To assess safety and immune modulation by BHT-3009, a tolerizing DNA vaccine encoding full-length human myelin basic protein, in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).The study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Subjects receiving placebo were crossed over into an active arm after treatment unblinding.The trial was conducted at 4 academic institutions within North America. Patients Thirty patients with relapsing-remitting or secondary progressive MS who were not taking any other disease-modifying drugs were enrolled in the trial. Further, the patients were required to have either 1 to 5 gadolinium-enhancing lesions on screening brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a relapse in the previous 2 years, or disease worsening in the previous 2 years.BHT-3009 was administered as intramuscular injections at weeks 1, 3, 5, and 9 after randomization into the trial, with or without 80 mg of daily oral atorvastatin calcium in combination. Three dose levels of BHT-3009 were tested (0.5 mg, 1.5 mg, and 3 mg).The primary outcome measures were safety and tolerability of BHT-3009. Secondary outcome measures included the number and volume of gadolinium-enhanced lesions on MRI, relapses, and analysis of antigen-specific immune responses.BHT-3009 was safe and well tolerated, provided favorable trends on brain MRI, and produced beneficial antigen-specific immune changes. These immune changes consisted of a marked decrease in proliferation of interferon-gamma-producing, myelin-reactive CD4+ T cells from peripheral blood and a reduction in titers of myelin-specific autoantibodies from cerebral spinal fluid as assessed by protein microarrays. We did not observe a substantial benefit of the atorvastatin combination compared with BHT-3009 alone.In patients with MS, BHT-3009 is safe and induces antigen-specific immune tolerance with concordant reduction of inflammatory lesions on brain MRI.
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View details for PubMedID 17698695