CIGB-814, an altered peptide ligand derived from human heat-shock protein 60, decreases anti-cyclic citrullinated peptides antibodies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic T cell-mediated autoimmune disease. Serum autoantibodies against cyclic citrullinated peptides (anti-CCP) are significant markers for diagnosis and prognosis of this disease. Induction of immune tolerance as therapeutic approach for RA constitutes a current research focal point. In this sense, we carried out a phase I clinical trial in RA patients with a new therapeutic candidate (called CIGB-814); which induced mechanisms associated with restoration of peripheral tolerance in preclinical studies. CIGB 814 is an altered peptide ligand (APL), derived from a CD4+ T cell epitope of human heat-shock protein 60 (HSP60), an autoantigen involved in the pathogenesis of RA. Twenty patients with moderate disease activity were included in this open label trial. Sequential dose-escalation of 1, 2.5 and 5 mg of CIGB-814 was studied. Consecutive groups of six, five, and nine patients received a subcutaneous dose weekly of the peptide during the first month and one dose monthly during the next 5 months. The peptide was well tolerated and reduced disease activity. Here, we reported the quantification of anti-CCP antibodies during the treatment with this APL and in the follow-up stage. Anti-CCP antibodies were quantified in the plasma from patients by a commercial enzyme immunoassay at baseline (T0) and at weeks 28 and 48. Results showed that CIGB-814 induced a significant reduction of anti-CCP antibodies. In addition, this decrease correlated with clinical improvement in patients assessed by Disease Activity Score in 28 joints (DAS28) criteria. These findings reinforce the therapeutic potential of CIGB-814.
KeywordsAnti-CCP APL CIGB-814 HSP60 Rheumatoid arthritis
We thank the patients who participated in this study.
Study sponsorship was provided by CIGB and Ministry of Public Health of Cuba.
Compliance with ethical standards
The Ethics and Scientifics Committees at each study site approved the protocol: National Reference Center for Rheumatic Disease, Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, and Cuban Regulatory Authority (reference number 05-017-12-B).
All subjects provided theirs written informed consent. Patients were recruited from the National Reference Center for Rheumatic Diseases, Havana. This clinical trial was registered under number RPCEC00000238 at the Cuban Registry of Clinical Trials (www.registroclinico.sld.cu).
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