Background: Graves' disease is one of the most common autoimmune conditions, but treatment remains imperfect. This study explores the first-in-human use of antigen-specific immunotherapy with a combination of two thyrotropin receptor (TSHR) peptides (termed ATX-GD-59) in Graves' hyperthyroidism.
Methods: Twelve participants (11 female) with previously untreated mild to moderate Graves' hyperthyroidism were enrolled in a Phase I open label trial to receive 10 doses of ATX-GD-59 administered intradermally over an 18-week period. Adverse events, tolerability, changes in serum free thyroid hormones, and TSHR autoantibodies were measured.
Results: Ten subjects received all 10 doses of ATX-GD-59, five (50%) of whom had free triiodothyronine within the reference interval by the 18-week visit. Two further subjects had improved free thyroid hormones by the end of the study (7/10 responders), whereas three subjects showed worsening thyrotoxicosis during the study. Serum TSHR autoantibody concentrations reduced during the study and correlated with changes in free thyroid hormones (r = 0.85, p = 0.002 for TSHR autoantibody vs. free triiodothyronine). Mild injection-site swelling and pain were the most common adverse events.
Conclusions: These preliminary data suggest that ATX-GD-59 is a safe and well-tolerated treatment. The improvement in free thyroid hormones in 70% of subjects receiving the medication suggests potential efficacy as a novel treatment for Graves' hyperthyroidism.
- peptide immunotherapy
- Graves’ disease
- autoimmune thyroid disease
- thyroid stimulating hormone receptor