(19)
(11)EP 3 662 925 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
10.06.2020 Bulletin 2020/24

(21)Application number: 20150379.4

(22)Date of filing:  15.04.2016
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A61K 38/24(2006.01)
A61P 5/24(2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
MA MD

(30)Priority: 17.04.2015 EP 15164043

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
16719315.0 / 3283097

(71)Applicant: Ferring B.V.
2132 JX Hoofddorp (NL)

(72)Inventors:
  • ARCE SAEZ, Joan Carlos
    DK-2300 Copenhagen (DK)
  • HELMGAARD, Lisbeth
    DK-2300 Copenhagen (DK)
  • KLEIN, Bjarke Mirner
    DK-2300 Copenhagen (DK)

(74)Representative: Bates, Philip Ian 
Reddie & Grose LLP The White Chapel Building 10 Whitechapel High Street
London E1 8QS
London E1 8QS (GB)

 
Remarks:
This application was filed on 06-01-2020 as a divisional application to the application mentioned under INID code 62.
 


(54)COMPOSITION COMPRISING FSH FOR TREATMENT OF INFERTILITY


(57) A composition for use in the treatment of infertility, the composition comprising 9 to 24 pg follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), wherein the composition is for administration to a patient identified as having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor.




Description


[0001] The present invention relates to compositions and pharmaceutical products for the treatment of infertility.

[0002] Assisted reproductive technology (ART) techniques such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF) are well known. These ART techniques generally require a step of controlled ovarian stimulation (COS), in which a cohort of follicles is stimulated to full maturity. Standard COS regimens include administration of gonadotrophins, such as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) alone or in combination with luteinising hormone (LH) activity to stimulate follicular development, normally with administration of a GnRH analogue prior to and/or during stimulation to prevent premature LH surge. The pharmaceutical compositions generally used for COS include recombinant follicle stimulating hormone (rFSH), urinary derived FSH, recombinant FSH + LH preparations, urinary derived menotrophin [human menopausal gonadotrophin (hMG)] and highly purified human menopausal gonadotrophin (HP-hMG). IVF can be associated with a risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which can be life threatening in severe cases.

[0003] As indicated above, standard COS protocols generally involve administration of FSH. The dose of FSH generally depends on a number of factors, including age, any previous response to FSH stimulation, basal level of FSH, antral follicle count and more recently anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH). The clinician will expect ovarian multifollicular development in response to a given dose, together with a rise in circulating 17-β-estradiol.

[0004] If the response (ovarian multifollicular development, rise in circulating 17-β-estradiol) to a given dose is adequate or as expected, this indicates normal ovarian function, which is also referred to as normal ovarian reserve. Patients who do not respond well to FSH stimulation produce few follicles, and consequently their 17-β-estradiol levels during stimulation rise slowly and reach comparatively low levels. These patients are referred to as "low responders", and may be said to have a diminished ovarian reserve. Several factors are believed to be involved in low response, including increasing age, pelvic adhesions, ovarian disease and immunological factors.

[0005] The ability to predict the response potential of women to controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) may allow the development of individualised COS protocols. This could, for example, reduce the risk of OHSS in women predicted to have an excessive response to stimulation, improve pregnancy outcomes in women classed as poor responders, and/or lead to reduced dose of (and exposure to) FSH and therefore reduced cost of therapy (and increased safety of therapy) in specific patients.

[0006] The serum concentration of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) is now established as a reliable marker of ovarian reserve. Decreasing levels of AMH are correlated with reduced ovarian response to gonadotrophins during COS. Further, high levels of AMH are a good predictor of excessive ovarian response, and an indicator of risk of OHSS.

[0007] In a preliminary study of women under 35 years old undergoing ART, the CONSORT dosing algorithm (incorporating basal FSH, BMI, age and AFC) was used to predict the optimal FSH starting dose for COS in women at risk of developing OHSS (Olivennes et. al., 2009). Individualising the dose did lead to adequate oocyte yield and good pregnancy rate. However, there were high rates of cancellations in the low dose group (75 IU FSH) due to inadequate response, and OHSS did occur in a significant proportion of the patients.

[0008] As indicated above, standard COS protocols may include administration of FSH. FSH is naturally secreted by the anterior pituitary gland and functions to support follicular development and ovulation. FSH comprises a 92 amino acid alpha sub-unit, also common to the other glycoprotein hormones LH and CG, and a 111 amino acid beta sub-unit unique to FSH that confers the biological specificity of the hormone (Pierce and Parsons, 1981). Each sub-unit is post translationally modified by the addition of complex carbohydrate residues. Both subunits carry 2 sites for N-linked glycan attachment, the alpha sub-unit at amino acids 52 and 78 and the beta sub-unit at amino acid residues 7 and 24 (Rathnam and Saxena, 1975, Saxena and Rathnam, 1976). FSH is thus glycosylated to about 30% by mass (Dias and Van Roey. 2001. Fox et al. 2001).

[0009] FSH purified from post-menopausal human urine has been used for many years in infertility treatment; both to promote ovulation in natural reproduction and to provide oocytes for assisted reproduction technologies. The currently approved recombinant FSH (rFSH) products for ovarian stimulation, such as follitropin alfa (GONAL-F, Merck Serono / EMD Serono) and follitropin beta (PUREGON / FOLLISTIM, MSD / Schering-Plough), are derived from a Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell line. Currently, no rFSH products from a human cell line are commercially available.

[0010] There is considerable heterogeneity associated with FSH preparations which relates to differences in the amounts of various isoforms present. Individual FSH isoforms exhibit identical amino acid sequences but differ in the extent to which they are post-translationally modified; particular isoforms are characterised by heterogeneity of the carbohydrate branch structures and differing amounts of sialic acid (a terminal sugar) incorporation, both of which appear to influence the specific isoform bioactivity.

[0011] Glycosylation of natural FSH is highly complex. The glycans in naturally derived pituitary FSH can contain a wide range of structures that can include combinations of mono-, bi-, tri- and tetra-antennary glycans (Pierce and Parsons, 1981. Ryan et al., 1987. Baenziger and Green, 1988). The glycans can carry further modifications: core fucosylation, bisecting glucosamine, chains extended with acetyl lactosamine, partial or complete sialylation, sialylation with α2,3 and α2,6 linkages, and sulphated galactosamine substituted for galactose (Dalpathado et al., 2006). Furthermore, there are differences between the distributions of glycan structures at the individual glycosylation sites. A comparable level of glycan complexity has been found in FSH derived from the serum of individuals and from the urine of post-menopausal women (Wide et al., 2007).

[0012] The glycosylation of recombinant FSH products reflects the range of glycosyl-transferases present in the host cell line. The commercially available rFSH products are derived from engineered Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO cells). The range of glycan modifications in CHO cell derived rFSH are more limited than those found on the natural products. Examples of the reduced glycan heterogeneity found in CHO cell derived rFSH include a lack of bisecting glucosamine and a reduced content of core fucosylation and acetyl lactosamine extensions (Hard et al., 1990). In addition, CHO cells are only able to add sialic acid using the α2,3 linkage (Kagawa et al, 1988, Takeuchi et al, 1988, Svensson et al., 1990); CHO cell derived rFSH only includes α2,3-linked sialic acid and does not include α2,6-linked sialic acid.

[0013] Thus CHO cell derived FSH is different from naturally produced FSH (e.g. human Pituitary/ serum/ urinary FSH) which contains glycans with a mixture of α2,3 and α2,6-linked sialic acid, with a predominance of the former. Thus, recombinant proteins expressed using the CHO system will differ from their natural counterparts in their type of terminal sialic acid linkages. This is an important consideration in the production of biologicals for pharmaceutical use since the carbohydrate moieties may contribute to the pharmacological attributes of the molecule.

[0014] The present applicants have developed a human derived recombinant FSH which is the subject of International Patent Application No. PCT/GB2009/000978, published as WO2009/127826A. Recombinant FSH with a mixture of both α2,3 and α2,6-linked sialic acid was made by engineering a human cell line to express both rFSH and α2,3 sialyltransferase. The expressed product is highly acidic and carries a mix of both α2,3- and α2,6-linked sialic acids; the latter provided by the endogenous sialyl transferase activity. It was found that the type of sialic acid linkage, α2,3- or α2,6-, can have a dramatic influence on biological clearance of FSH. Recombinant FSH with a mixture of both α2,3 and α2,6-linked sialic acid has two advantages over rFSH expressed in conventional CHO cells: first the material is more highly sialylated due to the combined activities of the two sialyltransferases; and secondly the material more closely resembles the natural FSH. This is likely to be more biologically appropriate compared to CHO cell derived recombinant products that have produce only α2,3 linked sialic acid (Kagawa et al, 1988, Takeuchi et al, 1988, Svensson et al., 1990) and have decreased sialic acid content (Ulloa-Aguirre et al. 1995., Andersen et al. 2004).

[0015] Recently, it has been suggested that the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor or FSH receptor (FSHR) may be related to or involved in diminished ovarian reserve. The FSH receptor is a transmembrane receptor that interacts with FSH. The FSH receptor is G-protein-coupled 7-transmembrane receptor linked to adenylate cyclase, with a large N-terminal ligand-binding domain and a C-terminal cytoplasmic tail rich in serine and threonine residues as putitive phosphorylation sites. Its activation is necessary for the hormonal functioning of FSH. It has been postulated that mutations in the FSH receptor might lead to a diminished ovarian reserve. As well as mutations, FSH receptor variants (FSH receptor polymorphisms) are found. Two such polymorphisms are located at position 307 (Ala/Thr) and position 680 (Asn/Ser) in exon 10 of the FSH receptor (Figure 4). These are variant Ala or Thr in position 307, and Asn or Ser in position 680. These polymorphisms lead to three distinct FSH receptor genotypes with regard to position 680: Asn/Asn, Asn/Ser and Ser/Ser [see Simoni et al, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Vol 84, No. 2, 751-755 (1999), Falconer et al, Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2005: 84: 806-811 (2005), and Loutradis et al, Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, Vol. 23, No. 4, (April 2006)].

[0016] The present applicants have found that patients identified as having low AMH [AMH level < 15 pmol/L, who would generally be associated with a low response], as well as having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor, have a longer duration of FSH treatment, compared to patients with low AMH and variant Asn/Asn or variant Asn/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor. An increased starting FSH dose to patients having low AMH [AMH level < 15 pmol/L, (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L, e.g. 5.0 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L)], as well as having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor, may therefore be an alternative to avoid the longer duration of FSH treatment. This allows tailoring of the dose of FSH in specific patients identified as having specific AMH level, as well as specific polymorphism at the FSHR.

[0017] Administration of a higher starting dose of FSH to patients having low AMH [AMH level < 15 pmol/L, (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L, e.g. 5.0 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L)], as well as having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor, is advantageous because it may provide increased probability of success (in terms of pregnancy and/or live birth) and better predictability of success. Success is more likely if the patient has an adequate response (expected ovarian multifollicular development, rise in circulating 17-β-estradiol) occurring within an ideal treatment window. Success is further enhanced if the response is within the centre of this treatment window; that is, not too early in the window and not too late. Reduction of the duration of treatment in patients having low AMH and variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor (by increasing the dose above 12 µg) may bring the response towards the centre of the treatment window, with enhanced likelihood of success.

[0018] According to the present invention in a first aspect there is provided a composition (e.g. a pharmaceutical composition) for use in the treatment of infertility, the composition comprising 9 to 24 µg follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), wherein the composition is for (e.g. daily) administration to a patient identified as (e.g. selected as) having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor (prior to treatment). The composition may be for (e.g. daily) administration to a patient identified as (e.g. selected as) having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor and identified as (e.g. selected as) having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L) (prior to treatment). The composition may comprise 9 to 24 µg FSH, for example 10 to 18 µg FSH, for example 12 to 16 µg FSH, for example 12 to 15 µg FSH. The composition may comprise >12 µg FSH, for example 12.3 to 24 µg FSH, for example 12.33 to 24 µg FSH, for example 12.67 to 24 µg FSH, for example 13 to 24 µg FSH, for example 13 to 16 µg FSH, for example 13 to 15 µg FSH.

[0019] The composition (e.g. pharmaceutical composition) may comprise a daily dose of, or a daily dose equivalent to, the amounts of human derived rFSH defined above, herein, and in the claims. The composition (e.g. pharmaceutical composition) may be for (daily) administration of FSH starting on day one of treatment and continuing for six to sixteen days, for example seven to sixteen days, for example 8 to 16 days, for example 8 to 13 days. The treatment of infertility may comprise a step of identifying (e.g. determining, e.g. measuring) the variant at position 680 of the FSH receptor of the patient; and a step of administering the dose to a patient (identified as) having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor. The treatment of infertility may comprise a step of identifying (e.g. determining, e.g. measuring) the serum AMH level of the patient, and administering the dose to a patient (identified as) having serum AMH level of <15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L).

[0020] The FSH may be recombinant FSH. The FSH may be recombinant FSH including α2,3- and α2,6- sialylation. The FSH may be recombinant FSH including α2,3- and α2,6- sialylation wherein 1 to 99% of the total sialylation is α2,6- sialylation and 99% to 1% of the total sialylation is α2,3- sialylation. The FSH may be recombinant FSH including α2,3- and α2,6- sialylation wherein 1 to 50% of the total sialylation is α2,6- sialylation and 50% to 99% of the total sialylation is α2,3- sialylation. The FSH may be recombinant FSH including α2,3- and α2,6- sialylation wherein 5 to 40% of the total sialylation is α2,6- sialylation and 60% to 95% of the total sialylation is α2,3- sialylation. Preferably the FSH is a human cell line derived recombinant FSH.

[0021] According to the present invention in a further aspect there is provided a composition (e.g. a pharmaceutical composition) comprising follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) for use in the treatment of infertility in a patient having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L) and having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor, wherein the composition is to be administered at a dose of or equivalent to 9 to 24 µg recombinant FSH per day; and wherein the treatment of infertility comprises a step of identifying (e.g. determining) the serum AMH level of the patient; a step of identifying the variant at position 680 of the FSH receptor of the patient; and a step of administering the composition to a patient (identified as) having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L) and variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor. The composition may comprise 9 to 24 µg FSH, for example 10 to 18 µg FSH, for example 12 to 16 µg FSH, for example 12 to 15 µg FSH. The composition may comprise >12 µg FSH, for example 12.3 to 24 µg FSH, for example 12.33 to 24 µg FSH, for example 12.67 to 24 µg FSH, for example 13 to 24 µg FSH, for example 13 to 16 µg FSH, for example 13 to 15 µg FSH.

[0022] The composition (e.g. a pharmaceutical composition) may be for use in the treatment of infertility in a patient having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L) and having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor [wherein the treatment of infertility comprises a step of identifying (e.g. determining) the serum AMH level of the patient; a step of identifying the variant at position 680 of the FSH receptor of the patient; and a step of administering the dose to a patient (identified as) having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L) and variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor].

[0023] The FSH may be recombinant FSH. The FSH may be recombinant FSH including α2,3- and α2,6- sialylation. The FSH may be recombinant FSH including α2,3- and α2,6-sialylation wherein 1 to 99% of the total sialylation is α2,6- sialylation and 99% to 1% of the total sialylation is α2,3- sialylation. The FSH may be recombinant FSH including α2,3- and α2,6- sialylation wherein 1 to 50% of the total sialylation is α2,6- sialylation and 50% to 99% of the total sialylation is α2,3- sialylation. The FSH may be recombinant FSH including α2,3- and α2,6- sialylation wherein 5 to 40% of the total sialylation is α2,6- sialylation and 60% to 95% of the total sialylation is α2,3- sialylation. Preferably the FSH is a human cell line derived recombinant FSH.

[0024] The dose provides an effective response while minimising risk of OHSS.

[0025] The doses above may be for treatment of infertility in the patient's (subject's) first stimulation protocol. It will be appreciated that for further stimulation cycles, the doses may be adjusted according to actual ovarian response in the first cycle.

[0026] The rFSH may be present as a single isoform or as a mixture of isoforms.

[0027] The applicants have devised "individualised" COS protocols wherein specific doses of recombinant FSH are used to treat patients based on their specific AMH levels and FSHR single nucleotide polymorphism, thereby increasing the likelihood of adequate response to stimulation (e.g. in patients having a low response potential), and/or decreased risk of OHSS or other side effect.

[0028] The serum level of AMH may be determined (e.g. measured) by any method known in the art. As an example, the serum AMH level is measured using the AMH Gen-II enzyme linked immunosorbent assay, a kit (Beckman Coulter, Inc., Webster, Texas). This assay can detect AMH concentrations greater than 0.57 pmol/L with a minimum limit of quantitation of 1.1 pmol/L. Other assays may be used. Herein, serum AMH values are generally recited in terms of pmol/L. This may be converted to ng/mL using the conversion equation 1ng/ml AMH = 7.1 pmol/L AMH.

[0029] Thus, the composition may be for (e.g. daily) administration to a patient identified as (e.g. selected as) having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L) when measured using a Beckmann-Coulter Gen-II enzyme linked immunosorbent assay or a comparable AMH level measured by a different method.

[0030] Herein the terms "patient" and "subject" are used interchangeably.

[0031] The composition (e.g. pharmaceutical composition) preferably comprises a daily dose of, or a daily dose equivalent to, the amounts of human derived rFSH defined above, herein, and in the claims. The (daily) dose may be an initial dose (i.e. it may be reduced, increased, or maintained during the treatment).

[0032] The patient identified as having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor may be identified by means well known in the art, for example by identification of the allelic variant at position 680 of the FSH receptor following extraction of genomic DNA by methods well known in the art [e.g. by means of a kit for extraction of genomic DNA from blood, and subsequent DNA sequencing, as described in e.g. Gromoll et al, Methods, 21, 83-97 (2000), Simoni et al, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Vol 84, No. 2, 751-755 (1999), Falconer et al, Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2005: 84: 806-811 (2005), and references therein, or DNA extraction followed by single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP followed by gel electrophoresis etc.), or by a PCR and RFLP method such as that set out in Loutradis et al, Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, Vol. 23, No. 4, April 2006)]. Thus, the composition may be for (e.g. daily) administration to a patient identified as (e.g. selected as) having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor when measured by extraction of genomic DNA (e.g. from blood) and subsequent analysis by PCR and RFLP methods such as that set out in Loutradis et al, Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, Vol. 23, No. 4, April 2006, or comparable method.

[0033] The composition (e.g. pharmaceutical composition) may be for (daily) administration of FSH starting on day one of treatment and continuing for six to sixteen days, for example seven to sixteen days, for example 8 to 16 days, for example 8 to 13 days. The composition (e.g. pharmaceutical composition) may be for administration 12 to 16, e.g. 13 to 15, e.g. 14 days after administration of (e.g. after initiation of administration of, e.g. after initiation of daily administration of) a GnRH agonist (e.g. Synarel, Lupron, Decapeptyl). The composition (e.g. pharmaceutical composition) may be for administration with a GnRH agonist. The composition (e.g. pharmaceutical composition) may be for administration prior to administration of a GnRH antagonist (e.g. ganirelix, cetrorelix), for example for administration five or six days prior to administration of a GnRH antagonist. The composition (e.g. pharmaceutical composition) may be for administration with a GnRH antagonist. The composition (e.g. pharmaceutical composition) may be for administration with a GnRH antagonist (e.g. ganirelix, cetrorelix) administered (e.g. daily) from day six of treatment. Preferably the composition (e.g. pharmaceutical composition) is for administration prior to administration of a high (ovulatory) dose of hCG (for example 4,000 to 11,000 IU hCG, e.g. 5,000 IU hCG, 10,000 IU hCG etc.; or 150 to 350 microgram recombinant hCG, for example 250 microgram recombinant hCG) to induce final follicular maturation.

[0034] It will be appreciated that the composition may be for dosing at frequencies more (or less) than daily, in which case the relevant doses will be equivalent to the (daily) doses specified herein.

[0035] Herein the term "treatment of infertility" includes treatment of infertility by controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) or methods which include a step or stage of controlled ovarian stimulation (COS), for example Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilisation (IVF), or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The term "treatment of infertility" includes treatment of infertility by ovulation induction (OI) or by methods which include a step or stage of ovulation induction (OI). The term "treatment of infertility" includes treatment of infertility in a subject having tubal or unexplained infertility, including treatment of infertility in a subject having endometriosis, for example stage I or stage II endometriosis, and/or in a subject having anovulatory infertility, for example WHO type II anovulatory infertility, and/or in a subject with a partner with male factor infertility. The composition may be for (use in) the treatment of infertility (and/or for controlled ovarian stimulation) in a subject having endometriosis, for example in a subject having stage I or stage II endometriosis, as defined by The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) classification system for the various stages of endometriosis, (stage IV most severe; stage I least severe) [American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Revised American Society for Reproductive Medicine classification of endometriosis: 1996. Fertil Steril 1997; 67,817 821.].

[0036] The composition may be for (use in) the treatment of infertility (and/or for controlled ovarian stimulation) in a subject having normal serum FSH level of 1 to 16 IU/L, for example 1 to 12 IU/L, in the early follicular phase.

[0037] The composition may be for (use in) the treatment of infertility (and/or for controlled ovarian stimulation) in a subject identified as being aged 18 to 42 years, for example 25 to 37 years. The product may be for (use in) the treatment of infertility (and/or for controlled ovarian stimulation) in a subject identified as having BMI >15 and BMI < 38 kg/m2, for example a subject identified as having BMI >18 and BMI < 25 kg/m2, for example a subject having BMI >20 and BMI < 25 kg/m2.

[0038] The rFSH may have a sialic acid content [expressed in terms of a ratio of moles of sialic acid to moles of protein] of 6 mol/mol or greater, for example between 6 mol/mol and 15 mol/mol, e.g between 8 mol/mol and 14 mol/mol, e.g between 9 mol/mol and 14 mol/mol, for example between 10 mol/mol and 14 mol/mol, e.g between 11 mol/mol and 14 mol/mol, e.g between 12 mol/mol and 14 mol/mol, e.g. between 12 mol/mol and 13 mol/mol. The rFSH may be produced or expressed in a human cell line.

[0039] The FSH (rFSH) for use according to the invention may have 1% to 99% of the total sialylation being α2,3-sialylation. The rFSH may have 10% or more of the total sialylation being α2,3-sialylation. For example, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 or 90% or more of the total sialylation may be α2,3-sialylation. The rFSH may preferably include α2,3-sialylation in an amount which is from 50 to 95% of the total sialylation, for example from 50 to 70% of the total sialylation, for example from 60 to 69% of the total sialylation, for example from 63 to 67%, for example around 65% of the total sialylation. The FSH (rFSH) for use according to the invention may have 1% to 99% of the total sialylation being α2,6-sialylation. The rFSH (or rFSH preparation) of the invention may have 5% or more, for example 5% to 99%, for example 5% to 50%, of the total sialylation being α2,6-sialylation. The rFSH may have 50% or less of the total sialylation being α2,6-sialylation. The rFSH may preferably include α2,6-sialylation in an amount which is from 5 to 50% of the total sialylation, for example from 10 to 50% of the total sialylation, for example from 31 to 38%, for example around 35% of the total sialylation. By sialylation it is meant the amount of sialic residues present on the FSH carbohydrate structures. α2,3-sialylation means sialylation at the 2,3 position (as is well known in the art) and α2,6 sialylation at the 2,6 position (also well known in the art). Thus "% of the total sialylation may be α 2,3 sialylation" refers to the % of the total number of sialic acid residues present in the FSH which are sialylated in the 2,3 position. The term "% of the total sialylation being α2,6-sialylation" refers to the % of the total number of sialic acid residues present in the FSH which are sialylated in the 2,6 position.

[0040] The rFSH may have a sialic acid content (amount of sialylation per FSH molecule) of (based on the mass of protein, rather than the mass of protein plus carbohydrate) of 6% or greater (e.g. between 6% and 15%, e.g. between 7% and 13%, e.g. between 8% and 12%, e.g. between 11% and 15%, e.g. between 12% and 14%) by mass.

[0041] The rFSH may be produced or expressed in a human cell line, for example a Per.C6 cell line, a HT1080 cell line etc.. This may simplify (and render more efficient) the production method because manipulation and control of e.g. the cell growth medium to retain sialylation may be less critical than with known processes. The method may also be more efficient because there is little basic rFSH produced compared to production of known rFSH products; more acidic rFSH is produced and separation/removal of basic FSH is less problematic. The rFSH may be produced or expressed in a PER.C6® cell line, a PER.C6® derived cell line or a modified PER.C6® cell line. rFSH which is produced or expressed in a human cell line (e.g. PER.C6® cell line, HT1080 cell line etc.) will include some α2,6-linked sialic acids (α2,6 sialylation) provided by endogenous sialyl transferase activity [of the cell line] and will include some α2,3-linked sialic acids (α2,3 sialylation) provided by endogenous sialyl transferase activity. The cell line may be modified using α2,3-sialyltransferase. The cell line may be modified using α2,6-sialyltransferase. Alternatively or additionally, the rFSH may include α2,6-linked sialic acids (α2,6 sialylation) provided by endogenous sialyl transferase activity [of the cell line]. Herein, the term "human derived recombinant FSH" means recombinant FSH which is produced or expressed in a human cell line (e.g. recombinant FSH made by engineering a human cell line).

[0042] The rFSH may be produced using α2,3- and/or α2,6-sialyltransferase. In an example, rFSH is produced using α2,3-sialyltransferase. The rFSH may include α2,6-linked sialic acids (α2,6 sialylation) provided by endogenous sialyl transferase activity.

[0043] The composition may be a pharmaceutical composition. The pharmaceutical composition is for the treatment of infertility. The treatment of infertility may comprise assisted reproductive technologies (ART), ovulation induction or intrauterine insemination (IUI). The pharmaceutical composition may be used, for example, in medical indications where known FSH preparations are used.

[0044] The product or composition can be formulated into well-known compositions for any route of drug administration, e.g. oral, rectal, parenteral, transdermal (e.g. patch technology), intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous, intrasusternal, intravaginal, intraperitoneal, local (powders, ointments or drops) or as a buccal or nasal spray. A typical composition comprises a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, such as aqueous solution, non-toxic excipients, including salts and preservatives, buffers and the like, as described in Remington's Pharmaceutical Sciences fifteenth edition (Matt Publishing Company, 1975), at pages 1405 to 1412 and 1461 - 87, and the national formulary XIV fourteenth edition (American Pharmaceutical Association, 1975), among others.

[0045] Examples of suitable aqueous and non-aqueous pharmaceutical carriers, diluents, solvents or vehicles include water, ethanol, polyols (such as glycerol, propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, and the like), carboxymethylcellulose and suitable mixtures thereof, vegetable oils (such as olive oil), and injectible organic esters such as ethyl oleate. The compositions of the present invention also can contain additives such as but not limited to preservatives, wetting agents, emulsifying agents, surfactants and dispersing agents. Antibacterial and antifungal agents can be included to prevent growth of microbes and includes, for example, m-cresol, benzyl alcohol, paraben, chlorobutanol, phenol, sorbic acid, and the like. If a preservative is included, benzyl alcohol, phenol and/or m-cresol are preferred; however, the preservative is by no means limited to these examples. Furthermore, it may be desirable to include isotonic agents such as sugars, sodium chloride, and the like. The product or composition may further comprise a salt comprising a pharmaceutically acceptable alkali metal cation selected from the group consisting of Na+- or K+- salts, or a combination thereof. Preferably the salt is a Na+- salt, for example NaCl or Na2SO4.

[0046] Preferably the product or composition comprises recombinant FSH and one or more of Polysorbate 20, L-methionine, phenol, disodium sulphate and sodium phosphate buffer.

[0047] In some cases, to effect prolonged action it is desirable to slow the absorption of FSH (and other active ingredients, if present) from subcutaneous or intramuscular injection. This can be accomplished by the use of a liquid suspension of crystalline or amorphous material with poor water solubility. The rate of absorption of FSH then depends upon its rate of dissolution which, in turn, can depend upon crystal size and crystalline form. Alternatively, delayed absorption of a parenterally administered FSH combination form is accomplished by dissolving or suspending the FSH combination in an oil vehicle. Injectable depot forms can be made by forming microencapsule matrices of the FSH (and other agents, if present) in biodegradable polymers such as polylactide-polyglycolide. Depending upon the ratio of FSH to polymer and the nature of the particular polymer employed, the rate of FSH release can be controlled. Examples of other biodegradable polymers include polyvinylpyrrolidone, poly(orthoesters), poly(anhydrides) etc. Depot injectable formulations are also prepared by entrapping the FSH in liposomes or microemulsions which are compatible with body tissues.

[0048] Injectable formulations can be sterilized, for example, by filtration through a bacterial-retaining filter, or by incorporating sterilizing agents in the form of sterile solid compositions which can be dissolved or dispersed in sterile water or other sterile injectable medium just prior to use. Injectable formulations can be supplied in any suitable container, e.g. vial, pre-filled syringe, injection cartridges, and the like.

[0049] The product or composition may be formulated for single use or for multiple use (multiple dose). If the product or composition is formulated for multiple use, it is preferred that a preservative is included. If a preservative is included, benzyl alcohol, phenol and/or m-cresol are preferred; however, the preservative is by no means limited to these examples. The single use or multiple use formulated product or composition may further comprise a salt comprising a pharmaceutically acceptable alkali metal cation selected from the group consisting of Na+- or K+-salts, or a combination thereof. Preferably the salt is a Na+- salt, for example NaCl or Na2SO4.

[0050] The product or composition may be included in a container such as a vial, prefilled cartridge (e.g. for single administration or multiple use) or an injection device such as a "pen" for e.g. administration of multiple doses.

[0051] The product or composition may be a formulation (e.g. injectable formulation) including FSH (optionally with hCG, LH, LH activity etc.) The LH activity, if present, may originate from LH or human chorionic gonadotropin, hCG. If there is more than one active ingredient (i.e. FSH and e.g. hCG or LH) these may be suitable for administration separately or together. If administered separately, administration can be sequential. The product can be supplied in any appropriate package. For example, a product can include a number of containers (e.g. pre-filled syringes or vials) containing either FSH or hCG, or a combination (or combination) of both FSH and hCG. The hCG may be recombinant hCG or urinary hCG. If the product includes a number of containers (e.g. pre-filled syringes or vials) containing FSH, e.g. recombinant FSH, each container may include the same amount of FSH. One or more containers may include different amounts of FSH. The syringes or vials may be packaged in a blister package or other means to maintain sterility. Any product can optionally contain instructions for using the FSH (and e.g. hCG if present) formulations. The pH and exact concentration of the various components of the pharmaceutical composition are adjusted in accordance with routine practice in this field. See GOODMAN and GILMAN's THE PHARMACOLOGICAL BASIS FOR THERAPEUTICES, 7th ed. In a preferred embodiment, the compositions of the invention are supplied as compositions for parenteral administration. General methods for the preparation of the parenteral formulations are known in the art and are described in REMINGTON; THE SCIENCE AND PRACTICE OF PHARMACY, supra, at pages 780-820. The parenteral compositions can be supplied in liquid formulation or as a solid which will be mixed with a sterile injectable medium just prior to administration. In an especially preferred embodiment, the parenteral compositions are supplied in dosage unit form for ease of administration and uniformity of dosage.

[0052] According to the present invention in a further aspect there is provided a method of treatment of infertility [e.g. infertility in a patient having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L) and having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor] wherein the treatment of infertility comprises (a) identifying (e.g. determining) the serum AMH level of the patient.
(b) identifying the variant at position 680 of the FSH receptor of the patient; and (c) administering a dose of or equivalent to 9 to 24 µg recombinant follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) per day to a patient (identified as) having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L) and variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor. The composition may comprise 9 to 24 µg FSH, for example 10 to 18 µg FSH, for example 12 to 16 µg FSH, for example 12 to 15 µg FSH. The composition may comprise >12 µg FSH, for example 12.3 to 24 µg FSH, for example 12.33 to 24 µg FSH, for example 12.67 to 24 µg FSH, for example 13 to 24 µg FSH, for example 13 to 16 µg FSH, for example 13 to 15 µg FSH.

[0053] The administration of FSH may be starting on day one of treatment and continuing for six to sixteen days, for example seven to sixteen days, for example 8 to 16 days, for example 8 to 13 days.

[0054] The FSH may be recombinant FSH. The FSH may be recombinant FSH including α2,3- and α2,6- sialylation. The FSH may be recombinant FSH including α2,3- and α2,6- sialylation wherein 1 to 99% of the total sialylation is α2,6- sialylation and 99% to 1% of the total sialylation is α2,3- sialylation. The FSH may be recombinant FSH including α2,3- and α2,6- sialylation wherein 1 to 50% of the total sialylation is α2,6- sialylation and 50% to 99% of the total sialylation is α2,3- sialylation. The FSH may be recombinant FSH including α2,3- and α2,6- sialylation wherein 5 to 40% of the total sialylation is α2,6- sialylation and 60% to 95% of the total sialylation is α2,3- sialylation. Preferably the FSH is a human cell line derived recombinant FSH.

[0055] The administration preferably comprises a daily dose of, or a daily dose equivalent to, the amount of FSH defined above and in the claims. The (daily) dose may be an initial dose (it may be reduced, increased, or maintained during the treatment).

[0056] The method may be a method of treatment of infertility in the patient's (subject's) first stimulation protocol. It will be appreciated that for further stimulation cycles, the doses may be adjusted according to actual ovarian response in the first cycle.

[0057] According to the present invention in a further aspect there is provided a composition (e.g. a pharmaceutical composition) comprising FSH for use in the manufacture of a medicament for the treatment of infertility, the composition comprising 9 to 24 µg follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), wherein the medicament is for (e.g. daily) administration to a patient identified as (e.g. selected as) having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor (prior to treatment). The medicament may be for (e.g. daily) administration to a patient identified as (e.g. selected as) having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor and identified as (e.g. selected as) having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L) (prior to treatment). The composition may comprise 9 to 24 µg FSH, for example 10 to 18 µg FSH, for example 12 to 16 µg FSH, for example 12 to 15 µg FSH. The composition may comprise >12 µg FSH, for example 12.3 to 24 µg FSH, for example 12.33 to 24 µg FSH, for example 12.67 to 24 µg FSH, for example 13 to 24 µg FSH, for example 13 to 16 µg FSH, for example 13 to 15 µg FSH.

[0058] The present applicants also found that administration of FSH to patients identified as having low AMH [AMH level < 15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L), who would generally be associated with a low response], as well as having variant Asn/Asn or variant Asn/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor, provides a good response in terms of follicular development. This is achieved with a reduced dosage of FSH and/or reduced duration of treatment, compared with treatment of patients with low AMH and variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor. This allows tailoring of the dose of FSH in specific patients identified as having specific AMH level, as well as these specific polymorphisms at the FSHR. As set out below, the expected duration of stimulation for a patient having AMH level < 15 pmol/L and variant Asn/Asn is 1.5 days less than the duration of stimulation required for a patient having AMH level < 15 pmol/L and variant Ser/Ser (see Figure 7). Accordingly, tailoring the dose to patients identified, prior to treatment, as having both AMH level < 15 pmol/L and variant Asn/Asn (or both AMH level < 15 pmol/L and variant Asn/Ser) may allow considerable saving in terms of pharmaceutical cost, as well as reduction in risk of potential side effects due to administration of a higher total dose of FSH than is required in these patients.

[0059] According to the present invention in a further aspect there is provided a composition (e.g. a pharmaceutical composition) for use in the treatment of infertility, the composition comprising 10 to 12 µg follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), wherein the composition is for (e.g. daily) administration to a patient identified as (e.g. selected as) having variant Asn/Asn or variant Asn/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor (prior to treatment). The composition may be for (e.g. daily) administration to a patient identified as (e.g. selected as) having variant Asn/Asn or variant Asn/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor and identified as (e.g. selected as) having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L) (prior to treatment). The composition may be for administration to a patient identified as (e.g. selected as) having variant Asn/Asn at position 680 of the FSH receptor and identified as (e.g. selected as) having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L) (prior to treatment). The composition may comprise 10 to <12 µg FSH, for example 10 to 11.9 µg FSH, for example 11 to 11.9 µg FSH, for example 11.33 or 11.67 µg FSH.

[0060] The composition (e.g. pharmaceutical composition) may comprise a daily dose of, or a daily dose equivalent to, the amounts of human derived rFSH defined above, herein, and in the claims. The composition (e.g. pharmaceutical composition) may be for (daily) administration of FSH starting on day one of treatment and continuing for six to sixteen days, for example seven to sixteen days, for example 8 to 16 days, for example 8 to 13 days.

[0061] The treatment of infertility may comprise a step of identifying (e.g. determining, e.g. measuring) the variant at position 680 of the FSH receptor of the patient; and a step of administering the dose to a patient (identified as) having variant Asn/Asn or variant Asn/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor. The treatment of infertility may comprise a step of identifying (e.g. determining, e.g. measuring) the serum AMH level of the patient, and administering the dose to a patient (identified as) having serum AMH level of <15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L).

[0062] According to the present invention in a further aspect there is provided a composition (e.g. a pharmaceutical composition) comprising follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) for use in the treatment of infertility in a patient having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L) and having variant Asn/Asn or variant Asn/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor, wherein the composition is to be administered at a dose of or equivalent to 10 to 12 µg recombinant FSH per day; and wherein the treatment of infertility comprises a step of identifying (e.g. determining) the serum AMH level of the patient; a step of identifying the variant at position 680 of the FSH receptor of the patient; and a step of administering the composition to a patient (identified as) having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L) and variant Asn/Asn or variant Asn/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor. The composition may comprise 10 to <12 µg FSH, for example 10 to 11.9 µg FSH, for example 11 to 11.9 µg FSH, for example 11.33 or 11.67 µg FSH.

[0063] The composition (e.g. a pharmaceutical composition) may be for use in the treatment of infertility in a patient having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L) and having variant Asn/Asn at position 680 of the FSH receptor [wherein the treatment of infertility comprises a step of identifying (e.g. determining) the serum AMH level of the patient; a step of identifying the variant at position 680 of the FSH receptor of the patient; and a step of administering the dose to a patient (identified as) having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L) and variant Asn/Asn at position 680 of the FSH receptor].

[0064] According to the present invention in a further aspect there is provided a method of treatment of infertility [e.g. infertility in a patient having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L) and having variant Asn/Asn or variant Asn/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor] wherein the treatment of infertility comprises (a) identifying (e.g. determining) the serum AMH level of the patient; (b) identifying the variant at position 680 of the FSH receptor of the patient; and (c) administering a dose of or equivalent to 10 to 12 µg recombinant follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) per day to a patient (identified as) having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L) and variant Asn/Asn or variant Asn/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor. The composition may comprise 10 to <12 µg FSH, for example 10 to 11.9 µg FSH, for example 11 to 11.9 µg FSH, for example 11.33 or 11.67 µg FSH.

[0065] The administration of FSH may be starting on day one of treatment and continuing for six to thirteen days, for example seven to thirteen days, for example 8 to 13 days, for example 8 to 11 days.

[0066] According to the present invention in a further aspect there is provided a composition (e.g. a pharmaceutical composition) comprising FSH for use in the manufacture of a medicament for the treatment of infertility, the composition comprising 10 to 12 µg follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), wherein the medicament is for (e.g. daily) administration to a patient identified as (e.g. selected as) having variant Asn/Asn or variant Asn/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor (prior to treatment). The medicament may be for (e.g. daily) administration to a patient identified as (e.g. selected as) having variant Asn/Asn or variant Asn/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor and identified as (e.g. selected as) having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L) (prior to treatment). The medicament may be for administration to a patient identified as (e.g. selected as) having variant Asn/Asn at position 680 of the FSH receptor and identified as (e.g. selected as) having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L) (prior to treatment). The composition may comprise 10 to <12 µg FSH, for example 10 to 11.9 µg FSH, for example 11 to 11.9 µg FSH, for example 11.33 or 11.67 µg FSH.

[0067] It will be appreciated that the FSH, identification of patient's serum AMH level and variant at position 680 of the FSH receptor, etc. for these aspects of the invention may be as for the other aspects of the invention recited herein.

Detailed description of the invention



[0068] The present invention will now be described in more detail with reference to the attached drawings in which:

Figure 1 shows a plasmid map of the pFSHalpha/beta expression vector;

Figure 2 shows the α2,3-sialyltransferase (ST3GAL4) expression vector;

Figure 3 shows the α2,6-sialyltransferase (ST6GAL1) expression vector;

Figure 4 is a schematic diagram of the FSH Receptor, indicating the position of polymorphisms at amino acid positions 307 and 680 of exon 10, and position 29 in the promoter;

Figure 5 shows the distribution of SNP Haplotypes at the FSH receptor gene for the 222 patients treated with FSH in the study of Example 8;

Figure 6 is a table of results showing, for the full analysis set, the observed duration of gonadotropin (FSH) treatment (days) and total gonadotropin (FSH) dose delivered (µg) to patients/subjects having AMH < 15 pmol/L in each of the three distinct FSH receptor genotypes with regard to position 680: Asn/Asn, Asn/Ser and Ser/Ser; and

Figure 7 is a table of results showing, for the full analysis set, the expected duration of gonadotropin (FSH) treatment (days) delivered to patients/subjects having AMH < 15 pmol/L in each of the three distinct FSH receptor genotypes with regard to position 680: Asn/Asn, Asn/Ser and Ser/Ser, adjusted for dose.


Sequence Selection


Human FSH



[0069] The coding region of the gene for the FSH alpha polypeptide was used to according to Fiddes and Goodman. (1981). The sequence is banked as AH007338 and at the time of construction there were no other variants of this protein sequence. The sequence is referred herein as SEQ ID NO:1.

[0070] The coding region of the gene for FSH beta polypeptide was used according to Keene et al (1989). The sequence is banked as NM_000510 and at the time of construction there were no other variants of this protein sequence. The sequence is referred herein as SEQ ID NO: 2

Sialyltransferase



[0071] α2,3-Sialyltransferase - The coding region of the gene for beta-galactoside alpha-2,3-sialyltransferase 4 (α2,3-sialyltransferase, ST3GAL4) was used according to Kitagawa and Paulson (1994). The sequence is banked as L23767 and referred herein as SEQ ID NO: 3.

[0072] α2,6-Sialyltransferase - The coding region of the gene for beta-galactosamide alpha-2,6-sialyltransferase 1 (α2,6-sialyltransferase, ST6GAL1) was used according to Grundmann et al. (1990). The sequence is banked as NM_003032 and referred herein as SEQ ID NO: 4.

EXAMPLES


Example 1 Construction of the FSH expression vector



[0073] The coding sequence of FSH alpha polypeptide (AH007338, SEQ ID NO: 1) and FSH beta polypeptide (NM_003032, SEQ ID NO: 2) were amplified by PCR using the primer combinations FSHa-fw and FSHa-rev and FSHb-fw and FSHb-rec respectively.

FSHa-fw 5'-CCAGGATCCGCCACCATGGATTACTACAGAAAAATATGC-3' (SEQ ID NO:9)

FSHa-rev 5'-GGATGGCTAGCTTAAGATTTGTGATAATAAC-3' (SEQ ID NO:10)

FSHb-fw 5'-CCAGGCGCGCCACCATGAAGACACTCCAGTTTTTC-3' (SEQ ID NO: 11)

FSHb-rev 5'-CCGGGTTAACTTATTATTCTTTCATTTCACCAAAGG-3' (SEQ ID NO: 12)



[0074] The resulting amplified FSH beta DNA was digested with the restriction enzymes AscI and HpaI and inserted into the AscI and HpaI sites on the CMV driven mammalian expression vector carrying a neomycin selection marker. Similarly the FSH alpha DNA was digested with BamHI and NheI and inserted into the sites BamHI and NheI on the expression vector already containing the FSH beta polypeptide DNA.

[0075] The vector DNA was used to transform the DH5α strain of E.coli. Colonies were picked for amplification. Colonies containing the vector containing both FSH alpha and beta were selected for sequencing and all contained the correct sequences according to SEQ ID NO: 1 and SEQ ID NO: 2. Plasmid pFSH A+B#17 was selected for transfection (Figure 1).

Example 2 Construction of the ST3 expression vector



[0076] The coding sequence of beta-galactoside alpha-2,3-sialyltransferase 4 (ST3, L23767, SEQ ID NO: 3) was amplified by PCR using the primer combination 2,3STfw and 2,3STrev.

2,3STfw 5'-CCAGGATCCGCCACCATGTGTCCTGCAGGCTGGAAGC-3' (SEQ ID NO: 13)

2,3STrev 5'-TTTTTTTCTTAAGTCAGAAGGACGTGAGGTTCTTG-3' (SEQ ID NO: 14)



[0077] The resulting amplified ST3 DNA was digested with the restriction enzymes BamHI and AflII and inserted into the BamHI and AflII sites on the CMV driven mammalian expression vector carrying a hygromycin resistance marker. The vector was amplified as previously described and sequenced. Clone pST3#1 (Figure 2) contained the correct sequence according SEQ ID NO: 3 and was selected for transfection.

Example 3 Construction of the ST6 expression vector



[0078] The coding sequence of beta-galactosamide alpha-2,6-sialyltransferase 1 (ST6, NM_003032, SEQ ID NO: 4) was amplified by PCR using the primer combination 2,6STfw and 2,6STrev.

2,6STfw 5'-CCAGGATCCGCCACCATGATTCACACCAACCTGAAG-3' (SEQ ID NO: 15)

2,6STrev 5'-TTTTTTTCTTAAGTTAGCAGTGAATGGTCCGG-3' (SEQ ID NO: 16)



[0079] The resulting amplified ST6 DNA was digested with the restriction enzymes BamHI and AflII and inserted into the BamHI and AflII sites on the CMV driven mammalian expression vector carrying a hygromycin resistance marker. The vector was amplified as previously described and sequenced. Clone pST6#11 (Figure 3) contained the correct sequence according SEQ ID NO: 4 and was selected for transfection.

Example 4 Stable expression of pFSH α+β in PER.C6® cells. Transfection isolation and screening of clones.



[0080] PER.C6®clones producing FSH were generated by expressing both polypeptide chains of FSH from a single plasmid (see Example 1).

[0081] To obtain stable clones a liposome based transfection agent with the pFSH α+β construct. Stable clones were selected in VPRO supplemented with 10% FCS and containing G418. Three weeks after transfection G418 resistant clones grew out. Clones were selected for isolation. The isolated clones were cultured in selection medium until 70-80% confluent. Supernatants were assayed for FSH protein content using an FSH selective ELISA and pharmacological activity at the FSH receptor in cloned cell line, using a cAMP accumulation assay. Clones expressing functional protein were progressed for culture expansion to 24 well, 6 well and T80 flasks.

[0082] Studies to determine productivity and quality of the material from seven clones were initiated in T80 flasks to generate sufficient material. Cells were cultured in supplemented media as previously described for 7 days and the supernatant harvested. Productivity was determined using the FSH selective ELISA. The isoelectric profile of the material was determined by Isoelectric focusing (IEF), by methods known in the art. Clones with sufficient productivity and quality were selected for sialyltransferase engineering.

Example 5 Level of sialylation is increased in cells that over express α2,3-sialyltransferase. Stable expression of pST3 in FSH expressing PER.C6® cells; Transfection isolation and screening of clones.



[0083] PER.C6® clones producing highly sialylated FSH were generated by expressing α2,3 sialyltransferase from separate plasmids (Example 2) in PER.C6® cells already expressing both polypeptide chains of FSH (from Example 4). Clones produced from PER.C6® cells as set out in Example 4 were selected for their characteristics including productivity, good growth profile, production of functional protein, and produced FSH which included some sialylation. Stable clones were generated as previously described in Example 4. Clones were isolated, expanded and assayed. The α2,3-sialyltransferase clones were adapted to serum free media and suspension conditions.

[0084] As before, clones were assayed using a FSH selective ELISA, functional response in an FSH receptor cell line, IEF, metabolic clearance rate and Steelman Pohley analysis. Results were compared to a commercially available recombinant FSH (Gonal-f, Serono) and the parental FSH PER.C6®cell lines. FSH produced by most of the clones has significantly improved sialylation (i.e. on average more FSH isoforms with high numbers of sialic acids) compared to FSH expressed without α2,3- sialyltransferase. In conclusion expression of FSH together with sialyltransferase in PER.C6®cells resulted in increased levels of sialylated FSH compared to cells expressing FSH only.

Example 6 Production and purification overview



[0085] A procedure was developed to produce FSH in PER.C6®cells that were cultured in suspension in serum free medium. The procedure is described below and was applied to several FSH-producing PER.C6®cell lines.

[0086] FSH from α2,3- clone (Example 5) was prepared using a using a modification of the method described by Lowry et al. (1976).

[0087] For the production of PER.C6®-FSH, the cell lines were adapted to a serum- free medium, i.e., Excell 525 (JRH Biosciences). The cells were first cultured to form a 70%-90% confluent monolayer in a T80 culture flask. On passage the cells were re-suspended in the serum free medium, Excell 525 + 4 mM L-Glutamine, to a cell density of 0.3x106 cells/ml. A 25 ml cell suspension was put in a 250 ml shaker flask and shaken at 100 rpm at 37°C at 5% CO2. After reaching a cell density of > 1x106 cells/ml, the cells were sub-cultured to a cell density of 0.2 or 0.3x106 cells/ml and further cultured in shaker flasks at 37°C, 5% CO2 and 100 rpm.

[0088] For the production of FSH, the cells were transferred to a serum- free production medium, i.e., VPRO (JRH Biosciences), which supports the growth of PER.C6®cells to very high cell densities (usually > 107 cells/ml in a batch culture). The cells were first cultured to > 1x106 cells/ml in Excell 525, then spun down for 5 min at 1000 rpm and subsequently suspended in VPRO medium + 6 mM L-glutamine to a density of 1x106 cells/ml. The cells were then cultured in a shaker flask for 7-10 days at 37°C, 5% CO2 and 100 rpm. During this period, the cells grew to a density of > 107 cells/ml. The culture medium was harvested after the cell viability started to decline. The cells were spun down for 5 min at 1000 rpm and the supernatant was used for the quantification and purification of FSH. The concentration of FSH was determined using ELISA (DRG EIA 1288).

[0089] Thereafter, purification of FSH was carried out using a modification of the method described by Lowry et al. (1976). Purification using charge selective chromatography was carried out to enrich the highly sialylated forms by methods well known in the art.

[0090] During all chromatographic procedures, enrichment of the sialylated forms of FSH as claimed herein was confirmed by RIA (DRG EIA 1288) and/or IEF.

Example 7 Quantification of relative amounts of α2,3 and α2,6 sialic acid



[0091] The relative percentage amounts of α2,3 and α2,6 sialic acid on purified rFSH (Example 6) were measured using known techniques.

[0092] N-Glycans were released from the samples using PNGase F under denaturative conditions and then labelled with 2-aminobenzamide. Released glycan forms were then separated and analysed by Weak Anion Exchange (WAX) column for determination of charge distribution. Labelled glycans treated with 2,3,6,8 sialidase for determination of total sialic acid and 2,3 sialidase for determination of 2,3 sialic acid, were further analyzed by wax column.

[0093] The relative percentages of the charged glycans were calculated from structures present in the undigested and digested glycan pools and are shown in Figure 4 (for 8 samples). These were found to be in the ranges 50% - 95% (e.g. about 80% to 90%) for α2,3 sialylation and 5% to 50%, generally about 10 to 20% (or about 31% or 35%), for α2,6 sialylation.

Example 8 - A multiple dose study investigating FE 999049 in comparison to GONAL-F.



[0094] The following describes a randomised, controlled, assessor-blind, parallel groups, multinational, multicentre trial assessing the dose-response relationship of FE 999049 in patients undergoing controlled ovarian stimulation for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) / intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The patient population was 265 IVF patients aged between 18 to 37 years, with BMI 18.5 to 32.0 kg/m2.
The trial was designed as a dose-response trial with number of oocytes retrieved as the primary endpoint. Secondary endpoints will explore the qualitative and quantitative impact of different doses of FE 999049 with regard to endocrine profile, follicular development, oocyte fertilisation, embryo quality and treatment efficiency (i.e. total gonadotropin consumption and duration of stimulation). The trial is designed to evaluate the efficacy of FE 999049 to establish pregnancy when used in controlled ovarian stimulation for IVF/ICSI cycles.

[0095] Subjects were assessed within 3 months prior to randomisation for compliance with the inclusion and exclusion criteria, including an anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) assessment to increase homogeneity of the trial population in relation to ovarian response and minimise the number of potential poor and hyper-responders to the FE 999049 doses and GONAL-F dose used in the trial. The AMH assessment was measured using the AMH Gen-II enzyme linked immunosorbent assay kit (Beckman Coulter, Inc., Webster, Texas). This assay can detect AMH concentrations greater than 0.57 pmol/L with a minimum limit of quantitation of 1.1 pmol/L.

[0096] On day 2-3 of their menstrual cycle, subjects were randomised in a 1:1:1:1:1:1 fashion to treatment with either 90 IU, 120 IU, 150 IU, 180 IU or 210 IU FE 999049 or 150 IU GONAL-F, and ovarian stimulation initiated. Randomisation was stratified according to AMH level at screening [5.0-14.9 pmol/L (low AMH) and 15.0 to 44.9 pmol/L (high AMH)).

[0097] Gonal-F is filled by mass (FbM) at FDA request; referring to µg dose is therefore appropriate. The Gonal -F label indicates 600 IU/44 µg, which indicates that 150 IU is 11 µg. However, there is some variation and the batch certificate for this trial indicated that 11.3 µg Gonal-F was equivalent to 150 IU. The FE999049 doses are presented by protein content (µg) rather than biological activity. Thus the doses of FE999049 were 5.2µg (90 IU), 6.9µg (120 IU), 8.6µg (150 IU), 10.3µg (180 IU) or 12.1µg (210 IU).

[0098] The subject and dose distribution is set out as follows (data are number of subjects):
Table 1
 FE 999049GONAL-F
 5.2µg6.9µg8.6µg10.3µg12.1µg11.3 (11) µgTotal
Screened             334
Randomised and exposed 42 45 44 45 46 43 265
High AMH strata (15.0 - 44.9 pmol/L) 23 26 24 24 26 25 148 (56%)
Low AMH strata (5.0 - 14.9 pmol/L) 19 19 20 20 21 18 117 (44%)
Per-protocol 40 42 42 44 44 43 255


[0099] The daily dose level of FE 999049 or GONAL-F is fixed throughout the entire stimulation period. During stimulation, subjects are monitored on stimulation day 1, 4 and 6 and hereafter at least every second day. When 3 follicles of ≥15 mm are observed, visits are performed daily. Subjects are treated with FE 999049 or GONAL-F for a maximum of 16 days.

[0100] To prevent a premature LH surge, a GnRH antagonist (ganirelix acetate, ORGALUTRAN, MSD / Schering-Plough) may be initiated on stimulation day 6 at a daily dose of 0.25 mg and continued throughout the stimulation period. Triggering of final follicular maturation is done on the day when ≥3 follicles with a diameter ≥17 mm are observed. If there are <25 follicles with a diameter ≥12 mm, 250 µg recombinant hCG (choriogonadotropin alfa, OVITRELLE, Merck Serono / EMD Serono) is administered. If there are 25-35 follicles with a diameter ≥12 mm, 0.2 mg GnRH agonist (triptorelin acetate, DECAPEPTYL/ GONAPEPTYL, Ferring Pharmaceuticals) is administered. In case of excessive ovarian response, defined as >35 follicles with a diameter ≥12 mm, the treatment is cancelled. In case of poor ovarian response, defined as <3 follicles with a diameter ≥10 mm observed on stimulation day 10, the cycle could be cancelled.

[0101] Oocyte retrieval takes place 36h (± 2h) after triggering of final follicular maturation and the oocytes inseminated by IVF and/or ICSI. Fertilisation and embryo development are assessed from oocyte retrieval to the day of transfer. For subjects who underwent triggering of final follicular maturation with hCG, one blastocyst of the best quality available is transferred on day 5 after oocyte retrieval while remaining blastocysts are frozen. For subjects who undergo triggering of final follicular maturation with GnRH agonist, no embryo transfer takes place in the fresh cycle and blastocysts are instead frozen on day 5. Vaginal progesterone tablets (LUTINUS, Ferring Pharmaceuticals) 100 mg 3 times daily are provided for luteal phase support from the day after oocyte retrieval until the day of the clinical pregnancy visit. A βhCG test is performed 13-15 days after embryo transfer and clinical pregnancy will be confirmed by transvaginal ultrasound (TVU) 5-6 weeks after embryo transfer.

Results



[0102] The number of oocytes retrieved (primary endpoint) is shown in the following Table.
Table 2
  FE 999049 GONAL-F
 5.2 µg6.9 µg8.6 µg10.3 µg12.1 µg11.3 (11)µg
Oocytes retrieved      
All 5.2 (3.3) 7.9 (5.9) 9.2 (4.6) 10.6 (7.0) 12.2 (5.9) 10.4 (5.2)
High AMH 5.9 (3.9) 9.1 (6.4) 10.6 (4.8) 13.6 (7.8) 14.4 (5.8) 12.4 (5.4)
Low AMH 4.5 (2.2) 6.3 (4.9) 7.4 (3.8) 6.9 (3.6) 9.4 (4.9) 7.8 (3.4)
Data are mean (SD)


[0103] The primary objective was met: a significant dose-response relationship was established for FE 999049 with respect to number of oocytes retrieved. This finding was observed not only for the overall trial population, but also for each of the two AMH strata used at randomisation.
A significant dose-response for FE 999049 was demonstrated for all key objective pharmacodynamic parameters, e.g. estradiol, inhibin B and inhibin A. At a similar microgram dose level, the pharmacodynamic responses with FE 999049 were larger than with GONAL-F (these results not shown).
The serum FSH concentrations after exposure to FE 999049 were significantly higher than for GONAL-F. The results confirm that the PK profile of FE 999049 differs from that of GONAL-F. Fertilisation rates, blastocyst development and pregnancy rates in IVF/ICSI patients treated with FE 999049 were within expectations.

[0104] There were no safety concerns with the use of FE 999049. A good local tolerability was documented.

Further Analysis



[0105] The applicants have further analysed the data to identify the FE 999049 dose(s) that fulfil the following criteria with respect to number of oocytes retrieved:
  • Oocytes retrieved in the range 8-14
  • Minimise proportion of patients with <8 oocytes
  • Minimise proportion of patients with <4 or ≥20 oocytes

Low AMH strata



[0106] As seen in Table 2, the dose of FE999049 which fulfilled the first criterion (Oocytes retrieved in the range 8-14) was 12.1 µg (mean 9.4 oocytes retrieved). The distribution of oocytes is shown in Table 3 below.
Table 3
  FE 999049 GONAL-F
 5.2µg6.9µg8.6µg10.3µg12.1µg11.3(11)µg
Oocytes retrieved       
<4 32% 24% 15% 10% 10%   6%
4-7 63% 42% 45% 60% 20%   56%
8-14 5% 24% 35% 30% 60% 33%
15-19 0% 5% 5% 0% 5%   6%
≥20 0% 5% 0% 0% 5%   0%
Data are % of subjects


[0107] As shown by the box and arrow, a dose of 12.1 µg FE999049 provides retrieval of the most desirable number of oocytes in 60% of subjects in the low AMH group. This is a marked improvement on Gonal-F (most desirable number of oocytes in only 33% of subjects). There were no indications of early OHSS of a moderate or severe nature and there were no incidences of preventative action being required; there are no concerns associated with the dose of 12.1 µg FE999049 in a patient having low AMH.

[0108] Thus the applicants have found that a dose of, or dose equivalent to, 6 to 24 µg, for example 9 to 14 µg, for example 12 µg, human derived recombinant FSH is suitable for use in the treatment of infertility in a patient having serum AMH <15 pmol/L, for example 0.05-14.9 pmol/L for example 5.0-14.9 pmol/L. The dose provides an effective response while minimising risk of OHSS.

Exploratory Evaluation



[0109] As an exploratory evaluation, the present inventors investigated the contribution of FSH receptor polymorphism on ovarian response and treatment efficiency following stimulation with FE999049.

[0110] Genomic DNA from all patients in the trial was analysed for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at positions 29, 307 and 680 of the FSH-R at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy. Figure 4 is a schematic diagram of the FSH Receptor, indicating the position of polymorphisms at amino acid positions 307 and 680 of exon 10, and position 29 in the promoter. This distribution of SNP FSH-R combinations is as follows: AA 7%, AG 35% and GG 58% for position 29; Thr/Thr 29%, Ala/Thr 54% and Ala/Ala 17% for position 307; and Asn/Asn 30%, Asn/Ser 53% and Ser/Ser 17% for position 680. Figure 5 shows the distribution of SNP Haplotypes at the FSH receptor gene for the 222 patients treated with FSH in the study of Example 8. The distribution for each position and the overall combinations was not significantly different between the low AMH and high AMH strata.

[0111] The results of the clinical trial were further analysed to assess whether SNP had any effect on the duration of treatment and total dose required. This was done for the low AMH group and the high AMH group.

[0112] FSHR polymorphism was examined by PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) and RFLP (Restriction fragment length polymorphism) by methods known in the art. Women were classified as Asn/Asn, Asn/Ser, and Ser/Ser genotypes. The genetic analysis was described in the following overview protocol and the patients signed a special informed consent. The samples were taken as part of the other blood samples on stimulation day 1. They were measured at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.

Overview of Procedures used for SNP-analysis at the FSH Receptor Gene


General procedures:



[0113] 
  1. 1. Genomic DNA extraction (from blood using Nucleon Genomic DNA extraction kit, GE HEALTHCARE)
  2. 2. Operating procedures using nanodrop.

HRM procedures:



[0114] SNPs genotyping by high resolution melting (HRM) methodology (using SsoFast EvaGreen Supermix cod enzyme. 172-5201, Bio-Rad; HSP-96 plates, cat. HSP9645, Bio-Rad; and CFX96 real-time thermal cycler Bio-Rad.)

Sequencing procedures:



[0115] In case of doubt about HRM results, (after two independent HRM on the same samples), the following sequencing procedures are utilised:
  1. 1. PCR reaction and amplification.
  2. 2. PCR product purification.
  3. 3. Quantification of purified PCR.
  4. 4. Sequence reaction protocol.
  5. 5. Sequence product purification.
  6. 6. Capillary electrophoresis run by ABI PRISM 3130 instrument.
  7. 7. Assessment and validation of the results obtained by capillary electrophoresis sequencing with ABI PRISM 3100.

Results



[0116] Figure 7 is a table of results showing, for the full analysis set, the expected duration of gonadotropin (FSH) treatment (days) delivered to patients/subjects having AMH < 15 pmol/L in each of the three distinct FSH receptor genotypes with regard to position 680: Asn/Asn, Asn/Ser and Ser/Ser, adjusted for dose.

[0117] Figure 7 shows that the expected mean duration of treatment required for stimulation of a patient having AMH level < 15 pmol/L and variant Ser/ser is 9.59 days, which is about 1.5 days longer than that required for stimulation of a patient having AMH level < 15 pmol/L and variant Asn/Asn (8.13 days), and about 1.3 days longer than that required for stimulation of a patient having AMH level < 15 pmol/L and variant Ser/Asn (8.26 days).

[0118] As indicated above, success (in terms of pregnancy and/or live birth) is more likely if the patient has an adequate response (expected ovarian multifollicular development, rise in circulating 17-β-estradiol) occurring within an ideal treatment window. Success is further enhanced if the response is within the centre of this treatment window; that is, not too early in the window and not too late. Reduction of the duration of treatment in patients having low AMH and variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor (by increasing the dose above 12 µg) may bring the response towards the centre of the treatment window, with enhanced likelihood of success.

[0119] Accordingly, tailoring the dose to patients identified as having AMH level < 15 pmol/L and variant Ser/Ser prior to treatment may be possible. Identification of patients having Ser/Ser prior to treatment may allow the starting dose to be increased in these patients, compared with those having Ser/Asn and Asn/Asn.

[0120] As set out above, a dose of 12.1 µg FE999049 provides retrieval of the most desirable number of oocytes in 60% of subjects in the low AMH group (Table 3). The low AMH group shown in Table 3 included patients having variant Ser/Ser, as well as those having Ser/Asn and Asn/Asn. Administration of a higher starting dose (for example 9 to 24 µg, for example >12 to 24 µg, e.g. 12.33 µg or 13 µg human derived recombinant) of FSH to patients having low AMH [AMH level < 15 pmol/L, (e.g. 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L, e.g. 5.0 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L)], as well as having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor, may be advantageous because it may provide increased probability of success (in terms of pregnancy and/or live birth) and better predictability of success.

[0121] Figure 7 shows that the mean duration of treatment required for stimulation of a patient having AMH level < 15 pmol/L and variant Asn/Asn is 8.13 days, and that required for stimulation of a patient having AMH level < 15 pmol/L and variant Ser/Asn is 8.26 days, about 1.5 to 1.3 days shorter than the duration for equivalent treatment of a patient having AMH level < 15 pmol/L and variant Ser/Ser (9.59 days). Thus, identification of patients having AMH level < 15 pmol/L and variant Ser/Asn and Asn/Asn prior to treatment may allow the starting dose for these patients to be reduced to less than 12 µg FE 999049 , e.g. 10 to 12 µg, or the duration of treatment to be reduced, while still providing a good response in terms of follicular development. This may provide a benefit in terms of cost of the pharmaceutical, and also in terms of reduction in risk associated with administration of a higher dose than is required for effect in these patients.

[0122] Figure 6 is a table of results showing, for the full analysis set, the observed duration of gonadotropin (FSH) treatment (days) and total gonadotropin (FSH) dose delivered (µg) to patients/subjects having AMH < 15 pmol/L in each of the three distinct FSH receptor genotypes with regard to position 680: Asn/Asn, Asn/Ser and Ser/Ser. This confirms the effects shown in Figure 7.

[0123] The results did not show this effect related to SNP in the high AMH population.

[0124] This allows tailoring of the dose of FSH in specific patients identified as having specific AMH level, and specific polymorphism at the FSHR.

Example 9 - Individualised COS protocol (low AMH)



[0125] The selected patients are about to undergo COS for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) / intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) by methods known in the art. The pre-treatment protocol includes assessment/screening of the patient's serum AMH using the AMH Gen-II enzyme linked immunosorbent assay kit (Beckman Coulter, Inc., Webster, Texas). This assay can detect AMH concentrations greater than 0.57 pmol/L with a minimum limit of quantitation of 1.1 pmol/L. AMH may be measured using other Assay kits (e.g. available from Roche). The pre-treatment protocol includes identification of the allelic variant at position 680 of the FSH receptor following extraction of genomic DNA by methods well known in the art (e.g. by means of a kit for extraction of genomic DNA from blood, and subsequent DNA sequencing, as described in e.g. Gromoll et al, Methods, 21, 83-97 (2000), Simoni et al, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Vol 84, No. 2, 751-755 (1999), Falconer et al, Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2005: 84: 806-811 (2005), and references therein, or by a PCR and RFLP method such as that set out in Loutradis et al, Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, Vol. 23, No. 4, April 2006).

[0126] The COS protocol proceeds in the usual manner apart from administration of the initial dose of FE 999049 according to AMH level at screening. A patient with an AMH level of <15 pmol/L and variant Ser/Asn or Asn/Asn would be administered an initial daily dose of approximately 12 µg FE 999049, a human derived recombinant FSH product manufactured according to the method of Example 6, or <12 µg FE 999049 , e.g. 10 to 12 µg, e.g. 11.33 µg or 11.67 µg, of the human derived recombinant FSH . A patient with an AMH level of <15 pmol/L and variant Ser/Ser would receive a higher initial daily dose greater than 12 µg (e.g. 12.33 to 24 µg, or 13 - 24 µg of the human derived recombinant FSH.

References



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[0128] Figs 1, 2 and 3: Plasmid maps of the pFSHalpha/beta ,pST3 and pST6 expression vectors. CMV = Cytomegalovirus promoter, BGHp(A) = Bovine Growth Hormone poly-adenylation sequence, fl ori = fl origin of replication, SV40 = Simian Virus 40 promoter, Neo = Neomycin resistance marker, Hyg = Hygromycin resistance marker, SV40 p(A) = Simian Virus 40 poly-adenylation sequence, FSH A = Follicle stimulating hormone alpha polypeptide, FSH B = Follicle stimulating hormone beta polypeptide, ST3GAL4 = α2,3-sialyltransferase, ST6GAL1 = α2,6-sialyltransferase, ColEI = ColEI origin of replication, Amp = ampicillin resistance marker.



















[0129] There have been disclosed hereinbefore the compositions, compositions for use and methods defined by the following numbered paragraphs:
  1. 1. A composition for use in the treatment of infertility, the composition comprising 9 to 24 µg follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), wherein the composition is for administration to a patient identified as having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor.
  2. 2. A composition for use according to paragraph 1, wherein the composition is for daily administration.
  3. 3. A composition for use according to paragraph 1 or paragraph 2 wherein the composition is for administration to a patient identified as having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor and identified as having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L.
  4. 4. A composition for use according to any preceding paragraph wherein the composition is for administration to a patient identified as having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor and identified as having a serum AMH level 0.05 pmol/L to 14.9 pmol/L.
  5. 5. A composition for use according to any preceding paragraph wherein the treatment of infertility comprises a step of identifying the variant at position 680 of the FSH receptor of the patient; and a step of administering the FSH to a patient (identified as) having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor.
  6. 6. A composition for use according to any preceding paragraph wherein the treatment of infertility comprises a step of identifying the serum AMH level of the patient, and administering the FSH to a patient (identified as) having serum AMH level of <15 pmol/L.
  7. 7. A composition comprising follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) for use in the treatment of infertility in a patient having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L and having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor, wherein the composition is to be administered at a dose of or equivalent to 9 to 24 µg recombinant FSH per day; and wherein the treatment of infertility comprises a step of identifying the serum AMH level of the patient; a step of identifying the variant at position 680 of the FSH receptor of the patient; and a step of administering the composition to a patient having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L and variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor.
  8. 8. A composition for use according to paragraph 7 for treatment of infertility in a patient having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L and having variant Ser/ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor.
  9. 9. A composition for use according to any preceding paragraph comprising >12 to 24 µg FSH.
  10. 10. A composition for use according to any preceding paragraph wherein the composition is for administration of FSH starting on day one of treatment and continuing for six to sixteen days.
  11. 11. A composition for use in the treatment of infertility, the composition comprising > 12 to 24 µg follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), wherein the composition is for administration to a patient identified as having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor prior to treatment and identified as having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L prior to treatment.
  12. 12. A composition for use in the treatment of infertility, the composition comprising 10 to 12 µg follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), wherein the composition is for administration to a patient identified as having variant Asn/Asn or variant Asn/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor (prior to treatment).
  13. 13. A composition for use in the treatment of infertility, the composition comprising 10 to 12 µg of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), wherein the composition is for administration to a patient identified as having variant Asn/Asn or variant Asn/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor prior to treatment and identified as having serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L prior to treatment.
  14. 14. A composition for use according to any preceding paragraph wherein the FSH is recombinant FSH.
  15. 15. A composition for use according to any preceding paragraph wherein the FSH is recombinant FSH including α2,3- and α2,6-sialylation.
  16. 16. A composition for use according to any preceding paragraph wherein the recombinant FSH includes α2,3- and α2,6-sialylation wherein 1 to 99% of the total sialylation is α2,6-sialylation and 99% to 1% of the total sialylation is α2,3-sialylation.
  17. 17. A composition for use according to any preceding paragraph wherein the recombinant FSH includes α2,3- and α2,6-sialylation wherein 1 to 50% of the total sialylation is α2,6-sialylation and 50% to 99% of the total sialylation is α2,3-sialylation.
  18. 18. A method of treatment of infertility wherein the treatment of infertility comprises
    1. (a) identifying the serum AMH level of the patient.
    2. (b) identifying the variant at position 680 of the FSH receptor of the patient; and
    3. (c) administering a dose of or equivalent to 9 to 24 µg recombinant follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) per day to a patient identified as having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L and variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor.
  19. 19. A method of treatment of infertility wherein the treatment of infertility comprises
    1. (a) identifying the serum AMH level of the patient;
    2. (b) identifying the variant at position 680 of the FSH receptor of the patient; and
    3. (c) administering a dose of or equivalent to 10 to 12 µg recombinant follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) per day to a patient identified as having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L and variant Asn/Asn or variant Asn/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor.





















Claims

1. A composition for use in the treatment of infertility, the composition comprising 9 to 24 µg follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), wherein the composition is for administration to a patient identified as having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor.
 
2. A composition for use according to claim 1, wherein the composition is for daily administration.
 
3. A composition for use according to claim 1 or claim 2 wherein the composition is for administration to a patient identified as having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor and identified as having a serum AMH level ≥ 15 pmol/L.
 
4. A composition for use according to any preceding claim wherein the composition is for administration to a patient identified as having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor and identified as having a serum AMH level 15.0 pmol/L to 44.9 pmol/L.
 
5. A composition for use according to any preceding claim wherein the treatment of infertility comprises a step of identifying the variant at position 680 of the FSH receptor of the patient; and a step of administering the FSH to a patient (identified as) having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor.
 
6. A composition for use according to any preceding claim wherein the treatment of infertility comprises a step of identifying the serum AMH level of the patient, and administering the FSH to a patient (identified as) having serum AMH level of ≥ 15 pmol/L.
 
7. A composition comprising follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) for use in the treatment of infertility in a patient having a serum AMH level ≥ 15 pmol/L and having variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor, wherein the composition is to be administered at a dose of or equivalent to 9 to 24 µg recombinant FSH per day; and wherein the treatment of infertility comprises a step of identifying the serum AMH level of the patient; a step of identifying the variant at position 680 of the FSH receptor of the patient; and a step of administering the composition to a patient having a serum AMH level < 15 pmol/L and variant Ser/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor.
 
8. A composition for use according to any preceding claim comprising >12 to 24 µg FSH.
 
9. A composition for use according to any preceding claim wherein the composition is for administration of FSH starting on day one of treatment and continuing for six to sixteen days.
 
10. A composition for use in the treatment of infertility, the composition comprising 10 to 12 µg follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), wherein the composition is for administration to a patient identified as having variant Asn/Asn or variant Asn/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor (prior to treatment).
 
11. A composition for use in the treatment of infertility, the composition comprising 10 to 12 µg of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), wherein the composition is for administration to a patient identified as having variant Asn/Asn or variant Asn/Ser at position 680 of the FSH receptor prior to treatment and identified as having serum AMH level ≥ 15 pmol/L prior to treatment.
 
12. A composition for use according to any preceding claim wherein the FSH is recombinant FSH.
 
13. A composition for use according to any preceding claim wherein the FSH is recombinant FSH including α2,3- and α2,6-sialylation.
 
14. A composition for use according to any preceding claim wherein the recombinant FSH includes α2,3- and α2,6-sialylation wherein 1 to 99% of the total sialylation is α2,6-sialylation and 99% to 1% of the total sialylation is α2,3-sialylation.
 
15. A composition for use according to any preceding claim wherein the recombinant FSH includes α2,3- and α2,6- sialylation wherein 1 to 50% of the total sialylation is α2,6- sialylation and 50% to 99% of the total sialylation is α2,3- sialylation.
 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description