RESULTS: In this study, G6PDH was identified as a target for algal strain improvement, wherein G6PDH gene was successfully overexpressed and antisense knockdown in P. tricornutum, and systematic comparisons of the photosynthesis performance, algal growth, lipid content, fatty acid profiles, NADPH production, G6PDH activity and transcriptional abundance were performed. The results showed that, due to the enhanced G6PDH activity, transcriptional abundance and NAPDH production, overexpression of G6PDH accompanied by high-CO2 cultivation resulted in a much higher of both lipid content and growth in P. tricornutum, while knockdown of G6PDH greatly decreased algal growth as well as lipid accumulation. In addition, the total proportions of saturated and unsaturated fatty acid, especially the polyunsaturated fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; C20:5, n-3), were highly increased in high-CO2 cultivated G6PDH overexpressed strains.
CONCLUSIONS: The successful of overexpression and antisense knockdown of G6PDH well demonstrated the positive influence of G6PDH on algal growth and lipid accumulation in P. tricornutum. The improvement of algal growth, lipid content as well as polyunsaturated fatty acids in high-CO2 cultivated G6PDH overexpressed P. tricornutum suggested this G6PDH overexpression-high CO2 cultivation pattern provides an efficient and economical route for algal strain improvement to develop algal-based biodiesel production.
METHODS: In this single-arm, open-label, phase 3 trial, we recruited patients from 38 sites across China, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaysia, who were chronically infected with HCV genotypes 1-6, and were HCV treatment-naive or treatment-experienced, either without cirrhosis or with compensated cirrhosis. Patients self-administered a combined sofosbuvir (400 mg) and velpatasvir (100 mg) tablet once daily for 12 weeks. The primary efficacy endpoint was sustained virological response, defined as HCV RNA less than 15 IU/mL at 12 weeks after completion of treatment (SVR12), assessed in all patients who received at least one dose of study drug. The primary safety endpoint was the proportion of adverse events leading to premature discontinuation of study drug. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02671500, and is completed.
FINDINGS: Between April 14, 2016, and June 30, 2017, 375 patients were enrolled in the study, of whom 374 completed the full treatment course and one discontinued treatment. Overall, 362 (97% [95% CI 94-98]) of 375 patients achieved SVR12. Among 42 patients with HCV genotype 3b, all of whom had baseline resistance-associated substitutions in NS5A, 25 (89% [95% CI 72-98]) of 28 patients without cirrhosis and seven (50% [23-77]) of 14 patients with cirrhosis achieved SVR12. The most common adverse events were upper respiratory tract infection (36 [10%] patients) and headache (18 [5%] patients). There were no discontinuations due to adverse events. Serious adverse events were reported in three (1%) patients, none of which was judged to be related to sofosbuvir-velpatasvir treatment.
INTERPRETATION: Consistent with data from other phase 3 studies, single-tablet sofosbuvir-velpatasvir for 12 weeks is an efficacious and safe treatment for Asian patients with chronic HCV infection, but might have lower efficacy in those infected with HCV genotype 3b and with cirrhosis.
FUNDING: Gilead Sciences.