Efficient generation of stable bispecific IgG1 by controlled Fab-arm exchange.
ABSTRACT: The promise of bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) to yield more effective therapeutics is well recognized; however, the generation of bsAbs in a practical and cost-effective manner has been a formidable challenge. Here we present a technology for the efficient generation of bsAbs with normal IgG structures that is amenable to both antibody drug discovery and development. The process involves separate expression of two parental antibodies, each containing single matched point mutations in the CH3 domains. The parental antibodies are mixed and subjected to controlled reducing conditions in vitro that separate the antibodies into HL half-molecules and allow reassembly and reoxidation to form highly pure bsAbs. The technology is compatible with standard large-scale antibody manufacturing and ensures bsAbs with Fc-mediated effector functions and in vivo stability typical of IgG1 antibodies. Proof-of-concept studies with HER2×CD3 (T-cell recruitment) and HER2×HER2 (dual epitope targeting) bsAbs demonstrate superior in vivo activity compared with parental antibody pairs.
Project description:A myriad of innovative bispecific antibody (BsAb) platforms have been reported. Most require significant protein engineering to be viable from a development and manufacturing perspective. Single-chain variable fragments (scFvs) and diabodies that consist only of antibody variable domains have been used as building blocks for making BsAbs for decades. The drawback with Fv-only moieties is that they lack the native-like interactions with CH1/CL domains that make antibody Fab regions stable and soluble. Here, we utilize a redesigned Fab interface to explore 2 novel Fab-based BsAbs platforms. The redesigned Fab interface designs limit heavy and light chain mixing when 2 Fabs are co-expressed simultaneously, thus allowing the use of 2 different Fabs within a BsAb construct without the requirement of one or more scFvs. We describe the stability and activity of a HER2×HER2 IgG-Fab BsAb, and compare its biophysical and activity properties with those of an IgG-scFv that utilizes the variable domains of the same parental antibodies. We also generated an EGFR × CD3 tandem Fab protein with a similar format to a tandem scFv (otherwise known as a bispecific T cell engager or BiTE). We show that the Fab-based BsAbs have superior biophysical properties compared to the scFv-based BsAbs. Additionally, the Fab-based BsAbs do not simply recapitulate the activity of their scFv counterparts, but are shown to possess unique biological activity.
Project description:Many methods have been developed to produce bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) for industrial application. However, huge challenges still remain in synthesizing whole length BsAbs, including their assembly, stability, immunogenicity, and pharmacodynamics. Here we present for first time a generic technology platform of generating bispecific IgG antibodies, "Bispecific Antibody by Protein Trans-splicing (BAPTS)". Different from published methods, we assembled two parental antibody fragments in the hinge region by the protein trans-splicing reaction of a split intein to generate BsAbs without heavy/heavy and light/heavy chain mispairing. Utilizing this simple and efficient approach, there have been several BsAbs (CD3×HER2, CD3×EGFR, EGFR×HER2) synthesized to demonstrate its broad applicability. Correctly paired mAb arms were assembled to form BsAbs that were purified through protein A affinity chromatography to demonstrate industrial applicability at large scale. Further, the products were characterized through physical-biochemistry properties and biological activities to confirm expected quality of the products from "BAPTS". More importantly, correct pairing was confirmed by mass spectrum. Proof-of-concept studies with CD3×HER2 BsAb (T-cell recruitment) demonstrated superior bioactivity compared with trastuzumab. The results of undetectable mispairing and high biological activity have indicated that this method has the potential to be utilized to manufacture BsAbs with high efficiency at industrial scale.
Project description:The manufacturing of bispecific antibodies can be challenging for a variety of reasons. For example, protein expression problems, stability issues, or the use of non-standard approaches for manufacturing can result in poor yield or poor facility fit. In this paper, we demonstrate the use of standard antibody platforms for large-scale manufacturing of bispecific IgG1 by controlled Fab-arm exchange. Two parental antibodies that each contain a single matched point mutation in the CH3 region were separately expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells and manufactured at 1000 L scale using a platform fed-batch and purification process that was designed for standard antibody production. The bispecific antibody was generated by mixing the two parental molecules under controlled reducing conditions, resulting in efficient Fab-arm exchange of>95% at kg scale. The reductant was removed via diafiltration, resulting in spontaneous reoxidation of interchain disulfide bonds. Aside from the bispecific nature of the molecule, extensive characterization demonstrated that the IgG1 structural integrity was maintained, including function and stability. These results demonstrate the suitability of this bispecific IgG1 format for commercial-scale manufacturing using standard antibody manufacturing techniques.
Project description:Among different cancer immunotherapy approaches, bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) are of great interest due to their ability to recruit immune cells to kill tumor cells directly. Various BsAbs against Her2 tumor cells have been proposed with potent cytotoxic activities. However, most of these formats require extensive processing to obtain heterodimeric bispecific antibodies. In this study, we describe a bispecific antibody, BiHC (bispecific Her2-CD3 antibody), constructed with a single-domain anti-Her2 and a single-chain Fv (variable fragment) of anti-CD3 in an IgG-like format. In contrast to most IgG-like BsAbs, the two arms in BiHC have different molecular weights, making it easier to separate hetero- or homodimers. BiHC can be expressed in Escherichia coli and purified via Protein A affinity chromatography. The purified BiHC can recruit T cells and induce specific cytotoxicity of Her2-expressing tumor cells in vitro. The BiHC can also efficiently inhibit the tumor growth in vivo. Thus, BiHC is a promising candidate for the treatment of Her2-positive cancers.
Project description:The dock and lock (DNL) method is a new technology for generating multivalent antibodies. Here, we report in vitro and in vivo characterizations of 20-22 and 22-20, a pair of humanized hexavalent anti-CD20/22 bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) derived from veltuzumab (v-mab) and epratuzumab (e-mab). The 22-20 was made by site-specific conjugation of e-mab to 4 Fabs of v-mab; 20-22 is of the opposite configuration, composing v-mab and 4 Fabs of e-mab. Each bsAb translocates both CD22 and CD20 into lipid rafts, induces apoptosis and growth inhibition without second-antibody crosslinking, and is significantly more potent in killing lymphoma cells in vitro than their parental antibodies. Although both bsAbs triggered antibody-dependent cellular toxicity, neither displayed complement-dependent cytotoxicity. Intriguingly, 22-20 and 20-22 killed human lymphoma cells in preference to normal B cells ex vivo, whereas the parental v-mab depleted malignant and normal B cells equally. In vivo studies in Daudi tumors revealed 20-22, despite having a shorter serum half-life, had antitumor efficacy comparable with equimolar v-mab; 22-20 was less potent than 20-22 but more effective than e-mab and control bsAbs. These results indicate multiple advantages of hexavalent anti-CD20/22 bsAbs over the individual parental antibodies and suggest that these may represent a new class of cancer therapeutics.
Project description:Bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) combine the antigen specificities of two distinct Abs and demonstrate therapeutic promise based on novel mechanisms of action. Among the many platforms for creating bsAbs, controlled Fab-arm exchange (cFAE) has proven useful based on minimal changes to native Ab structure and the simplicity with which bsAbs can be formed from two parental Abs. Despite a published protocol for cFAE and its widespread use in the pharmaceutical industry, the reaction mechanism has not been determined. Knowledge of the mechanism could lead to improved yields of bsAb at faster rates as well as foster adoption of process control. In this work, a combination of Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), nonreducing SDS-PAGE, and strategic mutation of the Ab hinge region was employed to identify and characterize the individual steps of cFAE. Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) was used to determine the affinity of parental (homodimer) and bispecific (heterodimer) interactions within the CH3 domain, further clarifying the thermodynamic basis for bsAb formation. The result is a clear sequence of events with rate constants that vary with experimental conditions, where dissociation of the K409R parental Ab into half-Ab controls the rate of the reaction.
Project description:Monoclonal antibody-based targeted tumor therapy has greatly improved treatment options for patients. Antibodies against oncogenic receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), especially the ErbB receptor family, are prominent examples. However, long-term efficacy of such antibodies is limited by resistance mechanisms. Tumor evasion by a priori or acquired activation of other kinases is often causative for this phenomenon. These findings led to an increasing number of combination approaches either within a protein family, e.g. the ErbB family or by targeting RTKs of different phylogenetic origin like HER1 and cMet or HER1 and IGF1R. Progress in antibody engineering technology enabled generation of clinical grade bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) to design drugs inherently addressing such resistance mechanisms. Limited data are available on multi-specific antibodies targeting three or more RTKs. In the present study, we have evaluated the cloning, eukaryotic expression and purification of tetraspecific, tetravalent Fc-containing antibodies targeting HER3, cMet, HER1 and IGF1R. The antibodies are based on the combination of single-chain Fab and Fv fragments in an IgG1 antibody format enhanced by the knob-into-hole technology. They are non-agonistic and inhibit tumor cell growth comparable to the combination of four parental antibodies. Importantly, TetraMabs show improved apoptosis induction and tumor growth inhibition over individual monospecific or BsAbs in cellular assays. In addition, a mimicry assay to reflect heterogeneous expression of antigens in a tumor mass was established. With this novel in vitro assay, we can demonstrate the superiority of a tetraspecific antibody to bispecific tumor antigen-binding antibodies in early pre-clinical development.
Project description:Producing pure and well behaved bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) on a large scale for preclinical and clinical testing is a challenging task. Here, we describe a new strategy for making monovalent bispecific heterodimeric IgG antibodies in mammalian cells. We applied an electrostatic steering mechanism to engineer antibody light chain-heavy chain (LC-HC) interface residues in such a way that each LC strongly favors its cognate HC when two different HCs and two different LCs are co-expressed in the same cell to assemble a functional bispecific antibody. We produced heterodimeric IgGs from transiently and stably transfected mammalian cells. The engineered heterodimeric IgG molecules maintain the overall IgG structure with correct LC-HC pairings, bind to two different antigens with comparable affinity when compared with their parental antibodies, and retain the functionality of parental antibodies in biological assays. In addition, the bispecific heterodimeric IgG derived from anti-HER2 and anti-EGF receptor (EGFR) antibody was shown to induce a higher level of receptor internalization than the combination of two parental antibodies. Mouse xenograft BxPC-3, Panc-1, and Calu-3 human tumor models showed that the heterodimeric IgGs strongly inhibited tumor growth. The described approach can be used to generate tools from two pre-existent antibodies and explore the potential of bispecific antibodies. The asymmetrically engineered Fc variants for antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity enhancement could be embedded in monovalent bispecific heterodimeric IgG to make best-in-class therapeutic antibodies.
Project description:Combination immunotherapy with anti-CD20 and anti-CD22 mAbs shows promising activity in non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Therefore, bispecific mAbs (bsAbs) were recombinantly constructed from veltuzumab (humanized anti-CD20) and epratuzumab (humanized anti-CD22) and evaluated in vitro and in vivo. While none of the parental mAbs alone or mixed had notable antiproliferative activity against Burkitt lymphoma cells when not cross-linked, the bsAbs [eg, anti-CD20 IgG-anti-CD22 (scFv)(2)] were inhibitory without cross-linking and synergistic with B-cell antigen (BCR)-mediated inhibition. The bsAbs demonstrated higher antibody-dependent cellulary cytoxicity (ADCC) activity than the parental mAbs, but not complement-dependent cytoxicity (CDC) of the parental CD20 mAb. Cross-linking both CD20 and CD22 with the bsAbs resulted in the prominent redistribution of not only CD20 but also CD22 and BCR into lipid rafts. Surprisingly, appreciable translocation of CD22 into lipid rafts was also observed after treatment with epratuzumab. Finally, the bsAbs inhibited Daudi lymphoma transplant growth, but showed a significant advantage over the parental anti-CD20 mAb only at the highest dose tested. These results suggest that recombinantly fused, complementary, bispecific, anti-CD20/22 antibodies exhibit functional features distinct from their parental antibodies, perhaps representing new candidate therapeutic molecules.
Project description:Immunoglobulins and T cell receptors (TCRs) share common sequences and structures. With the goal of creating novel bispecific antibodies (BsAbs), we generated chimeric molecules, denoted IgG_TCRs, where the Fv regions of several antibodies were fused to the constant domains of the α/β TCR. Replacing CH1 with Cα and CL with Cβ, respectively, was essential for achieving at least partial heavy chain/light chain assembly. Further optimization of the linker regions between the variable and constant domains, as well as replacement of the large FG loop of Cβ with a canonical β-turn, was necessary to consistently obtain full heavy chain/light chain assembly. The optimized IgG_TCR molecules were evaluated biophysically and shown to maintain the binding properties of their parental antibodies. A few BsAbs were generated by co-expressing native Fabs and IgG_TCR Fabs within the same molecular construct. We demonstrate that the IgG_TCR designs steered each of the light chains within the constructs to specifically pair with their cognate heavy chain counterparts. We did find that even with complete constant domain specificity between the CH1/CL and Cα/Cβ domains of the Fabs, strong variable domain interactions can dominate the pairing specificity and induce some mispairing. Overall, the IgG_TCR designs described here are a first step toward the generation of novel BsAbs that may be directed toward the treatment of multi-faceted and complex diseases.