic targets. We employed this vector platform to express hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes from 2009 H1N1 pandemic viruses. Inserts were consensuses sequences designed from viral isolate sequences and the vaccine was rapidly constructed and produced. Vaccination induced H1N1 immune responses in mice, which afforded protection from lethal virus challenge. In ferrets, vaccination protected from disease development and significantly reduced viral titers in nasal washes. H1N1 cell mediated immunity as well as antibody induction correlated with the prevention of disease symptoms and reduction of virus replication. The Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] should be evaluated for the rapid development of effective vaccines against infectious diseases.

Gabitzsch, E. S., et al. (2011). “An Ad5[E1-, E2b-]-HER2/neu vector induces immune responses and inhibits HER2/neu expressing tumor progression in Ad5 immune mice.” Cancer Gene Ther 18(5): 326-335.

Immunotherapy is a promising approach for the treatment of cancers. Modified adenovirus 5 (Ad5) vectors have been used as a platform to deliver genes encoding tumor associated antigens (TAA). A major obstacle to Ad5 vector immunotherapy has been the induction of vector immunity following administration or the presence of pre-existing Ad5 immunity, which results in vector mitigation. It has been reported by us that the Ad5[E1-, E2b-] platform with unique deletions in the E1, E2b and E3 regions can induce potent cell mediated immunity (CMI) against delivered transgene products in the presence of pre-existing Ad5 immunity. Here we report the use of an Ad5[E1-, E2b-] vector platform expressing the TAA HER2/neu as a breast cancer immunotherapeutic agent. Ad5[E1-, E2b-]-HER2/neu induced potent CMI against HER2/neu in Ad5 naïve and Ad5 immune mice. Humoral responses were also induced and antibodies could lyse HER2/neu expressing tumor cells in the presence of complement in vitro. Ad5[E1-, E2b-]-HER2/neu prevented establishment of HER2/neu-expressing tumors and significantly inhibited progression of established tumors in Ad5 naïve and Ad5 immune murine models. These data demonstrate that in vivo delivery of Ad5[E1-, E2b-]-HER2/neu can induce anti-TAA immunity and inhibit progression of HER2/neu expressing cancers.

Gabitzsch, E. S., et al. (2011). "Induction and comparison of SIV immunity in Ad5 naive and Ad5 immune non-human primates using an Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] based vaccine." Vaccine 29(45): 8101-8107.

The effectiveness of recombinant Adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) vectors to induce immune responses against targeted antigens has been limited by the presence of pre-existing or Ad5 vaccine induced anti-vector immunity. The Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] platform, a recombinant Ad5 with additional deletions, has been previously reported by us to induce immune responses in the presence of Ad5 immunity. In an Ad5 immune non-human primate (NHP) model, an Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] construct expressing HIV-1 Gag induced immune responses in the presence of pre-existing Ad5 immunity. In the present study we expand on these prior observations by comparing the cell mediated immune (CMI) responses induced by Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-SIV-gag/nef in Ad5 naive and Ad5 immune NHP. Additionally, NHP were immunized with an Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-HIV-pol construct following two homologous administrations of Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-SIV-gag/nef to determine if an immune response could be induced against a third antigen in the presence of vaccine induced Ad5 immunity. Positive CMI responses, as assessed by interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) secreting lymphocytes, were induced against all three antigens. These CMI responses increased over a course of multiple immunizations and the response profiles observed in Ad5 naive and Ad5 immune NHP were similar. No influence of the major histocompatibility complex on CMI responses was observed. These data indicate that the new Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] platform based vaccine could be used for homologous vaccination regimes to induce robust CMI responses in the presence of Ad5 vector immunity.

Gabitzsch, E. S., et al. (2010). “Anti-tumor immunotherapy despite immunity to adenovirus using a novel adenoviral vector Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-CEA.” Cancer Immunol Immunother 59(7): 1131-1135.

Adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) has been widely used in clinical trials because it expresses inserted transgenes robustly and augments the innate immune response. Strategies to improve Ad5 vectors that can circumvent Ad5 immunity have become a critical issue, especially for use as a cancer immunotherapeutic in which repeated immunization is required. In this study, we constructed a novel Ad5 vector with unique deletions of the viral DNA polymerase and the pre-terminal protein region (Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]). This vector contains the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) gene insert and is designed to induce cell-mediated immunity (CMI) against the tumor-associated target. The CEA immunogenicity and in vivo anti-tumor effects of repeated immunizations with Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-CEA compared with those observed with current generation Ad5 [E1-]-CEA were tested in Ad5 pre-immunized mice. We report that Ad5-immune mice immunized multiple times with Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-CEA induced CEA-specific CMI responses that were significantly increased over those detected in Ad5-immune mice immunized multiple times with a current generation Ad5 [E1-]-CEA. Ad5 immune mice bearing CEA-expressing tumors that were treated with Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-CEA had increased anti-tumor response as compared with Ad5 [E1-]-CEA treated mice. These results demonstrate that Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-CEA can induce CMI immune responses which result in tumor growth inhibition despite the presence of pre-existing Ad5 immunity. Multiple re-immunizations using the same vector platform are now possible with the novel Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] platform.

Seregin, S. S., et al. (2009). “Overcoming pre-existing adenovirus immunity by genetic engineering of adenovirus-based vectors.” Expert Opin Biol Ther, 9(12): 1521-1531.

Adenovirus (Ad)-based vectors offer several benefits showing their potential for use in a variety of vaccine applications. Recombinant Ad-based vaccines possess potent immunogenic potential, capable of generating humoral and cellular immune responses to a variety of pathogen-specific antigens expressed by the vectors. Ad5 vectors can be readily produced, allowing for usage in thousands of clinical trial subjects. This is now coupled with a history of safe clinical use in the vaccine setting. However, traditional Ad5-based vaccines may not be generating optimal antigen-specific immune responses, and generate diminished antigen-specific immune responses when pre-existing Ad5 immunity is present. These limitations have driven initiation of several approaches to improve the efficacy of Ad-based vaccines, and/or allow modified vaccines to overcome pre-existing Ad immunity. These include: generation of chemically modified Ad5 capsids; generation of chimeric Ads; complete replacement of Ad5-based vaccine platforms with alternative (human and non-human origin) Ad serotypes, and Ad5 genome modification approaches that attempt to retain the native Ad5 capsid, while simultaneously improving the efficacy of the platform as well as minimizing the effect of pre-existing Ad immunity. Here we discuss recent advances in- and limitations of each of these approaches, relative to their abilities to overcome pre-existing Ad immunity.

Gabitzsch, E. S., et al. (2009). "A preliminary and comparative evaluation of a novel Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] recombinant-based vaccine used to induce cell mediated immune responses." Immunol Lett 122(1): 44-51.

Adenovirus vectors have been shown to be highly effective as vaccine platforms capable of inducing both humoral and cell mediated immune (CMI) responses. An Ad serotype 5 vector containing unique deletions in the E2b region (Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]) has been reported to have several advantages over conventional Adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) vectors deleted in only the E1 region (Ad5 [E1-]), including increased carrying capacity and diminished viral late gene expression. Here, we evaluated a novel Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] vector utilizing the E.C7 cell line for viral packaging. Its’ effectiveness as a potential vaccine platform as compared to the currently utilized Ad5 [E1-]-based platform was assessed in both Ad5 naive and Ad5 immune mice. We employed the HIV-1 Gag gene as the antigenic transgene expressed by the novel vector. Cellular expression of the Gag was confirmed by Western Blot analysis. Dose response studies using three intradermal immunizations of 10(7) to 10(10) virus particles (VP) of each construct revealed that immunization with 10(10)VP resulted in the maximum immunological response. Multiple immunizations of Ad naive BALB/c mice with an Ad5 [E1-, E2b]-gag vaccine resulted in higher ELISpot CMI responses as compared to mice immunized with an Ad5 [E1-]-gag vaccine. More importantly, multiple immunizations of Ad5 immune BALB/c mice with an Ad5 [E1-, E2b]-gag vaccine resulted in significant increases in ELISpot CMI responses when compared to Ad5 immune mice vaccinated with an Ad5 [E1-]-gag vector. Preliminary studies in three Ad5 immune non-human primates (NHP) demonstrated that vaccination with Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-gag-induced elevated levels of interferon-gamma and IL-2 secreting lymphocytes as assessed by ELISpot assays. These studies indicate that the novel Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] viral vector can be utilized as a potential vaccine platform to induce elevated CMI responses as compared to current generation Ad5 [E1-] viral vectors even in the presence of pre-existing Ad5 immunity.

Gabitzsch, E. S., et al. (2009). “Novel Adenovirus type 5 vaccine platform induces cellular immunity against HIV-1 Gag, Pol, Nef despite the presence of Ad5 immunity.” Vaccine, 27(46):6394-6398.

Recombinant Adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) vectors have been used as vaccine platforms in numerous animal and human clinical studies. The immune response induced by Ad5 vaccines can be mitigated due to pre-existing Ad5 immunity. We previously reported the use of a novel Ad5 platform to induce cellular immune responses (CMI) against HIV-1 Gag in Ad5 hyper immune mice. Here, the effectiveness of the Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] vaccine platform was evaluated using a triad mixture of HIV-1 Gag, Pol, and Nef as antigenic transgenes. Broad CMI was induced following vaccination with the HIV-1 expressing vectors in Ad5 naïve and Ad5 immunized mice. A mixture of the three vaccines induced CMI against each transgene product even in the presence of hyper Ad5 immunity. These studies revealed that CMI responses to immunization with Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-gag, Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-pol or Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-nef vectors were transgene specific and did not induce CMI responses against irrelevant antigens such as carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), herpes simplex virus glycoprotein B (HSV), cytomegalovirus (CMV) or influenza virus antigens. We are evaluating this recombinant triad viral vector as an HIV-1 vaccine in a non-human primate model and the data indicate that the vaccine is worthy of clinical evaluation.

Osada, T., et al. (2009). “Optimization of vaccine responses with an E1, E2b and E3-deleted Ad5 vector circumvents pre-existing anti-vector immunity.” Cancer Gene Ther, 16:673-82.

Recombinant serotype 5 adenovirus (Ad5) vectors lacking E1 expression induce robust immune responses against encoded transgenes in pre-clinical models, but have muted responses in human trials because of widespread pre-existing anti-adenovirus immunity. Attempts to circumvent Ad5-specific immunity by using alternative serotypes or modifying capsid components have not yielded profound clinical improvement. To address this issue, we explored a novel alternative strategy, specifically reducing the expression of structural Ad5 genes by creating E1 and E2b deleted recombinant Ad5 vectors. Our data show that [E1−, E2b−]vectors retaining the Ad5 serotype are potent immunogens in pre-clinical models despite the presence of significant Ad5-specific immunity, in contrast to [E1−] vectors. These pre-clinical studies with E1 and E2b-deleted recombinant Ad5 vectors suggest that anti-Ad immunity will no longer be a limiting factor, and that clinical trials to evaluate their performance are warranted.

Gabitzsch, E. S., et al. (2008). “A Preliminary and Comparative Evaluation of a Novel Ad5 [E1-, Eb2-] Recombinant Based Vaccine Used to Induce Cell Mediated Immune Responses.” Immunol Lett. 122(1):44-51.

Adenovirus vectors have been shown to be highly effective as vaccine platforms capable of inducing both humoral and cell mediated immune responses. An Ad serotype 5 vector containing unique deletions in the E2b region (Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]) has been reported to have several advantages over conventional Ad5 vectors deleted in only the E1 region (Ad5 [E1-]), including increased carrying capacity and diminished viral late gene expression. Here, we evaluated a novel Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] vector utilizing the E.C7 cell line for viral packaging. Its’ effectiveness as a potential vaccine platform as compared to the currently utilized Ad5 [E1-] based platform was assessed in both Ad5 naïve and Ad5 immune mice. We employed the HIV-1 Gag gene as the antigenic transgene expressed by the novel vector. Cellular expression of the Gag was confirmed by Western Blot analysis. Dose response studies using three intradermal immunizations of 107 to 1010 virus particles (VP) of each construct revealed that immunization with 1010 VP resulted in the maximum immunological response. Multiple immunizations of Ad naïve BALB/c mice with an Ad5 [E1-, E2b]-gag vaccine resulted in higher ELISpot CMI responses as compared to mice immunized with an Ad5 [E1-]-gag vaccine. More importantly, multiple immunizations of Ad5 immune BALB/c mice with an Ad5 [E1-, E2b]-gag vaccine resulted in significant increases in ELISpot CMI responses when compared to Ad5 immune mice vaccinated with an Ad5 [E1-]-gag vector. Preliminary studies in three Ad5 immune non-human primates (NHP) demonstrated that vaccination with Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-gag induced elevated levels of interferon-γ and IL-2 secreting lymphocytes as assessed by ELISpot assays. These studies indicate that the novel Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] viral vector can be utilized as a potential vaccine platform to induce elevated CMI responses as compared to current generation Ad5 [E1-] viral vectors even in the presence of pre-existing Ad5 immunity

Amalfitano, A., (1999). “Next-generation adenoviral vectors: new and improved.” Gene Ther, 6:1643-1645
Amalfitano, A., et al. (1998). “Production and characterization of improved adenovirus vectors with the E1, E2b, and E3 genes deleted.” J Virol, 72(2): 926-933.

Adenovirus (Ad)-based vectors have great potential for use in the gene therapy of multiple diseases, both genetic and nongenetic. While capable of transducing both dividing and quiescent cells efficiently, Ad vectors have been limited by a number of problems. Most Ad vectors are engineered such that a transgene replaces the Ad E1a, E1b, and E3 genes; subsequently the replication-defective vector can be propagated only in human 293 cells that supply the deleted E1 gene functions in trans. Unfortunately, the use of high titers of E1-deleted vectors has been repeatedly demonstrated to result in low-level expression of viral genes still resident in the vector. In addition, the generation of replication-competent Ad (RCA) by recombination events with the E1 sequences residing in 293 cells further limits the usefulness of E1-deleted Ad vectors. We addressed these problems by isolating new Ad vectors deleted for the E1, E3, and the E2b gene functions. The new vectors can be readily grown to high titers and have several improvements, including an increased carrying capacity and a theoretically decreased risk for generating RCA. We have also demonstrated that the further block to Ad vector replication afforded by the deletion of both the E1 and E2b genes significantly diminished Ad late gene expression in comparison to a conventional E1-deleted vector, without destabilization of the modified vector genome. The results suggested that these modified vectors may be very useful both for in vitro and in vivo gene therapy applications.

Amalfitano, A., et al. (1997). “Isolation and characterization of packaging cell lines that coexpress the adenovirus E1, DNA polymerase, and preterminal proteins: implications for gene therapy.” Gene Ther, 4:258-263.

Current generation adenovirus (Ad) vectors are deleted for may further prevent Ad protein expression. These new vecthe E1 region of genes and require propagation in E1 tors will need to be grown in 293 cells capable of coexexpressing 293 cells. Expression of genes delivered by Ad pressing other Ad genes. Unfortunately, many of the Ad vectors into immunocompetent hosts is generally transient genes are toxic when coexpressed in 293 cells. We since the current vectors are not completely replication describe the isolation of E1 expressing 293 cells which also defective. Viral proteins expressed by Ad vectors, in part, express both the Ad polymerase and preterminal proteins, induce a rapid, T cell-mediated loss of the transduced cells. both of which are essential to normal Ad growth. The isoIntroduction of temperature-sensitive point mutations into lation of new Ad vectors deleted for the E1, polymerase new Ad vectors may be of limited usefulness in prolonging and preterminal proteins are predicted to have many transduced gene expression in vivo. Isolation of new Ad advantageous properties, including the prolongation of vectors deleted for genes required for normal Ad growth transduced foreign gene expression in vivo.

Amalfitano, A., et al. (1996). “Improved adenovirus packaging cell lines to support the growth of replication-defective gene-delivery vectors.” Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 93(8): 3352-3356.

Adenovirus (Ad) vectors have been extensively used to deliver recombinant genes to a great variety of cell types in vitro and in vivo. Ad-based vectors are available that replace the Ad early region 1 (E1) with recombinant foreign genes. The resultant E1-deleted vectors can then be propagated on 293 cells, a human embryonal kidney cell line that constitutively expresses the E1 genes. Unfortunately, infection of cells and tissues in vivo results in low-level expression of Ad early and late proteins (despite the absence of E1 activity) resulting in immune recognition of virally infected cells. The infected cells are subsequently eliminated, resulting in only a transient expression of foreign genes in vivo. We hypothesize that a second-generation Ad vector with a deletion of viral genes necessary for Ad genome replication should block viral DNA replication and decrease viral protein production, resulting in a diminished immune response and extended duration of foreign gene expression in vivo. As a first step toward the generation of such a modified vector, we report the construction of cell lines that not only express the E1 genes but also constitutively express the Ad serotype 2 140-kDa DNA polymerase protein, one of three virally encoded proteins essential for Ad genome replication. The Ad polymerase-expressing cell lines support the replication and growth of H5ts36, an Ad with a temperature-sensitive mutation of the Ad polymerase protein. These packaging cell lines can be used to prepare Ad vectors deleted for the E1 and polymerase functions, which should facilitate development of viral vectors for gene therapy of human diseases.

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