Evaluating the safety and potential activity of URO-902 (hMaxi-K) gene transfer by intravesical instillation or direct injection into the bladder wall in female participants with idiopathic (non-neurogenic) overactive bladder syndrome and detrusor overactivity from two double-blind, imbalanced, placebo-controlled randomized phase 1 trials

Eric Rovner, Toby C. Chai, Sharon Jacobs, George Christ, Karl Erik Andersson, Mitchell Efros, Victor Nitti, Kelvin Davies, Andrew R. McCullough, Arnold Melman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aims: Two phase 1 trials were performed in healthy women with the overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome and urodynamically demonstrated detrusor overactivity (DO), with the aim to demonstrate the safety and potential efficacy of URO-902, which comprises a gene therapy plasmid vector expressing the human big potassium channel α subunit. Methods: ION-02 (intravesical instillation) and ION-03 (direct injection) were double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter studies without overlap in enrollment between studies. Active doses were administered and evaluated sequentially (lowest dose first) for safety. ION-02 participants received either 5000 µg or 10 000 µg URO-902, or placebo. ION-03 participants received either 16 000 or 24 000 µg URO-902, or placebo, injected directly into the bladder wall using cystoscopy. Primary outcome variables were safety parameters occurring subsequent to URO-902 administration; secondary efficacy variables also were evaluated. Results: Among the safety outcomes, there were no dose-limiting toxicities or significant adverse events (AEs) preventing dose escalation during either trial, and no participants withdrew due to AEs. For efficacy, in ION-02 (N = 21), involuntary detrusor contractions on urodynamics at 24 weeks in patients receiving URO-902 (P <.0508 vs placebo) and mean urgency incontinence episodes in the 5000 µg group (P =.0812 vs placebo) each showed a downward trend. In ION-03 (N = 13), significant reduction versus placebo in urgency episodes (16 000 µg, P =.036; 24 000 µg, P =.046) and number of voids (16 000 µg, −2.16, P =.044; 24 000 µg, −2.73, P =.047) were observed 1 week after injection. Conclusion: Promising safety and efficacy results in these preliminary phase 1 studies suggest gene transfer may be a promising therapy for OAB/DO, warranting further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)744-753
Number of pages10
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2020



  • BK channel
  • gene therapy
  • incontinence
  • urinary urgency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Urology

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