Uniqure hemophilia B gene therapy program On Clinical hold by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

 UniQure today announced that its hemophilia B gene therapy program, including the pivotal, Phase III HOPE-B study, has been placed on clinical hold by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Patient dosing is complete in each of uniQure’s three hemophilia B gene therapy studies, and there is no plan to enroll or treat additional patients. Learn More about the HOPE-B clinical trial


The clinical hold was initiated following the submission of a safety report in mid-December relating to a possibly related serious adverse event associated with a preliminary diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a form of liver cancer, in one patient in the HOPE-B trial that was treated with etranacogene dezaparvovec (AMT-061) in October 2019. The patient has multiple risk factors associated with HCC, including a twenty-five-year history of hepatitis C (HCV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), evidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and advanced age. Chronic infections with hepatitis B and C have been associated with approximately 80% of HCC cases.1

The liver lesion was detected during a routine abdominal ultrasound conducted as part of the required study assessments in patients at one-year post dosing. A full surgical resection of the lesion is scheduled this week that will allow for confirmation of the diagnosis. No other cases of HCC have been reported in uniQure clinical trials conducted in more than 100 patients in hemophilia B and other indications, with some patients dosed more than 10 years ago.

“Patient safety will always be our top priority, and we are working closely with the FDA and our advisors to conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of this event which we expect to be completed in early 2021,” said Ricardo Dolmetsch, Ph.D., president of research and development at uniQure. “We will investigate whether there is a relationship to treatment. At this time, we do not have adequate data to determine a possible causal relationship, especially in the context of the other known risk factors.”

“All patients in our hemophilia B gene therapy program, including the 54 patients in HOPE-B, will continue to be monitored by their care teams while we gather additional information as rapidly as possible,” stated Matt Kapusta, chief executive officer. “We do not anticipate any impact to our regulatory submission timeline for the hemophilia B program as a result of this clinical hold.”

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