Regulatory-Compliant Validation of a Highly Sensitive qPCR for Biodistribution Assessment of Hemophilia A Patient Cells
The investigation of the biodistribution profile of a cell-based medicinal product is a pivotal prerequisite to allow a factual benefit-risk assessment within the non-clinical to clinical translation in product development. Here, a qPCR-based method to determine the amount of human DNA in mouse DNA was validated according to the guidelines of the European Medicines Agency and the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use. Furthermore, a preclinical worst-case scenario study was performed in which this method was applied to investigate the biodistribution of 2 × 106 intravenously administered, genetically modified, blood outgrowth endothelial cells from hemophilia A patients after 24 h and 7 days. The validation of the qPCR method demonstrated high accuracy, precision, and linearity for the concentration interval of 1:1 × 103 to 1:1 × 106 human to mouse DNA. The application of this method in the biodistribution study resulted in the detection of human genomes in four out of the eight investigated organs after 24 h. After 7 days, no human DNA was detected in the eight organs analyzed. This biodistribution study provides mandatory data on the toxicokinetic safety profile of an actual candidate cell-based medicinal product. The extensive evaluation of the required validation parameters confirms the applicability of the qPCR method for non-clinical biodistribution studies.