Lentiviral vector gene transfer of endostatin/angiostatin for macular degeneration (GEM) study

Peter A. Campochiaro, Andreas K. Lauer, Elliott H. Sohn, Tahreem A. Mir, Stuart Naylor, Matthew C. Anderton, Michelle Kelleher, Richard Harrop, Scott Ellis, Kyriacos A. Mitrophanous

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Neovascular age-related macular degeneration (NVAMD) is a prevalent cause of vision loss. Intraocular injections of VEGF-neutralizing proteins provide benefit, but many patients require frequent injections for a prolonged period. Benefits are often lost over time due to lapses in treatment. New treatments that sustain anti-angiogenic activity are needed. This study tested the safety and expression profile of a lentiviral Equine Infectious Anemia Virus (EIAV) vector expressing endostatin and angiostatin (Retino- Stat®). Patients with advanced NVAMD were enrolled at three centers in the United States, and the study eye received a subretinal injection of 2.4 × 104 (n = 3), 2.4 × 105 (n = 3), or 8.0 × 105 transduction units (TU; n = 15). Each of the doses was well-tolerated with no dose-limiting toxicities. There was little or no ocular inflammation. There was one procedure-related serious adverse event (AE), a macular hole, which was managed without difficulty and resolved. There was a vector dose-related increase in aqueous humor levels of endostatin and angiostatin with high reproducibility among subjects within cohorts. Mean levels of endostatin and angiostatin peaked between 12 and 24 weeks after injection of 2.4 × 105 TU or 8.0 × 105 TU at 57- 81 ng/mL for endostatin and 15-27 ng/mL for angiostatin, and remained stable through the last measurement at week 48. Long-term follow-up demonstrated expression was maintained at last measurement (2.5 years in eight subjects and >4 years in two subjects). Despite an apparent reduction in fluorescein angiographic leakage that broadly correlated with the expression levels in the majority of patients, only one subject showed convincing evidence of anti-permeability activity in these late-stage patients. There was no significant change in mean lesion size in subjects injected with 8.0 × 105 TU. These data demonstrate that EIAV vectors provide a safe platform with robust and sustained transgene expression for ocular gene therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-111
Number of pages13
JournalHuman gene therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Equine infectious anemia viral (EIAV) vector
  • Lentiviral vector
  • Neovascularization
  • Ocular gene therapy
  • Subretinal injection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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