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Calcium Cycling (ATPase Pump) in Cardiac Gene Therapy: Inhalable Gene Therapy for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension and Percutaneous Intra-coronary Artery Infusion for Heart Failure: Contributions by Roger J. Hajjar, MD


Calcium Cycling (ATPase Pump) in Cardiac Gene Therapy: Inhalable Gene Therapy for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension and Percutaneous Intra-coronary Artery Infusion for Heart Failure: Contributions by Roger J. Hajjar, MD

Curator: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

This article is Part VI in a Series of articles on Calcium Release Mechanism, the series consists of the following articles:

Part I: Identification of Biomarkers that are Related to the Actin Cytoskeleton

Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/12/10/identification-of-biomarkers-that-are-related-to-the-actin-cytoskeleton/

Part II: Role of Calcium, the Actin Skeleton, and Lipid Structures in Signaling and Cell Motility

Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP, Stephen Williams, PhD and Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/08/26/role-of-calcium-the-actin-skeleton-and-lipid-structures-in-signaling-and-cell-motility/

Part III: Renal Distal Tubular Ca2+ Exchange Mechanism in Health and Disease

Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP, Stephen J. Williams, PhD
 and Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/09/02/renal-distal-tubular-ca2-exchange-mechanism-in-health-and-disease/

Part IV: The Centrality of Ca(2+) Signaling and Cytoskeleton Involving Calmodulin Kinases and Ryanodine Receptors in Cardiac Failure, Arterial Smooth Muscle, Post-ischemic Arrhythmia, Similarities and Differences, and Pharmaceutical Targets

Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP, Justin Pearlman, MD, PhD, FACC and Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/09/08/the-centrality-of-ca2-signaling-and-cytoskeleton-involving-calmodulin-kinases-and-ryanodine-receptors-in-cardiac-failure-arterial-smooth-muscle-post-ischemic-arrhythmia-similarities-and-differen/

Part V: Ca2+-Stimulated Exocytosis:  The Role of Calmodulin and Protein Kinase C in Ca2+ Regulation of Hormone and Neurotransmitter

Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP
and
Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/12/23/calmodulin-and-protein-kinase-c-drive-the-ca2-regulation-of-hormone-and-neurotransmitter-release-that-triggers-ca2-stimulated-exocytosis/

Part VI: Calcium Cycling (ATPase Pump) in Cardiac Gene Therapy: Inhalable Gene Therapy for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension and Percutaneous Intra-coronary Artery Infusion for Heart Failure: Contributions by Roger J. Hajjar, MD

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/08/01/calcium-molecule-in-cardiac-gene-therapy-inhalable-gene-therapy-for-pulmonary-arterial-hypertension-and-percutaneous-intra-coronary-artery-infusion-for-heart-failure-contributions-by-roger-j-hajjar/

Part VII: Cardiac Contractility & Myocardium Performance: Ventricular Arrhythmias and Non-ischemic Heart Failure – Therapeutic Implications for Cardiomyocyte Ryanopathy (Calcium Release-related Contractile Dysfunction) and Catecholamine Responses

Justin Pearlman, MD, PhD, FACC, Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP and Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/08/28/cardiac-contractility-myocardium-performance-ventricular-arrhythmias-and-non-ischemic-heart-failure-therapeutic-implications-for-cardiomyocyte-ryanopathy-calcium-release-related-contractile/

Part VIII: Disruption of Calcium Homeostasis: Cardiomyocytes and Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells: The Cardiac and Cardiovascular Calcium Signaling Mechanism

Justin Pearlman, MD, PhD, FACC, Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP and Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/09/12/disruption-of-calcium-homeostasis-cardiomyocytes-and-vascular-smooth-muscle-cells-the-cardiac-and-cardiovascular-calcium-signaling-mechanism/

Part IXCalcium-Channel Blockers, Calcium Release-related Contractile Dysfunction (Ryanopathy) and Calcium as Neurotransmitter Sensor

Justin Pearlman, MD, PhD, FACC, Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP and Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

Part X: Synaptotagmin functions as a Calcium Sensor: How Calcium Ions Regulate the fusion of vesicles with cell membranes during Neurotransmission

Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP and Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/09/10/synaptotagmin-functions-as-a-calcium-sensor-how-calcium-ions-regulate-the-fusion-of-vesicles-with-cell-membranes-during-neurotransmission/

Part XI: Sensors and Signaling in Oxidative Stress

Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/11/01/sensors-and-signaling-in-oxidative-stress/

Part XII: Atherosclerosis Independence: Genetic Polymorphisms of Ion Channels Role in the Pathogenesis of Coronary Microvascular Dysfunction and Myocardial Ischemia (Coronary Artery Disease (CAD))

Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP and Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/12/21/genetic-polymorphisms-of-ion-channels-have-a-role-in-the-pathogenesis-of-coronary-microvascular-dysfunction-and-ischemic-heart-disease/

This article has THREE parts:

Part I: Scientific Leader in Cardiology, Contributions by Roger J. Hajjar, MD to Gene Therapy

Part II: Cardiac Gene Therapy: Inhalable Gene Therapy for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Part III: Cardiac Gene Therapy: Percutaneous Intra-coronary Artery Infusion for Heart Failure

The following two discoveries in Cardiac Gene Therapies represent the FRONTIER IN CARDIOLOGY for 2012 – 2013: Solution Advancement for Improving Myocardial Contractility

Part I: Scientific Leader in Cardiology, Contributions by Roger J. Hajjar, MD to Gene Therapy

Roger J. Hajjar, MD, a pioneering Mount Sinai researcher who has published cutting-edge studies on heart failure, has been named the recipient of the 2013 BCVS Distinguished Achievement Award by theAmerican Heart Association and the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences. Dr. Hajjar, who is The Arthur and Janet C. Ross Professor of Medicine and Director of The Helmsley Trust Translational Research Center, will be honored at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions Annual Conference later this year.

“Dr. Hajjar will receive the award for his groundbreaking contributions to developing gene therapy treatments for cardiac disease,” says Joshua Hare, MD, who is President-elect of the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences. He will also be recognized for his work on behalf of the Council.

Over the years, Dr. Hajjar’s laboratory has made important basic science discoveries that were translated into clinical trials. Most recently, Dr. Hajjar and his researchers identified a possible new drug target for treating or preventing heart failure. Says Mark A. Sussman, PhD, a former president of the Council, “Dr. Hajjar was among the first, and certainly the most successful, in combining gene therapy and treatment of heart failure. He shows a relentless pursuit of translating basic science into real-world treatment of heart disease.”

This article was first published in Inside Mount Sinai.

http://blog.mountsinai.org/blog/roger-j-hajjar-md-to-be-honored-for-research/

John Hopkins, Distinguished Alumnus Award 2011

Roger J. Hajjar, Engr ’86
Dr. Roger Hajjar received his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 1986. A cardiologist and translational scientist, he is a leader in gene therapy techniques and model testing for cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Hajjar is professor of medicine and cardiology, and professor of gene and cell medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, as well as research director of Mount Sinai’s Wiener Family Cardiovascular Research Laboratories. Dr. Hajjar was recruited to Mt. Sinai from Harvard Medical School where he was assistant professor of medicine and staff cardiologist in the Heart Failure & Cardiac Transplantation Center. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and trained in internal medicine and cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dr. Hajjar has concentrated his research efforts on understanding the basic mechanisms of heart failure. He has developed gene transfer methods and techniques in the heart to improve contractility. Dr. Hajjar’s laboratory focuses on targeting signaling pathways in cardiac myocytes to improve contractile function in heart failure and to block signaling pathways in hypertrophy and apoptosis. Dr. Hajjar has significant expertise in gene therapy. In 1996, he won the Young Investigator Award of the American Heart Association (Council on Circulation). In 1999, Dr. Hajjar was awarded the prestigious Doris Duke Clinical Scientist award and won first prize at the Astra Zeneca Young Investigator Forum. Dr. Hajjar holds a number of NIH grants.

http://alumni.jhu.edu/distinguishedalumni2011

Dr Hajjar is the Director of the Cardiovascular Research Center, and the Arthur & Janet C. Ross Professor of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY. He received his BS in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and his MD from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology. He completed his training in internal medicine, cardiology and research fellowships at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Dr. Hajjar is an internationally renowned scientific leader in the field of cardiac gene therapy for heart failure. His laboratory focuses on molecular mechanisms of heart failure and has validated the cardiac sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase pump, SERCA2a, as a target in heart failure, developed methodologies for cardiac directed gene transfer that are currently used by investigators throughout the world, and examined the functional consequences of SERCA2a gene transfer in failing hearts. His basic science laboratory remains one of the preeminent laboratories for the investigation of calcium cycling in failing hearts and targeted gene transfer in various animal models. The significance of Dr Hajjar’s research has been recognized with the initiation and recent successful completion of phase 1 and phase 2 First-in-Man clinical trials of SERCA2a gene transfer in patients with advanced heart failure under his guidance.

Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Hajjar served as Director of the Cardiovascular Laboratory of Integrative Physiology and Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hajjar has also been a staff cardiologist in the Heart Failure & Cardiac Transplantation Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Hajjar has won numerous awards and distinctions, including the Young Investigator Award of the American Heart Association. He was awarded a Doris Duke Clinical Scientist award and has won first prize at the Astra Zeneca Young Investigator Forum. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He was recently awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Johns Hopkins University and the Mount Sinai Dean’s award for Excellence in Translational Science. He has authored over 260 peer-reviewed publications.

http://heart.sdsu.edu/~website/IRRI/Pages/faculty/roger-hajjar-md.html

Meet the Director of Mount Sinai’s Cardiovascular Research Center

“Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally. In order to tackle them in all aspects, we must unite improved diagnostic techniques with more refined therapies.”

Roger J. Hajjar, MD, Director of the Cardiovascular Research Center, the Arthur & Janet C. Ross Professor of Medicine, Professor of Gene & Cell Medicine, Director of the Cardiology Fellowship Program, and Co-Director of the Transatlantic Cardiovascular Research Center, which combines Mount Sinai Cardiology Laboratories with those of the Universite de Paris – Madame Curie.

In the late 1990s, the possibility that discoveries in genetics and genomics could have a positive impact on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cardiovascular diseases seemed to be just a distant promise. Today, a little more than a decade later, the promise is beginning to take shape. Roger J. Hajjar, MD and his multidisciplinary team of investigators are beginning to translate scientific findings into real therapies for cardiovascular diseases. As Director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute and a cardiologist by training, Dr. Hajjar guides the growth of a cutting-edge translational research laboratory, which is positioning Mount Sinai as the leader in cardiovascular genomics.

An internationally recognized scientific leader in the field of cardiac gene therapy for heart failure, Dr. Hajjar is expanding studies of the basic mechanisms of cardiac diseases and identification of high-risk groups and genomic predictors so that they can be part of the daily clinical care of patients. Unique biorepositories combined with cardiovascular areas of excellence across Mount Sinai make possible crucial genetic studies.

First Gene Therapy for Heart Failure

Under Dr. Hajjar’s leadership, the Cardiovascular Research Center has already developed the world’s first potential gene therapy for heart failure. Known as AAV1.SERCA2a, this therapy actually revives heart tissue that has stopped working properly. It has led to new treatment possibilities for patients with advanced heart failure, whose options used to be severely limited. The significance of this research has been recognized with the initiation and successful completion Phase 1 and Phase 2 First-in-Man clinical trials of SERCA2a gene transfer in patients with advanced heart failure. Phase 3 validation begins in 2011.

The Cardiovascular Research Center’s next research projects, already underway, focus on using novel gene therapy vectors to target diastolic heart failure, ventricular arrhythmias, pulmonary hypertension, and myocardial infarctions.

In addition to targeting signaling pathways to aid failing heart cells, ongoing work at the Cardiovascular Research Center involves studying how to block signaling pathways in cardiac hypertrophy as well as apoptosis. The laboratory team is also targeting a number of signaling pathways in the aging heart to improve dystolic function.

Prior to joining Mount Sinai in 2007, Dr. Hajjar served as Director of the Cardiovascular Laboratory of Integrative Physiology and Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hajjar has also been a staff cardiologist in the Heart Failure & Cardiac Transplantation Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. After earning a bachelors of science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a medical degree from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, he completed his training in internal medicine, cardiology and research fellowships at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Scientific Advisors

Roger J. Hajjar, MD, Co-Founder and a Scientific Advisor of Celladon Co, plans to commercialize AAV1.SERCA2a for the treatment of heart failure.
Dr. Roger J. Hajjar is the Director of the Cardiovascular Research Center at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. Previously, he was the Director of the Cardiovascular Laboratory of Integrative Physiology and Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hajjar has an active basic science laboratory and concentrates his research efforts on understanding the basic mechanisms of heart failure. He has developed gene transfer methods and techniques targeting the heart as a therapeutic modality to improve contractility in heart failure. Dr. Hajjar’s laboratory focuses on targeting signaling pathways in cardiac myocytes to improve contractile function in heart failure and to block signaling pathways in hypertrophy and apoptosis.

Gene Therapy: Volume 19, Issue 6 (June 2012)

Special Issue: Cardiovascular Gene Therapy

Guest Editor

Roger J Hajjar MD, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY Director, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Arthur & Janet C Ross Professor of Medicine

SDF-1 in myocardial repair  

M S Penn, J Pastore, T Miller and R Aras

Gene Ther 19: 583-587; doi:10.1038/gt.2012.32

Abstract | Full Text | PDF

Gene- and cell-based bio-artificial pacemaker: what basic and translational lessons have we learned?  

R A Li

Gene Ther 19: 588-595; doi:10.1038/gt.2012.33

Abstract | Full Text | PDF

Sarcoplasmic reticulum and calcium cycling targeting by gene therapy  

J-S Hulot, G Senyei and R J Hajjar

Gene Ther 19: 596-599; advance online publication, May 17, 2012; doi:10.1038/gt.2012.34

Abstract | Full Text | PDF

Gene therapy for ventricular tachyarrhythmias  

J K Donahue

Gene Ther 19: 600-605; advance online publication, April 26, 2012; doi:10.1038/gt.2012.35

Abstract | Full Text | PDF

Prospects for gene transfer for clinical heart failure  

T Tang, M H Gao and H Kirk Hammond

Gene Ther 19: 606-612; advance online publication, April 26, 2012; doi:10.1038/gt.2012.36

Abstract | Full Text | PDF

Targeting S100A1 in heart failure  

J Ritterhoff and P Most

Gene Ther 19: 613-621; advance online publication, February 16, 2012; doi:10.1038/gt.2012.8

Abstract | Full Text | PDF

VEGF gene therapy: therapeutic angiogenesis in the clinic and beyond  

M Giacca and S Zacchigna

Gene Ther 19: 622-629; advance online publication, March 1, 2012; doi:10.1038/gt.2012.17

Abstract | Full Text | PDF

Vein graft failure: current clinical practice and potential for gene therapeutics  

S Wan, S J George, C Berry and A H Baker

Gene Ther 19: 630-636; advance online publication, March 29, 2012; doi:10.1038/gt.2012.29

Abstract | Full Text | PDF

Percutaneous methods of vector delivery in preclinical models  

D Ladage, K Ishikawa, L Tilemann, J Müller-Ehmsen and Y Kawase

Gene Ther 19: 637-641; advance online publication, March 15, 2012; doi:10.1038/gt.2012.14

Abstract | Full Text | PDF

Lentiviral vectors and cardiovascular diseases: a genetic tool for manipulating cardiomyocyte differentiation and function  

E Di Pasquale, M V G Latronico, G S Jotti and G Condorelli

Gene Ther 19: 642-648; advance online publication, March 1, 2012; doi:10.1038/gt.2012.19

Abstract | Full Text | PDF

Intracellular transport of recombinant adeno-associated virus vectors  

M Nonnenmacher and T Weber

Gene Ther 19: 649-658; advance online publication, February 23, 2012; doi:10.1038/gt.2012.6

Abstract | Full Text | PDF

Gene delivery technologies for cardiac applications  

M G Katz, A S Fargnoli, L A Pritchette and C R Bridges

Gene Ther 19: 659-669; advance online publication, March 15, 2012; doi:10.1038/gt.2012.11

Abstract | Full Text | PDF

Cardiac gene therapy in large animals: bridge from bench to bedside  

K Ishikawa, L Tilemann, D Ladage, J Aguero, L Leonardson, K Fish and Y Kawase

Gene Ther 19: 670-677; advance online publication, February 2, 2012; doi:10.1038/gt.2012.3

Abstract | Full Text | PDF

Progress in gene therapy of dystrophic heart disease  

Y Lai and D Duan

Gene Ther 19: 678-685; advance online publication, February 9, 2012; doi:10.1038/gt.2012.10

Abstract | Full Text | PDF

Targeting GRK2 by gene therapy for heart failure: benefits above β-blockade  

J Reinkober, H Tscheschner, S T Pleger, P Most, H A Katus, W J Koch and P W J Raake

Gene Ther 19: 686-693; advance online publication, February 16, 2012; doi:10.1038/gt.2012.9

Abstract | Full Text | PDF

Directed evolution of novel adeno-associated viruses for therapeutic gene delivery  

M A Bartel, J R Weinstein and D V Schaffer

Gene Ther 19: 694-700; advance online publication, March 8, 2012; doi:10.1038/gt.2012.20

Abstract | Full Text | PDF

http://www.nature.com/gt/journal/v19/n6/index.html

Part II: Cardiac Gene Therapy: Inhalable Gene Therapy for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Public release date: 30-Jul-2013

Contact: Lauren Woods
lauren.woods@mountsinai.org
212-241-2836
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Inhalable gene therapy may help pulmonary arterial hypertension patients

Gene therapy when inhaled may restore function of a crucial enzyme in the lungs to reverse deadly PAH

The deadly condition known as pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), which afflicts up to 150,000 Americans each year, may be reversible by using an inhalable gene therapy, report an international team of researchers led by investigators at the Cardiovascular Research Center at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

In their new study, reported in the July 30 issue of the journal Circulation, scientists demonstrated that gene therapy administered through a nebulizer-like inhalation device can completely reverse PAH in rat models of the disease. In the lab, researchers also showed in pulmonary artery PAH patient tissue samples reduced expression of the SERCA2a, an enzyme critical for proper pumping of calcium in calcium compartments within the cells. SERCA2a gene therapy could be sought as a promising therapeutic intervention in PAH.

“The gene therapy could be delivered very easily to patients through simple inhalation — just like the way nebulizers work to treat asthma,” says study co-senior investigator Roger J. Hajjar, MD, Director of the Cardiovascular Research Center and the Arthur & Janet C. Ross Professor of Medicine and Professor of Gene & Cell at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “We are excited about testing this therapy in PAH patients who are in critical need of intervention.”

This same SERCA2a dysfunction also occurs in heart failure. This new study utilizes the same gene therapy currently being tested in patients to reverse congestive heart failure in a large phase III clinical trial in the United States and Europe.

“What we have shown is that gene therapy restores function of this crucial enzyme in diseased lungs,” says Dr. Hajjar. “We are delighted with these new findings because it suggests that a gene therapy that is already showing great benefit in congestive heart failure patients may be able to help PAH patients who currently have no good treatment options — and are in critical need of a life sustaining therapy.”

When SERCA2a is down-regulated, calcium stays longer in the cells than it should, and it induces pathways that lead to overgrowth of new and enlarged cells. According to researchers, the delivery of the SERCA2a gene produces SERCA2a enzymes, which helps both heart and lung cells restore their proper use of calcium.

“We are now on a path toward PAH patient clinical trials in the near future,” says Dr. Hajjar, who developed the gene therapy approach. Studies in large animal models are now underway. SERCA2a gene therapy has already been approved by the National Institutes of Health for human study.

A Simple Inhalation Corrects Deadly Dysfunction

PAH most commonly results from heart failure in the left side of the heart or from a pulmonary embolism, when clots in the legs travel to the lungs and cause blockages. When the lung is damaged from these conditions, the tissue starts to quickly produce new and enlarged cells, which narrows pulmonary arteries. This increases the pressure inside them. The high pressure in these arteries resists the heart’s effort to pump through them and the blood flow between the heart and lungs is reduced. The right side of the heart then must overcome the resistance and work harder to push the blood through the pulmonary arteries into the lungs. Over time, the right ventricle becomes thickened and enlarged and heart failure develops.

The gene therapy that Dr. Hajjar developed uses a modified adeno-associated viral-vector that is derived from a parvovirus. It works by introducing a healthy SERCA2a gene into cells, but this gene does not incorporate into a patient’s chromosome, according to the study’s lead author, Lahouaria Hadri, PhD, an Instructor of Medicine in Cardiology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

“The clinical trials in congestive heart failure have shown already that the gene therapy is very safe,” says Dr. Hadri. Between 40-50 percent of individuals have antecedent antibodies to the adeno-associated vectors, so potential patients need to be screened before gene therapy to make sure they are eligible to receive the vectors. In patients without antibodies, the restorative enzyme gene therapy does not cause an immune response, according to Dr. Hadri.

The clinical application of the gene therapy for patients with PAH will most likely differ from those with heart failure. The replacement gene needs to be injected through the coronary arteries of heart failure patients using catheters, while in PAH patients, the gene will need to be administered through inhalation.

This study was supported by National Institutes of Health grants (K01HL103176, K08111207, R01 HL078691, HL057263, HL071763, HL080498, HL083156, and R01 HL105301).

Other study co-authors include Razmig G. Kratlian, MD, Ludovic Benard, PhD, Kiyotake Ishikawa, MD, Jaume Aguero, MD, Dennis Ladage, MD, Irene C.Turnbull, MD, Erik Kohlbrenner, BA, Lifan Liang, MD, Jean-Sébastien Hulot, MD, PhD, and Yoshiaki Kawase, MD, from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Bradley A. Maron, MD and the study’s co-senior author Jane A. Leopold, MD, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA; Christophe Guignabert, PhD, from Hôpital Antoine-Béclère, Clamart, France; Peter Dorfmüller, MD, PhD, and Marc Humbert, MD, PhD, both of the Hôpital Antoine-Béclère and INSERM U999, Centre Chirurgical Marie-Lannelongue, Le Plessis-Robinson, France; Borja Ibanez, MD, from Fundación Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares, Carlos III (CNIC), Madrid, Spain; and Krisztina Zsebo, PhD, of Celladon Corporation, San Diego, CA.

  • Dr. Hajjar and co-author Dr. Zsebo, have ownership interest in Celladon Corporation, which is developing AAV1.SERCA2a for the treatment of heart failure. Also,
  • Dr. Hajjar and co-authors Dr. Kawase and Dr. Ladage hold intellectual property around SERCA2a gene transfer as a treatment modality for PAH. In addition,
  • co-author Dr. Maron receives funding from Gilead Sciences, Inc. to study experimental pulmonary hypertension.
  • Other study co-authors have no financial interests to declare.

Therapeutic Efficacy of AAV1.SERCA2a in Monocrotaline-Induced Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

  1. Lahouaria Hadri, PhD;
  2. Razmig G. Kratlian, MD;
  3. Ludovic Benard, PhD;
  4. Bradley A. Maron, MD;
  5. Peter Dorfmüller, MD, PhD;
  6. Dennis Ladage, MD;
  7. Christophe Guignabert, PhD;
  8. Kiyotake Ishikawa, MD;
  9. Jaume Aguero, MD;
  10. Borja Ibanez, MD;
  11. Irene C. Turnbull, MD;
  12. Erik Kohlbrenner, BA;
  13. Lifan Liang, MD;
  14. Krisztina Zsebo, PhD;
  15. Marc Humbert, MD, PhD;
  16. Jean-Sébastien Hulot, MD, PhD;
  17. Yoshiaki Kawase, MD;
  18. Roger J. Hajjar, MD*;
  19. Jane A. Leopold, MD*

+Author Affiliations


  1. From the Cardiovascular Research Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY (L.H., R.G.K., L.B., D.L., K.I., J.A., I.C.T., E.K., L.L., J.-S.H., Y.K., R.J.H.); Cardiovascular Medicine Division, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (B.A.M., J.A.L.); Hôpital Antoine-Béclère, Clamart, France (P.D., C.G., M.H.); INSERM U999, Centre Chirurgical Marie-Lannelongue, Le Plessis-Robinson, France (P.D., M.H.); Fundación Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares, Carlos III (CNIC), Madrid, Spain (B.I.); and Celladon Corporation, San Diego, CA (K.Z.).
  1. Correspondence to Lahouaria Hadri, PhD, Cardiovascular Research Center, Box 1030, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 1470 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10029. E-mail lahouaria.hadri@mssm.edu

Abstract

Background—Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is characterized by dysregulated proliferation of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells leading to (mal)adaptive vascular remodeling. In the systemic circulation, vascular injury is associated with downregulation of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase 2a (SERCA2a) and alterations in Ca2+homeostasis in vascular smooth muscle cells that stimulate proliferation. We, therefore, hypothesized that downregulation of SERCA2a is permissive for pulmonary vascular remodeling and the development of PAH.

Methods and Results—SERCA2a expression was decreased significantly in remodeled pulmonary arteries from patients with PAH and the rat monocrotaline model of PAH in comparison with controls. In human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells in vitro, SERCA2a overexpression by gene transfer decreased proliferation and migration significantly by inhibiting NFAT/STAT3. Overexpresion of SERCA2a in human pulmonary artery endothelial cells in vitro increased endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression and activation. In monocrotaline rats with established PAH, gene transfer of SERCA2a via intratracheal delivery of aerosolized adeno-associated virus serotype 1 (AAV1) carrying the human SERCA2a gene (AAV1.SERCA2a) decreased pulmonary artery pressure, vascular remodeling, right ventricular hypertrophy, and fibrosis in comparison with monocrotaline-PAH rats treated with a control AAV1 carrying β-galactosidase or saline. In a prevention protocol, aerosolized AAV1.SERCA2a delivered at the time of monocrotaline administration limited adverse hemodynamic profiles and indices of pulmonary and cardiac remodeling in comparison with rats administered AAV1 carrying β-galactosidase or saline.

Conclusions—Downregulation of SERCA2a plays a critical role in modulating the vascular and right ventricular pathophenotype associated with PAH. Selective pulmonary SERCA2a gene transfer may offer benefit as a therapeutic intervention in PAH.

Key Words:

  • Received January 24, 2013.
  • Accepted June 13, 2013.

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/128/5/512.abstract?sid=9b3b4fcc-e158-4e5d-bb8b-125586e2ec12

Circulation.2013; 128: 512-523 Published online before print June 26, 2013,doi: 10.1161/​CIRCULATIONAHA.113.001585

Part III: Cardiac Gene Therapy: Percutaneous Intra-coronary Artery Infusion for Heart Failure

Etiology of Heart Failure

  • Alcoholic
  • Hypertensive
  • Idiopathic
  • Inflammatory
  • Ischemic
  • Pregnancy-related
  • Toxic
  • Valvular Heart DIsease

Administration of Cardiac Gene Therapy for Heart Failure: via Percutaneous Intra-coronary Artery Infusion

  • Gene delivery to viable myocardium

dominance and coronary artery anatomy from angiography determines infusion scenario

  • Antegrade epicardial coronary artery infusion over 10 minutes

60 mL divided into 1,2,3 infusions depending on anatomy

Delivered via commercially available angiographic injection system & guide or diagnostic catheters

Dr. Roger J. Hajjar of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine will present at the ASGCT 15th Annual Meeting during a Scientific Symposium entitled: Cell and Gene Therapy in Cardiovascular Disease on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 8:00 am. Below is a brief preview of his presentation.

Roger J. Hajjar, MD

Mount Sinai School of Medicine

New York, NY

Novel Developments in Gene Therapy for Cardiovascular Diseases

Chronic heart failure is a leading cause of hospitalization affecting nearly 6 million people in the U.S. with 670,000 new cases diagnosed every year. Heart failure leads to about 280,000 deaths annually.

Congestive heart failure remains a progressive disease with a desperate need for innovative therapies to reverse the course of ventricular dysfunction. The most common symptoms of heart failure are shortness of breath, feeling tired and swelling in the ankles, feet, legs and sometimes the abdomen. Recent advances in understanding the molecular basis of myocardial dysfunction, together with the evolution of increasingly efficient gene transfer technology have placed heart failure within reach of gene-based therapies.

One of the key abnormalities in both human and experimental HF is a defect in sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) function, which controls Ca2+ handling in cardiac myocytes on a beat to beat basis. Deficient SR Ca2+ uptake during relaxation has been identified in failing hearts from both humans and animal models and has been associated with a decrease in the activity of the SR Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA2a).

Over the last ten years we have undertaken a program of targeting important calcium cycling proteins in experimental models of heart by somatic gene transfer. This has led to the completion of a first-in-man phase 1 clinical trial of gene therapy for heart failure using adeno-associated vector (AAV) type 1 carrying SERCA2a. In this Phase I trial, there was evidence of clinically meaningful improvements in functional status and/or cardiac function which were observed in the majority of patients at various time points. The safety profile of AAV gene therapy along with the positive biological signals obtained from this phase 1 trial has led to the initiation and recent completion of a phase 2 trial of AAV1.SERCA2a in NYHA class III/IV patients. In the phase 2 trial, gene transfer of SERCA2a was found to be safe and associated with benefit in clinical outcomes, symptoms, functional status, NT-proBNP and cardiac structure.

The 12 month data presented showed that heart failure, which is a progressive disease, became stabilized in high dose AAV1.SERCA2a-treated patients: heart failure symptoms, exercise tolerance, serum biomarkers and cardiac function essentially improved or remained the same while these parameters deteriorated substantially in patients treated with placebo and concurrent optimal drug and device therapy. More recently, the 2-year CUPID data from long-term follow-up demonstrate a durable benefit in preventing major cardiovascular events.

The recent successful and safe completion of the CUPID trial along with the start of more recent phase 1 trials usher a new era for gene therapy for the treatment of heart failure. Furthermore, novel AAV derivatives with high cardiotropism and resistant to neutralizing antibodies are being developed to target a large number of cardiovascular diseases.

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Gene Therapy for Heart Failure

  1. Lisa Tilemann,
  2. Kiyotake Ishikawa,
  3. Thomas Weber,
  4. Roger J. Hajjar

+Author Affiliations


  1. From the Cardiovascular Research Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY.
  1. Correspondence to Roger J. Hajjar, MD, Mount Sinai Medical Center, One Gustave Levy Place, Box 1030, New York, NY 10029. E-mail roger.hajjar@mssm.edu

Abstract

Congestive heart failure accounts for half a million deaths per year in the United States. Despite its place among the leading causes of morbidity, pharmacological and mechanic remedies have only been able to slow the progression of the disease. Today’s science has yet to provide a cure, and there are few therapeutic modalities available for patients with advanced heart failure. There is a critical need to explore new therapeutic approaches in heart failure, and gene therapy has emerged as a viable alternative. Recent advances in understanding of the molecular basis of myocardial dysfunction, together with the evolution of increasingly efficient gene transfer technology, have placed heart failure within reach of gene-based therapy. The recent successful and safe completion of a phase 2 trial targeting the sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase pump (SERCA2a), along with the start of more recent phase 1 trials, opens a new era for gene therapy for the treatment of heart failure.

Circulation Research.2012; 110: 777-793 doi: 10.1161/​CIRCRESAHA.111.252981

Key Words:

  • Received December 8, 2011.
  • Revision received January 29, 2012.
  • Accepted January 30, 2012.

Conclusions 

With a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms associated with heart failure and improved vectors with cardiotropic properties, gene therapy can now be considered as a viable adjunctive treatment to mechanical and pharmacological therapies for heart failure. In the coming years, more targets will emerge that are amenable to genetic manipulations, along with more advanced vector systems, which will undoubtedly lead to safer and more effective clinical trials in gene therapy for heart failure.

http://circres.ahajournals.org/content/110/5/777.full.pdf+html

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Figure 1.

AAV entry. 1 indicates receptor binding and endocytosis; 2, escape into cytoplasm; 3, nuclear import; 4, capsid disassembly; 5, double-strand synthesis; and 6, transcription.

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Figure 2.

Generation of mutant AAV library and directed evolution to identify cardiotropic AAVs. A, Creation of a library of AAVs through DNA shuffling.B, Selection of cardiotropic AAVs through directed evolution.

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Figure 3.

Antegrade coronary artery infusion. A, Coronary artery infusion. The vector is injected through a catheter without interruption of the coronary flow. B, Coronary artery infusion with occlusion of a coronary artery: The vector is injected through the lumen of an inflated angioplasty catheter. C, Coronary artery infusion with simultaneous blocking of a coronary artery and a coronary vein: The vector is injected through an inflated angioplasty catheter and resides in the coronary circulation until both balloons are deflated.

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Figure 4.

V-Focus system and retrograde coronary venous infusion. A, Recirculating antegrade coronary artery infusion: The vector is injected into a coronary artery, collected from the coronary sinus and after oxygenation readministered into the coronary artery. B, Retrograde coronary venous infusion with simultaneous blocking of a coronary artery and a coronary vein: The vector is injected into a coronary vein and resides in the coronary circulation until both balloons are deflated.

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Figure 5.

Direct myocardial injection and pericardial injection. A, Percutaneous myocardial injection: The vector is injected with an injection catheter via an endocardial approach.B, Surgical myocardial injection: The vector is injected via an epicardial approach. C, Percutaneous pericardial injection: The vector is injected via a substernal approach.

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Figure 6.

Excitation-contraction coupling in cardiac myocytes provides multiple targets for gene therapy.

SOURCE

http://circres.ahajournals.org/content/110/5/777.figures-only

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