Evaluation of Dose and Safety of AAV7m8 and AAV8BP2 in the Non-Human Primate Retina

Academic Article


  • Within the next decade, we will see many gene therapy clinical trials for eye diseases, which may lead to treatments for thousands of visually impaired people around the world. To target retinal diseases that affect specific cell types, several recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) serotypes have been generated and used successfully in preclinical mouse studies. Because there are numerous anatomic and physiologic differences between the eyes of mice and "men" and because surgical delivery approaches and immunologic responses also differ between these species, this study evaluated the transduction characteristics of two promising new serotypes, AAV7m8 and AAV8BP2, in the retinas of animals that are most similar to those of humans: non-human primates (NHPs). We report that while AAV7m8 efficiently targets a variety of cell types by subretinal injection in NHPs, transduction after intravitreal delivery was mostly restricted to the inner retina at lower doses that did not induce an immune response. AAV8BP2 targets the cone photoreceptors efficiently but bipolar cells inefficiently by subretinal injection. Additionally, transduction by both serotypes in the anterior chamber of the eye and the optic pathway of the brain was observed post-intravitreal delivery. Finally, we assessed immunogenicity, keeping in mind that these AAV capsids may be used in future clinical trials. We found that AAV8BP2 had a better safety profile compared with AAV7m8, even at the highest doses administered. These studies underscore the differences in AAV transduction between mice and primates, highlighting the importance of careful evaluation of therapeutic vectors in NHPs prior to moving to clinical trials.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Human Gene Therapy  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ramachandran PS; Lee V; Wei Z; Song JY; Casal G; Cronin T; Willett K; Huckfeldt R; Morgan JIW; Aleman TS
  • Start Page

  • 154
  • End Page

  • 167
  • Volume

  • 28
  • Issue

  • 2