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Has anyone heard anything about Gilead GS-4774?  This is a Tarmogen T cell immunity stimulator.  
32 Responses
Avatar universal
actually, this looks like the working name for the drug that Gilead is getting from Globeimmune - GI 13020
Avatar universal
Well and when will this be around? 2020-30 or something?

there is no love for big-pharma the way they do things...

They want to do something nice for HBV?

Then Buy Replicor drugs and give it with interferon no need to waste money on developing more drugs that manage our virus..
Avatar universal

Looks like in UCLA  they are going with it. And Kaiser over by you is doing testing.
Avatar universal
TITLE: Safety, Tolerability and Immunogenicity of GS-4774, an HBV-specific Therapeutic Vaccine, in Healthy Volunteers
AUTHORS (FIRST NAME, LAST NAME): Anuj Gaggar1, Claire Coeshott2, Mani Subramanian1, John G. McHutchison1, David Apelian2
Institutional Author(s):
INSTITUTIONS (ALL): 1. Gilead Sciences, Foster City CA, CA, United States.
2. Globeimmune, Louisville, CO, United States.
ABSTRACT BODY: Background: Chronic HBV (CHB) infection is in part characterized by diminished T cell responses to viral antigens. A therapeutic vaccine enhancing the adaptive immune response to HBV may provide a strategy to improve the rate of HBsAg loss and seroconversion in CHB patients compared to nucleos(t)ide HBV polymerase inhibitors alone. GS-4774 is a yeast-based vaccine (Tarmogen) expressing a chimeric protein comprising of 60 amino acids of HBV X protein, the full 399 amino acids of HBV surface protein, and 182 amino acids of the HBV core protein.. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of GS-4774 in healthy volunteers.

Methods: A Phase 1 study was conducted in healthy volunteers (n=60) to determine the safety and immunogenicity of GS-4774 using different doses and schedules. Doses of 10 yeast units (YU), 40 YU or 80 YU/dose were evaluated as either a) weekly dosing for 5 doses then a single monthly dose, or b) monthly doses for 3 consecutive months. The immune response to GS-4774 was assessed on Days 15, 29, 36, 57 and 85 by lymphocyte proliferation assays (LPA), IFN-γ ELISpot assays, and antibody response to specific HBV antigens.

Results: GS-4774 was well tolerated with no serious adverse events, no grade 3 or 4 adverse events, and no laboratory abnormalities observed in the study. Adverse events were more frequent with weekly dosing compared with monthly dosing and at the 80YU dose compared to the 10YU and 40YU group. There was one treatment discontinuation due to adverse event (skin reaction) in the 80 YU cohort. Available immunogenicity data until day 36 are summarized in the table. The majority of subjects demonstrated evidence of an HBV-specific immune response as assessed by LPA. No dose response in HBV-specific immunogenicity of GS-4774 was observed by LPA, and monthly dosing was similar to weekly dosing. An early HBV-specific T-cell response by IFN-γ ELISpot was observed in a greater number of subjects receiving the 10YU dose. As expected given the cellular immune targeting characteristics of the platform, no antibody response to core and surface antigens was observed at the early time points. Complete immunological and safety results of the study will be presented.

Conclusions: GS-4774 was well tolerated, and elicits HBV specific immune activation at the lowest monthly dose of 10 YU. Further evaluation of GS-4774 in patients with chronic hepatitis B is warranted.

                                                     10 YU                            40 YU
                                           Weekly       Monthly           Weekly       Monthly
LPA Response,      n/N (%)     5/7 (71)     3/4 (75)          7/9 (78)     9/9 (100)
ELISpot Response, n/N (%)     5/10 (50)     8/10 (80)     3/10 (30)     1/10 (10)

Avatar universal
This should work great with zadaxin. And high doses of vitamin d and c. That would be an intersting study
Avatar universal

it is good thing that more and more companies coming to fight against HBV

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

ISIS/GSK and Tekmira Come Out with HBV Knockdown Plans

If you did not appreciate the value the pharmaceutical industry has come to place on the HBsAg knockdown concept for achieving a functional cure for chronic Hepatitis B (HBV) infection, the last two days will have woken you up.

Yesterday, ISIS Pharmaceuticals reported that it had received a $7M milestone payment related to the development of an antiviral RNaseH development candidate (ISIS-GSK3Rx, aka ISIS-HBVRx) which, although undisclosed for competitive reasons, has got to be for HBV.  And today, Tekmira publicly announced that they will file an IND for an HBV-RNAi candidate in 2014 while hinting at the partnering potential of such a treatment candidate.

Arrowhead Research is thus not alone in their efforts any more.  Coincidentally, Arrowhead reported today the completion of their enrollment of the phase I single-dose, healthy volunteer study with ARC520, their DPC-delivered candidate for chronic HBV.  Accordingly, the dose escalation was able to run through all the pre-planned 6 dose cohorts up to the top dose of 2.0mg/kg.

Apparently, there were no signs of significant dose-related toxicities.  The only finding of concern among the 36 volunteers, 24 of which received drug, was 2 cases of lightheadedness of uncertain clinical relevance.  As these occurred at the highest dose, it seems that the company suspects that it could have been drug-related although the study remains blinded for follow-up.

A dose of 2mg/kg without any serious adverse events or dose-limiting toxicities is a great start for DPC delivery technology.  This is especially the case when one considers that the single-molecule subQ version of DPC that I hope will form the basis for the upcoming pipeline candidates, except for the next one perhaps, will be much more potent than the two-molecule version of intravenously delivered ARC520 based on the non-human primate data presented at last year's OTS meeting.

With 2mg/kg of ARC520, I further believe that HBsAg knockdowns of over 90% are likely.  The biggest challenge going forward with this program will be setting a knockdown goal and getting the dose and dose frequency right.
Avatar universal
Well 7m is a nice figure. But if you compare to what research costs today. This is is very small number. Compare it to what DARPA gets funding wise developing mind blowing technologies and goodies for the military. And that 7million  is a tear drop.

There are 360 million of us sick with Hbv. And funding for a cure is just not there.

And you have to feel for these small companies too that try to do good getting some funding.for their projects. but most often or not even if they happen to come across something like Replicor did - they  wont have the funds to take the product to market. And this is where big pharma comes in. That may buy the project. Or buy it and think about what to do with it in the future.

Avatar universal
Nevertheless  gene therapy is the way to go. Lets hope we all live to see a cure for the curse we have to live with.
Avatar universal
Ive been asked to be part of this study for Phase 2. I am scared about the side effects of this. I have been on Barraclude for 4 years and dont know when I will be take off of it. Thank you.
Avatar universal
Thank you for posting. GS-4774 had undergone a phase 1 trial and the results were presented at the recent AASLD meeting:


Please keep us posted if you do decide to join the trial.
Avatar universal
Dont worry about it. This is a vaccine. I dont think anything bad can happen.
Avatar universal
I went for the screening phase today and await for test results. Hopefully everything is good to go so I can qualify for the study. Been on adefovir and entecavir since 2005 and wonder if I'll ever be off antiviral medication.
Avatar universal
Thank you for posting and hope that you will qualify for the clinical trial. It is a pity that quantitative HBsAg assay is not yet commercially available in the State, together with hbvdna, it can lead to a better stopping rule for taking oral antivirals.
Please keep us posted.
Avatar universal
Hi Stephen

Just curious, how is a 'vaccine' GS-4774 different from a standard hbv vaccine that is used to immunise a person?

Avatar universal
I wish I can give you a good explanation, but it is a bit beyond me because immunology is so complex. I will try, but others can correct me.

The current HBV vaccine consists of the HBsAg antigen, a protein. It is very effective in inducing the production of HBsAb, antibodies to the surfact(envelope) antigen. These circulating antibodies will attach to the surface of circulating HBV viral particles and prevent the viral particle from entering a liver cell - therefore no infection.
However, in order to cure patients with liver cells infected already by the virus, we need to induce production of cytotoxic T cells, so called cd8+ T cells that specifically recognise HBV infected liver cells, thus killing or controlling these infected cells. Because HBV viral proteins are produced inside infected liver cells, the surface of these cells express epitopes of these viral proteins in MHC class I complexes. So a therapeutic vaccine has to induce the production of these HBV specific cd8+ T cells.  
In order to induce the production of these T cells, special immune cells must present HBV viral antigens in MHC class 1 and 2 complexes. GlobeImmune scientists believes they can achieve this. GS4774 consists of heat killed yeast cells. These yeast cells have inserted into them, DNA that codes for the production of HBV surface, core, and x proteins. So I presume these cells, before they were heat killed, produce these HBV viral proteins inside the cell. When these cells , heat killed and then injected into a patient. The patient's APC (antigen presenting cell) such as the dendritic cells, will engulf these heated killed yeast cells, process and present various HBV viral epitopes in both MHC class 1 and 2 complexes to the immune system. So HBV specific Cd8+ T cells will be produced. Also antibodies to the yeast cells are also produced, the scientists say.

So this is the first half of the story. But a chronic HepB person already has these HBV specific cd8+ T cells, but they are not "effective" due to various factors caused by the immune braking system and HBV evasive mechanism. Whether these freshly produced T cells will meet the same fate or not is what we have to wait and see.

Just my own understanding..

Avatar universal
As always, THANKS very much for the kind explanation.

Is this therapeutic vaccine the first such attempt by the pharma industry?  Any idea if this has been tested in primates or mice?

Avatar universal
Yes and no. The Chinese had investigated three 3 therapeutic vaccines in the last few years, two by listed companies, one by a well-known academic. The two by listed companies, both completed Phase 2 clinical trials, but results were disappointing, no or slightly better than the control groups. Being commercial companies, they disclosed the minimum information and outsiders cannot learn from their experiences. The one investigated by Prof Wen, a novel HBsAg and HBsAb complex, completed phase 3. Again the results are no better than the control(placebo is Alum) group, even though the loss of HbeAg was as high as 30%. I am sure lessons will be learned from this study, one of them being too much and too frequent injections of the vaccine, driving, as Studyforhope described, the immune system "crazy" and exhausted.

The France has also been studying several therapeutic vaccines, but progress is very slow.

Cuba has of course completed a successful Phase 3 of their NASVAC vaccine. Unfortunately, we don't know whether it will be further developed.

I am sure a lot of the concepts behind these vaccines were tested on animals. Prof Wen when she began her work, spent a million US dollars to purchase a genetically modified mice from overseas.
Avatar universal
Recent paper on GS-4774 got published in Vaccine.

Avatar universal
Another great post. Gilead has also begun a Phase 2 trial of GS4774:
"This study is to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of GS-4774 in adults with chronic hepatitis B infection (CHB) and who are currently not on treatment. Participants will be randomized to receive tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) alone or GS-4774 plus TDF for 20 weeks. After Week 20, GS-4774 will be discontinued. All participants will continue on TDF and will be followed for an additional 28 weeks. Following completion of the 48 week study period, all participants will be eligible for a 3 year registry study."
The trial will take take place in the US, Italy, Canada,Korea, New Zealand, Romania, and Taiwan.
Avatar universal
Maybe I can finally make one of these! I tried 2wise and there was always something.

I still think they need to use these vaccines with interferon to boost their effect. Maybe with TDF to hit HBV from all three angles.
9624973 tn?1413016130
I am from romania, what are the requirements to qualify for this studi ? I never been on meds and i have very high hbvdna and hbsag and no liver or damage i think.
9624973 tn?1413016130
I will ask my doctor, hopefully whe will kniw more about this. But question , is it worthing trying to get this phase 2 trial or better wait for something better
Avatar universal
Yes but would Mono be more lucrative? I mean terms of Gileads earnings from this?
Avatar universal
You know looking at it based on what we know it is the immune system of individual that has to do all the work. They are using this vaccine with a nuc. That causes mitochondrial toxicity  thus is immuno suppressive. So the effect that this vaccine could have with interferon or zadaxin may not be there.

Look at Repicor they use it with peg or zadaxin. GS4774 is also said to lower  hbsag. So logically would be to use it with immune system booster. But  no they still want it to be their own brand 1-2 punch.

So this trial may be a wash of nothing in end. But medication may actually work.

I cant say enough how frustrating it is to see ALL the business BS that is going around HBV treatment. Half the time medical students that are doing these clinical trials with their university proffesors have NO clue what so ever what these drugs do to the whole body. That immune system quality depends on the amount if toxins other infections - heath of teeth of a given person.    

That it is not just give the medication and cured. We are not at this Point yet. Unless of course they make antibodies against HBV for us like they did with Ebola.

Why not give GS4774 with Imiqumod. GS9620? That will give a better effect no doubt. Because NUCs really should not be used for HBV. These are really strong and toxic drugs designed to slow down HIV. AND HIV infects every living cell in the body. And so do these drugs.
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