Despite progress in the treatment of B cell disorders, novel treatment approaches are still highly needed. CD19 is a pan-B cell marker that is recognized as a potential immunotherapy target for B cell disorders, including blood-borne malignancies and autoimmune diseases. Although initial attempts to target CD19 were unsuccessful, a new wave of investigational agents is currently in development. These agents are based on novel antibody-based technologies and formats that appear to better exploit CD19's therapeutic potential, and some promising clinical study data has already been reported. This review provides an overview and the rationale for the most advanced CD19-targeting programs in development.
CD19 immunotherapy; Fc engineered antibodies; antibody-drug conjugates; bispecific antibodies; chimeric antigen receptors
The existence of multiple variants with differences in either charge, molecular weight or other properties is a common feature of monoclonal antibodies. These charge variants are generally referred to as acidic or basic compared with the main species. The chemical nature of the main species is usually well-understood, but understanding the chemical nature of acidic and basic species, and the differences between all three species, is critical for process development and formulation design. Complete understanding of acidic and basic species, however, is challenging because both species are known to contain multiple modifications, and it is likely that more modifications may be discovered. This review focuses on the current understanding of the modifications that can result in the generation of acidic and basic species and their affect on antibody structure, stability and biological functions. Chromatography elution profiles and several critical aspects regarding fraction collection and sample preparations necessary for detailed characterization are also discussed.
Recombinant monoclonal antibody; acidic species; basic species; posttranslational modifications
Peptibodies or peptide-Fc fusions are an attractive alternative therapeutic format to monoclonal antibodies. They consist of biologically active peptides grafted onto an Fc domain. This approach retains certain desirable features of antibodies, notably an increased apparent affinity through the avidity conferred by the dimerization of two Fcs and a long plasma residency time. Peptibodies can be made in E. coli using recombinant technology. The manufacturing process involves fermentation and downstream processing, including refolding and multiple column chromatographic steps, that result in overall yields and quality suitable for commercial development. Romiplostim, marketed under the brand name Nplate®, is the first peptibody to be approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency and is indicated for the treatment of immune thrombocytopenic purpura. AMG 386, a peptibody antagonist to angiopoietins 1 and 2, is being evaluated in Phase 3 clinical testing in combination with chemotherapy in women with ovarian cancer. AMG 819, a peptibody targeting nerve growth factor for pain has also progressed to clinical trials. These peptibodies illustrate the versatility of the modality.
AMG 386; AMG 531; AMG 819; Nplate®; peptibody; romiplostim
Isolating high-affinity antibodies against native tumor antigens on the cell surface is not straightforward using standard hybridoma procedures. Here, we describe a combination method of synthetic peptide immunization and high-throughput flow cytometry screening to efficiently isolate hybridomas for cell binding. Using this method, we identified high-affinity monoclonal antibodies specific for the native form of glypcian-3 (GPC3), a target heterogeneously expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and other cancers. We isolated a panel of monoclonal antibodies (YP6, YP7, YP8, YP9 and YP9.1) for cell surface binding. The antibodies were used to characterize GPC3 protein expression in human liver cancer cell lines and tissues by flow cytometry, immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. The best antibody (YP7) bound cell surface-associated GPC3 with equilibrium dissociation constant, KD = 0.3 nmol/L and was highly specific for HCC, not normal tissues or other forms of primary liver cancers (such as cholangiocarcinoma). Interestingly, the new antibody was highly sensitive in that it detected GPC3 in low expression ovarian clear cell carcinoma and melanoma cells. The YP7 antibody exhibited significant HCC xenograft tumor growth inhibition in nude mice. These results describe an improved method for producing high-affinity monoclonal antibodies to cell surface tumor antigens and represent a general approach to isolate therapeutic antibodies against cancer. The new high-affinity antibodies described here have significant potential for GPC3-expressing cancer diagnostics and therapy.
cell-surface glycoproteins; flow cytometry; heparan sulfate proteoglycans; hepatocellular carcinoma; high-throughput screening; hybridoma technology; peptide immunization
Background: The trifunctional antibody ertumaxomab bivalently targets the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (Her2) on epithelial (tumor) cells and the T cell specific CD3 antigen, and its Fc region is selectively recognized by Fcγ type I/III receptor-positive immune cells. As a trifunctional immunoglobulin, ertumaxomab therefore not only targets Her2 on cancer cells, but also triggers immunological effector mechanisms mediated by T and accessory cells (e.g., macrophages, dendritic cells, natural killer cells). Whether molecular effects, however, might contribute to the cellular antitumor efficiency of ertumaxomab are largely unknown.
Methods: Potential molecular effects of ertumaxomab on Her2-overexpressing BT474 and SK-BR-3 breast cancer cells were evaluated. The dissociation constant Kd of ertumaxomab was calculated from titration curves that were recorded by flow cytometry. Treatment-induced changes in Her2 homodimerization were determined by flow cytometric fluorescence resonance energy transfer measurements on a cell-by-cell basis. Potential activation / deactivation of Her2, ERK1/2, AKT and STAT3 were analyzed by western blotting, Immunochemistry and immunofluorescent cell staining.
Results: The Kd of ertumaxomab for Her2-binding was determined at 265 nM and the ertumaxomab binding epitope was found to not overlap with that of the therapeutic anti-Her2 monoclonal antibodies trastuzumab and pertuzumab. Ertumaxomab caused an increase in Her2 phosphorylation at higher antibody concentrations, but changed neither the rate of Her2-homodimerization /-phosphorylation nor the activation state of key downstream signaling proteins analyzed.
Conclusions: The unique mode of action of ertumaxomab, which relies more on activation of immune-mediated mechanisms against tumor cells compared with currently available therapeutic antibodies for breast cancer treatment, suggests that modular or sequential treatment with the trifunctional bivalent antibody might complement the therapeutic activity of other anti-Her2/anti-ErbB receptor reagents.
anti-Her2 targeting; ertumaxomab; trifunctional antibody
During the past ten years, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have taken center stage in the field of targeted therapy and diagnosis. This increased interest in mAbs is due to their binding accuracy (affinity and specificity) together with the original molecular and structural rules that govern interactions with their cognate antigen. In addition, the effector properties of antibodies constitute a second major advantage associated with their clinical use. The development of molecular and structural engineering and more recently of in vitro evolution of antibodies has opened up new perspectives in the de novo design of antibodies more adapted to clinical and diagnostic use. Thus, efforts are regularly made by researchers to improve or modulate antibody recognition properties, to adapt their pharmacokinetics, engineer their stability, and control their immunogenicity. This review presents the latest molecular engineering results on mAbs with therapeutic and diagnostic applications.
in vitro evolution; Engineering; antibody fragments; display; mutagenesis; recombinant antibody; therapeutics
Brentuximab vedotin (SGN-35; Adcetris®) is an anti-CD30 antibody conjugated via a protease-cleavable linker to the potent anti-microtubule agent monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE). Following binding to CD30, brentuximab vedotin is rapidly internalized and transported to lysosomes where MMAE is released and binds to tubulin, leading to cell cycle arrest and apoptosis.
Several trials have shown durable antitumor activity with a manageable safety profile in patients with relapsed/refractory Hodgkin lymphoma, systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or primary cutaneous CD30-positive lymphoproliferative disorders. Peripheral sensory neuropathy is a significant adverse event associated with brentuximab vedotin administration. Neuropathy symptoms are cumulative and dose-related. Multiple ongoing trials are currently evaluating brentuximab vedotin alone or in combination with other agents in relapsed/refractory patients, as well as patients with newly diagnosed disease.
CD30; Hodgkin lymphoma; anaplastic large cell lymphoma; brentuximab vedotin; immunotherapy; monoclonal antibody
The effector functions of therapeutic antibodies are strongly affected by the specific glycans added to the Fc domain during post-translational processing. Antibodies bearing high levels of N-linked mannose-5 glycan (Man5) have been reported to exhibit enhanced antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) compared with antibodies with fucosylated complex or hybrid glycans. To better understand the relationship between antibodies with high levels of Man5 and their biological activity in vivo, we developed an approach to generate substantially homogeneous antibodies bearing the Man5 glycoform. A mannosidase inhibitor, kifunensine, was first incorporated in the cell culture process to generate antibodies with a distribution of high mannose glycoforms. Antibodies were then purified and treated with a mannosidase for trimming to Man5 in vitro. This 2-step approach can consistently generate antibodies with > 99% Man5 glycan. Antibodies bearing varying levels of Man5 were studied to compare ADCC and Fcγ receptor binding, and they showed enhanced ADCC activity and increased binding affinity to the FcγRIIIA. In addition, the clearance rate of antibodies bearing Man8/9 and Man5 glycans was determined in a pharmacokinetics study in mice. When compared with historical data, the antibodies bearing the high mannose glycoform exhibited faster clearance rate compared with antibodies bearing the fucosylated complex glycoform, while the pharmacokinetic properties of antibodies with Man8/9 and Man5 glycoforms appeared similar. In addition, we identified the presence of a mannosidase in mouse serum that converted most Man8/9 to Man6 after 24 h.
ADCC; Glycosylation; high mannose; pharmacokinetics; therapeutic antibody
The CD20 molecule is a non-glycosylated protein expressed mainly on the surface of B lymphocytes. In some pathogenic B cells, it shows an increased expression, thus becoming an attractive target for diagnosis and therapy. Rituximab is a chimeric antibody that specifically recognizes the human CD20 molecule. This antibody is indicated for the treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphomas and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. In this work, we describe the stable expression and biological evaluation of an anti-CD20 biosimilar antibody. While rituximab is produced in fed-batch culture of recombinant Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, our biosimilar antibody expression process consists of continuous culture of recombinant murine NS0 myeloma cells. The ability of the purified biosimilar antibody to recognize the CD20 molecule on human tumor cell lines, as well as on peripheral blood mononuclear cells from humans and primates, was demonstrated by flow cytometry. The biosimilar antibody induced complement-dependent cytotoxicity, antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity and apoptosis on human cell lines with high expression of CD20. In addition, this antibody depleted CD20-positive B lymphocytes from peripheral blood in monkeys. These results indicate that the biological properties of the biosimilar antibody compare favorably with those of the innovator product, and that it should be evaluated in future clinical trials.
antibody-dependent mediated-cell cytotoxicity; apoptosis; biosimilar antibody; cytotoxicity dependent complement; rituximab
Therapeutic proteins circulating in blood are in a highly crowded, redox environment at high temperatures of ~37°C. These molecules circulate in the presence of enzymes and other serum proteins making it difficult to predict from in vitro studies the stability, aggregation or pharmacokinetics of a therapeutic protein in vivo. Here, we describe use of a high throughput capillary electrophoresis based microfluidic device (LabChip GXII) to obtain pharmacokinetics (PK) of a fluorescently labeled human mAb directly from serum. The non-labeled and labeled mAbs were evaluated in single dose rat PK studies using a traditional ELISA method or LabChip GXII, respectively. The fluorescent dye did not significantly alter clearance of this particular mAb, and PK parameters were comparable for labeled and unlabeled molecules. Further, from the CE profile we concluded that the mAb was resistant to fragmentation or aggregation during circulation. In a follow-up experiment, dimers were generated from the mAb using photo-induced cross-linking of unmodified proteins (PICUP) and labeled with the same fluorophore. The extent of dimerization was incomplete and some monomer and higher molecular weight species were found in the preparation. In rat PK studies, the serum concentration-time profile of the three entities present in the dimer preparation could be followed simultaneously with the GXII technology. While further studies are warranted, we believe this method could be adapted to obtain PK of different forms of antibodies (oxidized, deamidated or various glycosylated species) and other proteins.
CE-SDS; LabChip GXII; aggregate; clearance; dimer; fluorophore; pharmacokinetics
A major limitation to the application of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) is their reduced in vivo efficacy compared with the high efficacy measured in vitro. Effector functions such as antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) are dramatically reduced in vivo by the presence of high amounts of endogenous IgG in the serum. Recent studies have shown that modification of the glycosylation moieties attached to the Fc part of the mAb can enhance binding affinity to FcγRIIIα receptors on natural killer cells and thus may counteract the reduced in vivo efficacy. In the present study, a humanized IgG1/κ monoclonal antibody recognizing the tumor-associated carbohydrate antigen Lewis Y was stably produced in a moss expression system that allows glyco-engineering. The glyco-modified mAb (designated MB314) showed a highly homogeneous N-glycosylation pattern lacking core-fucose. A side-by-side comparison to its parental counterpart produced in conventional mammalian cell-culture (MB311, formerly known as IGN311) by fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis confirmed that the target specificity of MB314 is similar to that of MB311. In contrast, ADCC effector function of MB314 was increased up to 40-fold whereas complement dependent cytotoxicity activity was decreased 5-fold. Notably, a release of immunostimulatory cytokines, including interferon γ, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) was particularly induced with the glyco-modified antibody. TNF release was associated with CD14+ cells, indicating activation of monocytes.
ADCC; CDC; antibodies; cytokines; effector functions; glyco-engineering
Phage display library technology is a common method to produce human antibodies. In this technique, the immunoglobulin variable regions are displayed in a bacteriophage in a way that each filamentous virus displays the product of a single antibody gene on its surface. From the collection of different phages, it is possible to isolate the virus that recognizes specific targets. The most common form in which to display antibody variable regions in the phage is the single chain variable fragment format (scFv), which requires assembly of the heavy and light immunoglobulin variable regions in a single gene.
In this work, we describe a simple and efficient method for the assembly of immunoglobulin heavy and light chain variable regions in a scFv format. This procedure involves a two-step reaction: (1) DNA amplification to produce the single strand form of the heavy or light chain gene required for the fusion; and (2) mixture of both single strand products followed by an assembly reaction to construct a complete scFv gene. Using this method, we produced 6-fold more scFv encoding DNA than the commonly used splicing by overlap extension PCR (SOE-PCR) approach. The scFv gene produced by this method also proved to be efficient in generating a diverse scFv phage display library. From this scFv library, we obtained phages that bound several non-related antigens, including recombinant proteins and rotavirus particles.
SOE-PCR; independent strand amplification; phage display library; scFv assembly
In therapeutic or diagnostic antibody discovery, affinity maturation is frequently required to optimize binding properties. In some cases, achieving very high affinity is challenging using the display-based optimization technologies. Here we present an approach that begins with the creation and clonal, quantitative analysis of soluble Fab libraries with complete diversification in adjacent residue pairs encompassing every complementarity-determining region position. This was followed by alternative recombination approaches and high throughput screening to co-optimize large sets of the found improving mutations. We applied this approach to the affinity maturation of the anti-tumor necrosis factor antibody adalimumab and achieved ~500-fold affinity improvement, resulting in femtomolar binding. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the in vitro engineering of a femtomolar affinity antibody against a protein target without display screening. We compare our findings to a previous report that employed extensive mutagenesis and recombination libraries with yeast display screening. The present approach is widely applicable to the most challenging of affinity maturation efforts.
adalimumab; Affinity Maturation; antibody; Compartmentalized Screening; directed evolution; Femtomolar; high throughput screening; HTS ELISA assays; HTS TR-FRET assays; Humira; In vitro recombination; Phage Display; protein-protein interactions; Saturation mutagenesis; Yeast Display
Antibodies are among the most powerful tools in biological and biomedical research and are presently the fastest growing category of new bio-pharmaceutics. The most common format of antibody applied for therapeutic, diagnostic and analytical purposes is the IgG format. For medical applications, recombinant IgGs are made in cultured mammalian cells in a process that is too expensive to be considered for producing antibodies for diagnostic and analytical purposes. Therefore, for such purposes, mouse monoclonal antibodies or polyclonal sera from immunized animals are used. While looking for an easier and more rapid way to prepare full-length IgGs for therapeutic purposes, we recently developed and reported an expression and purification protocol for full-length IgGs, and IgG-based fusion proteins in E. coli, called “Inclonals.” By applying the Inclonals technology, we could generate full-length IgGs that are genetically fused to toxins. The aim of the study described herein was to evaluate the possibility of applying the “Inclonals” technology for preparing IgG-fluorophore fusion proteins. We found that IgG fused to the green fluorescent proteins enhanced GFP (EGFP) while maintaining functionality in binding, lost most of its fluorescence during the refolding process. In contrast, we found that green fluorescent Superfolder GFP (SFGFP)-fused IgG and red fluorescent mCherry-fused IgG were functional in antigen binding and maintained fluorescence intensity. In addition, we found that we can link several SFGFPs in tandem to each IgG, with fluorescence intensity increasing accordingly. Fluorescent IgGs made in E. coli may become attractive alternatives to monoclonal or polyclonal fluorescent antibodies derived from animals.
IgG; IgG-fluorophore fusion protein; inclusion bodies; Refolding; Superfolder GFP
There are currently ~25 recombinant full-length IgGs (rIgGs) in the market that have been approved by regulatory agencies as biotherapeutics to treat various human diseases. Most of these are based on IgG1k framework and are either chimeric, humanized or human antibodies manufactured using either Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells or mouse myeloma cells as the expression system. Because CHO and mouse myeloma cells are mammalian cells, rIgGs produced in these cell lines are typically N-glycosylated at the conserved asparagine (Asn) residues in the CH2 domain of the Fc, which is also the case with serum IgGs. The Fc glycans present in these rIgGs are for the most part complex biantennary oligosaccharides with heterogeneity associated with the presence or the absence of several different terminal sugars. The major Fc glycans of rIgGs contain 0 or 1 or 2 (G0, G1 and G2, respectively) terminal galactose residues as non-reducing termini and their relative proportions may vary depending on the cell culture conditions in which they were expressed. Since glycosylation is strongly associated with antibody effector functions and terminal galactosylation may affect some of those functions, a panel of commercially available therapeutic rIgGs expressed in CHO cells and mouse myeloma cells were examined for their galactosylation patterns. The results suggest that the rIgGs expressed in CHO cells are generally less galactosylated compared to the rIgGs expressed in mouse myeloma cells. Accordingly, rIgGs produced in CHO cells tend to contain higher levels of G0 glycans compared with rIgGs produced in mouse myeloma cell lines. Despite the apparent wide variability in galactose content, adverse events or safety issues have not been associated with specific galactosylation patterns of therapeutic antibodies. Nevertheless, galactosylation may have an effect on the mechanisms of action of some therapeutic antibodies (e.g., effector pathways) and hence further studies to assess effects on product efficacy may be warranted for such antibodies. For antibodies that do not require effector functions for biological activity, however, setting a narrow specification range for galactose content may be unnecessary.
efficacy; fucose; galactose; galactosylation; glycans; Glycosylation; IgG; rIgG; safety
Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are known to cause hypersensitivity reactions (HSRs). The reactions pose a significant challenge to investigators, regulators, and health providers. Because HSRs cannot be predicted through the pharmacological basis of a therapy, clinical data are often relied upon to detect the reactions. Unfortunately, clinical studies are often unable to adequately characterize HSRs especially in therapies for orphan diseases. HSRs can go undetected until post-marketing safety surveillance when a large number of patients have been exposed to the therapy. The presented data demonstrates how hypersensitivity reaction warnings have changed over time in the prescribing information (PI), i.e., the drug package insert, through August 1, 2011 for 28 US-marketed mAbs. Tracking all PI revisions for each mAb over time revealed that hypersensitivity warning statements were expanded to include more severe manifestations. Over the course of a mAb therapy’s life cycle, the hypersensitivity warning is twice more likely to be upgraded than downgraded in priority. Approximately 85% of hypersensitivity-associated fatality warnings were added in PI revisions as a result of post-marketing experience. Over 60% (20/33) of revisions to hypersensitivity warnings occurred within 3–4 y of product approval. While HSRs are generally recognized and described in the initial PI of mAbs, fatal HSRs are most commonly observed in post-marketing surveillance. Results of this study suggest that initial product labeling information may not describe rare but clinically significant occurrences of severe or fatal HSRs, but subsequent label revisions include rare events observed during post-marketed product use.
allergic reactions; anaphylaxis; hypersensitivity; infusion reactions; monoclonal antibody
Humanized monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are the fastest growing class of biological therapeutics that are being developed for various medical indications, and more than 30 mAbs are already approved and in the market place. Antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) is an important biological function attributed to the mechanism of action of several therapeutic antibodies, particularly oncology targeting mAbs. The ADCC assay is a complicated and highly variable assay. Thus, the use of an ADCC assay as a lot release test or a stability test for clinical trial batches of mAbs has been a substantial challenge to install in quality control laboratories. We describe here the development and validation of an alternate approach, an ADCC-reporter gene assay that is based on the key attributes of the PBMC-based ADCC assay. We tested the biological relevance of this assay using an anti-CD20 based model and demonstrated that this ADCC-reporter assay correlated well with standard ADCC assays when induced with the drugable human isotypes [IgG1, IgG2, IgG4, IgG4S > P (S228P) and IgG4PAA (S228P, F234A, L235A)] and with IgG1 isotype variants with varying amounts of fucosylation. This data demonstrates that the ADCC-reporter gene assay has performance characteristics (accuracy, precision and robustness) to be used not only as a potency assay for lot release and stability testing for antibody therapeutics, but also as a key assay for the characterization and process development of therapeutic molecules.
ADCC; effector function; IgG1; monoclonal antibody; reporter gene assay; validation
This paper examines the development and termination of nebacumab (Centoxin®), a human IgM monoclonal antibody (mAb) drug frequently cited as one of the notable failures of the early biopharmaceutical industry. The non-approval of Centoxin in the United States in 1992 generated major concerns at the time about the future viability of any mAb therapeutics. For Centocor, the biotechnology company that developed Centoxin, the drug posed formidable challenges in terms of safety, clinical efficacy, patient selection, the overall economic costs of health care, as well as financial backing. Indeed, Centocor's development of the drug brought it to the brink of bankruptcy. This article shows how many of the experiences learned with Centoxin paved the way for the current successes in therapeutic mAb development.
Centocor; Centoxin; drug costs; Gram-negative sepsis; monoclonal; ReoPro; therapeutics; Xoma
Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) with biotin as a model cargo tethered to IgG1 mAbs via different linkers and conjugation methods were prepared and tested for thermostability and ability to bind target antigen and Fc receptor. Most conjugates demonstrated decreased thermostability relative to unconjugated antibody, based on DSC, with carbohydrate and amine coupled ADCs showing the least effect compared with thiol coupled conjugates. A strong correlation between biotin-load and loss of stability is observed with thiol conjugation to one IgG scaffold, but the stability of a second IgG scaffold is relatively insensitive to biotin load. The same correlation for amine coupling was less significant. Binding of antibody to antigen and Fc receptor was investigated using surface plasmon resonance. None of the conjugates exhibited altered antigen affinity. Fc receptor FcγIIb (CD32b) interactions were investigated using captured antibody conjugate. Protein G and Protein A, known inhibitors of Fc receptor (FcR) binding to IgG, were also used to extend the analysis of the impact of conjugation on Fc receptor binding. H10NPEG4 was the only conjugate to show significant negative impact to FcR binding, which is likely due to higher biotin-load compared with the other ADCs. The ADC aHISNLC and aHISTPEG8 demonstrated some loss in affinity for FcR, but to much lower extent. The general insensitivity of target binding and effector function of the IgG1 platform to conjugation highlight their utility. The observed changes in thermostability require consideration for the choice of conjugation chemistry, depending on the system being pursued and particular application of the conjugate.
amine; carbohydrate; CD32b; Conjugate; DSC; Fc; linker; SPR; thermostability; thiol
Multispecificity is not a well-understood property of some antibodies. Different functions have been attributed to multispecific natural antibodies, commonly associated with the neutralization and clearance of antigens. Much less is known about the role of antibodies like these, based on their idiotypic connectivity. B7Y33 is a chimeric IgG1 version of a polyreactive α anti-idiotype antibody that is able to interact with different immunoglobulin and non-immunoglobulin antigens. Here we report the capacity of this antibody to enhance the immunogenicity of several autologous IgMs in adjuvant-free conditions. Our results suggest that the formation of immune complexes seems to be necessary, but not sufficient, to this activity. The potential involvement of the interaction of B7Y33 with the FcγRIIb is discussed.
FcγRIIb; immune complexes; immunogenicity; multispecific antibody; multispecificity
The presence or absence of core fucose in the Fc region N-linked glycans of antibodies affects their binding affinity toward FcγRIIIa as well as their antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity. However, the quantitative nature of this structure-function relationship remains unclear. In this study, the in vitro biological activity of an afucosylated anti-CD20 antibody was fully characterized. Further, the effect of fucose reduction on Fc effector functions was quantitatively evaluated using the afucosylated antibody, its “regular” fucosylated counterpart and a series of mixtures containing varying proportions of “regular” and afucosylated materials. Compared with the “regular” fucosylated antibody, the afucosylated antibody demonstrated similar binding interactions with the target antigen (CD20), C1q and FcγRIa, moderate increases in binding to FcγRIIa and IIb, and substantially increased binding to FcγRIIIa. The afucosylated antibodies also showed comparable complement-dependent cytotoxicity activity but markedly increased ADCC activity. Based on EC50 values derived from dose-response curves, our results indicate that the amount of afucosylated glycan in antibody samples correlate with both FcγRIIIa binding activity and ADCC activity in a linear fashion. Furthermore, the extent of ADCC enhancement due to fucose depletion was not affected by the FcγRIIIa genotype of the effector cells.
afucosylated antibody; antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity; FcγRIIIA; fucosylation; glycoform variants; Glycosylation; monoclonal antibody
Monoclonal antibodies are used with great success in many different therapeutic domains. In order to satisfy the growing demand and to lower the production cost of these molecules, many alternative systems have been explored. Among them, the baculovirus/insect cells system is a good candidate. This system is very safe, given that the baculoviruses have a highly restricted host range and they are not pathogenic to vertebrates or plants. But the major asset is the speed with which it is possible to obtain very stable recombinant viruses capable of producing fully active proteins whose glycosylation pattern can be modulated to make it similar to the human one. These features could ultimately make the difference by enabling the production of antibodies with very low costs. However, efforts are still needed, in particular to increase production rates and thus make this system commercially viable for the production of these therapeutic agents.
antibody-derived molecules; baculovirus; Glycosylation; insect cells; recombinant antibody; therapeutic antibodies
The 7th European Antibody Congress (EAC), organized by Terrapin Ltd., was again held in Geneva, Switzerland, following on the tradition established with the 4th EAC. The 2011 version of the EAC was attended by nearly 250 delegates who learned of the latest advances and trends in the global development of antibody-based therapeutics. The first day focused on advances in understanding structure-function relationships, choosing the best format, glycoengineering biobetter antibodies, improving the efficacy and drugability of mAbs and epitope mapping. On the second day, the discovery of novel targets for mAb therapy, clinical pipeline updates, use of antibody combinations to address resistance, generation and identification of mAbs against new targets and biosimilar mAb development were discussed. Antibody-drug conjugates, domain antibodies and new scaffolds and bispecific antibodies were the topics of the third day. In total, nearly 50 speakers provided updates of programs related to antibody research and development on-going in the academic, government and commercial sectors.
therapeutic antibodies; antibody-drug conjugates; protein scaffolds; bispecific antibodies; biosimilar antibodies
The 22nd Annual Antibody Engineering and 9th Annual Antibody Therapeutics international conferences, and the 2011 Annual Meeting of The Antibody Society, organized by IBC Life Sciences with contributions from The Antibody Society and two Scientific Advisory Boards, were held December 5–8, 2011 in San Diego, CA. The meeting drew ∼800 participants who attended sessions on a wide variety of topics relevant to antibody research and development. As a preview to the main events, a pre-conference workshop held on December 4, 2011 focused on antibodies as probes of structure. The Antibody Engineering Conference comprised eight sessions: (1) structure and dynamics of antibodies and their membrane receptor targets; (2) model-guided generation of binding sites; (3) novel selection strategies; (4) antibodies in a complex environment: targeting intracellular and misfolded proteins; (5) rational vaccine design; (6) viral retargeting with engineered binding molecules; (7) the biology behind potential blockbuster antibodies and (8) antibodies as signaling modifiers: where did we go right, and can we learn from success? The Antibody Therapeutics Conference comprised five sessions: (1) Twenty-five years of therapeutic antibodies: lessons learned and future challenges; (2) preclinical and early stage development of antibody therapeutics; (3) next generation anti-angiogenics; (4) updates of clinical stage antibody therapeutics and (5) antibody drug conjugates and bispecific antibodies.
antibody engineering; antibody therapeutics; antibody-drug conjugates; bispecific antibodies; computational design; antibody-antigen structure; vaccine design