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Epiretinal membrane in a subject after transvitreal delivery of palucorcel (CNTO 2476)

Authors Spencer R, Fisher S, Lewis GP, Malone T

Received 22 April 2017

Accepted for publication 8 August 2017

Published 6 October 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 1797—1803

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S140218

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Rand Spencer,1 Steven Fisher,2 Geoffrey P Lewis,3 Terri Malone4

1Texas Retina Associates, Dallas, TX, USA; 2Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, 3Center for the Study of Macular Degeneration, Neuroscience Research Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, 4Cell Therapy, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, Spring House, PA, USA


Background: A 70-year-old woman with retinitis pigmentosa experienced an epiretinal membrane (ERM) formation and a tractional retinal detachment (RD) following subretinal administration of palucorcel (CNTO 2476), a novel human umbilical tissue-derived cell-based therapy, as part of a Phase I study. The clinical course and results of a histologic examination of the ERM, which was peeled during surgery to repair the RD, are described here.
Methods: In this open-label, first-in-human, Phase I study (NCT00458575), two of seven subjects developed RD, with an ERM formation reported in a woman receiving a targeted dose of 3.0×105 palucorcel administered via a transvitreal route. A sample of the ERM was retained for analysis following the ERM peeling procedure. Clinical outcomes and ERM histology, based on immunocytochemistry analyses and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) staining, were evaluated.
Results: We first noted the RD and formation of the ERM at 26 days after palucorcel administration. The ERM was cellular and contained multiple cell types, including Müller glial cells, immune cells, neurites, retinal pigment epithelial cells, and palucorcel. The majority of cells were not actively dividing. FISH staining showed a subset of Y chromosome-positive cells in the ERM from this woman, supporting the presence of palucorcel (derived from umbilical cord tissue of male neonate). Palucorcel did not differentiate into Müller glia, immune cells, neurites, or retinal pigment epithelial cells.
Discussion: The development of an ERM containing both subject (self) cells and palucorcel suggests that palucorcel egress in the vitreal cavity after retinotomy may contribute to ERM formation and RD and that an alternative delivery method will be required before further studies are conducted. Subsequent clinical research using alternative subretinal delivery methods for palucorcel in other indications suggests that membrane development does not occur when palucorcel is delivered without retinal perforation.

Keywords: cell therapy, epiretinal membrane, retinitis pigmentosa

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