Recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) is a lifelong genodermatosis associated with blistering, wounding, and scarring caused by mutations in COL7A1, the gene encoding the anchoring fibril component, collagen VII (C7). Here, we evaluated beremagene geperpavec (B-VEC), an engineered, non-replicating COL7A1 containing herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) vector, to treat RDEB skin. B-VEC restored C7 expression in RDEB keratinocytes, fibroblasts, RDEB mice and human RDEB xenografts. Subsequently, a randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 1 and 2 clinical trial (NCT03536143) evaluated matched wounds from nine RDEB patients receiving topical B-VEC or placebo repeatedly over 12weeks. No grade 2 or above B-VEC-related adverse events or vector shedding or tissue-bound skin immunoreactants were noted. HSV-1 and C7 antibodies sometimes presented at baseline or increased after B-VEC treatment without an apparent impact on safety or efficacy. Primary and secondary objectives of C7 expression, anchoring fibril assembly, wound surface area reduction, duration of wound closure, and time to wound closure following B-VEC treatment were met. A patient-reported pain-severity secondary outcome was not assessed given the small proportion of wounds treated. A global assessment secondary endpoint was not pursued due to redundancy with regard to other endpoints. These studies show that B-VEC is an easily administered, safely tolerated, topical molecular corrective therapy promoting wound healing in patients with RDEB.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41591-022-01737-y
View details for PubMedID 35347281