Fab-based bispecific antibody formats with robust biophysical properties and biological activity.
ABSTRACT: 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:Despite the success of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to treat some disorders, the monospecific molecular entity of mAbs as well as the presence of multiple factors and pathways involved in the pathogenesis of disorders, such as various malignancies, infectious diseases, and autoimmune disorders, and resistance to therapy have restricted the therapeutic efficacy of mAbs in clinical use. Bispecific antibodies (bsAbs), by concurrently recognizing two targets, can partly circumvent these problems. Serial killing of tumor cells by bsAb-redirected T cells, simultaneous blocking of two antigens involved in the HIV-1 infection, and concurrent targeting of the activating and inhibitory receptors on B cells to modulate autoimmunity are part of the capabilities of bsAbs. After designing and developing a large number of bsAbs for years, catumaxomab, a full-length bsAb targeting EpCAM and CD3, was approved in 2009 to treat EpCAM-positive carcinomas besides blinatumomab, a bispecific T cell engager antibody targeting CD19 and CD3, which was approved in 2014 to treat relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Furthermore, approximately 60 bsAbs are under investigation in clinical trials. The current review aims at portraying different formats of the single-chain variable fragment (scFv)-based bsAbs and shedding light on the scFv-based bsAbs in preclinical development, different phases of clinical trials, and the market.
Project description:There are many design formats for bispecific antibodies (BsAbs), and the best design choice is highly dependent on the final application. Our aim was to engineer BsAbs to target a novel nanocell (EnGeneIC Delivery Vehicle or EDV(TM)nanocell) to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). EDV(TM)nanocells are coated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and BsAb designs incorporated single chain Fv (scFv) fragments derived from an anti-LPS antibody (1H10) and an anti-EGFR antibody, ABX-EGF. We engineered various BsAb formats with monovalent or bivalent binding arms and linked scFv fragments via either glycine-serine (G4S) or Fc-linkers. Binding analyses utilizing ELISA, surface plasmon resonance, bio-layer interferometry, flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy showed that binding to LPS and to either soluble recombinant EGFR or MDA-MB-468 cells expressing EGFR, was conserved for all construct designs. However, the Fc-linked BsAbs led to nanocell clumping upon binding to EDV(TM)nanocells. Clumping was eliminated when additional disulfide bonds were incorporated into the scFv components of the BsAbs, but this resulted in lower BsAb expression. The G4S-linked tandem scFv BsAb format was the optimal design with respect to EDV binding and expression yield. Doxorubicin-loaded EDV(TM)nanocells actively targeted with tandem scFv BsAb in vivo to MDA-MB-468-derived tumors in mouse xenograft models enhanced tumor regression by 40% compared to passively targeted EDV(TM)nanocells. BsAbs therefore provide a functional means to deliver EDV(TM)nanocells to target cells.
Project description:Antibody-based immunotherapy has proven efficacy for patients with high-risk neuroblastoma. However, despite being the most efficient tumoricidal effectors, T cells are underutilized because they lack Fc receptors. Using a monovalent single-chain fragment (ScFv) platform, we engineered tandem scFv bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) that specifically target disialoganglioside (GD2) on tumor cells and CD3 on T cells. Structural variants of BsAbs were constructed and ranked based on binding to GD2, and on competency in inducing T-cell-mediated tumor cytotoxicity. In vitro thermal stability and binding measurements were used to characterize each of the constructs, and in silico molecular modeling was used to show how the orientation of the variable region heavy (VH) and light (VL) chains of the anti-GD2 ScFv could alter the conformations of key residues responsible for high affinity binding. We showed that the VH-VL orientation, the (GGGGS)3 linker, disulfide bond stabilization of scFv, when combined with an affinity matured mutation provided the most efficient BsAb to direct T cells to lyse GD2-positive tumor cells. In vivo, the optimized BsAb could efficiently inhibit melanoma and neuroblastoma xenograft growth. These findings provide preclinical validation of a structure-based method to assist in designing BsAb for T-cell-mediated therapy.
Project description:T cell redirection mediated by bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) is a promising cancer therapy. Dual antigen binding is necessary for potent T cell redirection and is influenced by the structural characteristics of a BsAb, which are dependent on its IgG subclass. In this study, model BsAbs targeting CD19xCD3 were generated in variants of IgG1, IgG2, and IgG4 carrying Fc mutations that reduce FcγR interaction, and two chimeric IgG subclasses termed IgG1:2 and IgG4:2, in which the IgG1- or IgG4-F(ab)2 are grafted on an IgG2 Fc. Molecules containing an IgG2 or IgG4-F(ab)2 domain were confirmed to be the most structurally compact molecules. All BsAbs were shown to bind both of their target proteins (and corresponding cells) equally well. However, CD19xCD3 IgG2 did not bind both antigens simultaneously as measured by the absence of cellular clustering of T cells with target cells. This translated to a reduced potency of IgG2 BsAbs in T-cell redirection assays. The activity of IgG2 BsAbs was fully restored in the chimeric subclasses IgG4:2 and IgG1:2. This confirmed the major contribution of the F(ab)2 region to the BsAb's functional activity and demonstrated that function of BsAbs can be modulated by engineering molecules combining different Fc and F(ab)2 domains. Abbreviations: ADCC: Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity; AlphaScreenTM: Amplified Luminescent Proximity Homogeneous Assay Screening; ANOVA: Analysis of variance; BiTE: bispecific T-cell engager; BSA: bovine serum albumin; BsAb: bispecific antibody; cFAE: controlled Fab-arm exchange; CDC: complement-dependent cellular cytotoxicity; CIEX: cation-exchange; CIR: chimeric immune receptor; DPBS: Dulbecco's phosphate-buffered saline; EC50 value: effective concentration to reach half-maximum effect; EGFR: epidermal growth factor receptor; EI: expansion index (RAt=x/RAt=0); FACS: fluorescence-activated cell sorting; FVD: fixable viability dye; HI-HPLC: hydrophobic interaction HPLC; HI-FBS: heat-inactivated fetal bovine serum; HPLC: high-pressure liquid chromatography; IC50 value: effective concentration to reach half-maximum inhibition; IQ: Inhibition Quotient; IS: immunological synapse; MES: 2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid; R-PE: recombinant phycoerythrin; RA: red area in μm2/well; RD: receptor density; RFP: red fluorescent protein; Rg: radius of gyration; RSV: respiratory syncytial virus; SAXS: small-angle x-ray scattering; scFv: single-chain variable fragment; SD: standard deviation; SPR: surface plasmon resonance; WT: wild-type.
Project description:Bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) have proven highly efficient T cell recruiters for cancer immunotherapy by virtue of one tumor antigen-reactive single chain variable fragment (scFv) and another that binds CD3. In order to enhance the antitumor potency of these tandem scFv BsAbs (tsc-BsAbs), we exploited the dimerization domain of the human transcription factor HNF1? to enhance the avidity of a tsc-BsAb to the tumor antigen disialoganglioside GD2 while maintaining functional monovalency to CD3 to limit potential toxicity. The dimeric tsc-BsAb showed increased avidity to GD2, enhanced T cell mediated killing of neuroblastoma and melanoma cell lines in vitro (32-37 fold), exhibited a near 4-fold improvement in serum half-life, and enhanced tumor ablation in mouse xenograft models. We propose that the use of this HNF1?-derived dimerization tag may be a novel and effective strategy to increase the potency of T-cell engaging antibodies for clinical cancer immunotherapy.
Project description:In recent years, the development of bispecific antibody (bsAb) has become a major trend in the biopharmaceutical industry. By simultaneously engaging 2 molcular targets, bsAbs show unique mechanisms of action that could lead to clinical benefits unattainable by conventional monoclonal antibodies. Various bsAb generation formats have been described, and several are being investigated in clinical development. However, some bsAb constructs have proven to be problematic due to their unfavorable physicochemical and pharmacokinetic properties, as well as poor manufacturing efficiencies. We describe here a new bispecific design, Fabs-in-tandem immunoglobulin (FIT-Ig), in which 2 antigen-binding fragments are fused directly in a crisscross orientation without any mutations or use of peptide linkers. This unique design provides a symmetric IgG-like bispecific molecule with correct association of 2 sets of VH/VL pairs. We show that FIT-Ig molecules exhibit favorable drug-like properties, in vitro and in vivo functions, as well as manufacturing efficiency for commercial development.
Project description:Bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) are of significant importance to the development of novel antibody-based therapies, and heavy chain (Hc) heterodimers represent a major class of bispecific drug candidates. Current technologies for the generation of Hc heterodimers are suboptimal and often suffer from contamination by homodimers posing purification challenges. Here, we introduce a new technology based on biomimicry wherein the protein-protein interfaces of two different immunoglobulin (Ig) constant domain pairs are exchanged in part or fully to design new heterodimeric domains. The method can be applied across Igs to design Fc heterodimers and bsAbs. We investigated interfaces from human IgA CH3, IgD CH3, IgG1 CH3, IgM CH4, T-cell receptor (TCR) ?/?, and TCR ?/? constant domain pairs, and we found that they successfully drive human IgG1 CH3 or IgM CH4 heterodimerization to levels similar to or above those of reference methods. A comprehensive interface exchange between the TCR ?/? constant domain pair and the IgG1 CH3 homodimer was evidenced by X-ray crystallography and used to engineer examples of bsAbs for cancer therapy. Parental antibody pairs were rapidly reformatted into scalable bsAbs that were free of homodimer traces by combining interface exchange, asymmetric Protein A binding, and the scFv × Fab format. In summary, we successfully built several new CH3- or CH4-based heterodimers that may prove useful for designing new bsAb-based therapeutics, and we anticipate that our approach could be broadly implemented across the Ig constant domain family. To our knowledge, CH4-based heterodimers have not been previously reported.
Project description:Here we present a bispecific antibody (bsAb) format in which a disulfide-stabilized scFv is fused to the C-terminus of the light chain of an IgG to create an IgG-scFv bifunctional antibody. When expressed in mammalian cells and purified by one-step protein A chromatography, the bsAb retains parental affinities of each binding domain, exhibits IgG-like stability and demonstrates in vivo IgG-like tumor targeting and blood clearance. The extension of the C-terminus of the light chain of an IgG with an scFv or even a smaller peptide does appear to disrupt disulfide bond formation between the light and heavy chains; however, this does not appear to affect binding, stability or in vivo properties of the IgG. Thus, we demonstrate here that the light chain of an IgG can be extended with an scFv without affecting IgG function and stability. This format serves as a standardized platform for the construction of functional bsAbs.
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:Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the most common acute leukemia in adults and the second most common cancer in children, is still a lethal disease in the majority of patients, but immunologic approaches have improved outcome. Bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) are novel immunotherapeutics that can redirect immune cells against AML. We now report a tetravalent (2+2) humanized BsAb in the immunoglobulin G light chain single chain fragment variable [IgG(L)-scFv] format to engage polyclonal T cells to kill CD33+ AML targets. In vitro, this BsAb demonstrated strong antigen-specific T-cell-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (TDCC) with an 50% effective concentration (EC50) in the femtomolar range that translated into treatment of established human AML IV xenografts in vivo. Importantly, it could redirect intraperitoneally injected T cells to ablate established and rapidly growing extramedullary subcutaneous AML xenografts in vivo. Furthermore, internalization of CD33 upon BsAb binding was identical to that of a bivalent (1+1) heterodimer, both being substantially less than anti-CD33 IgG. In contrast to the heterodimer, the tetravalent IgG-scFv BsAb was >10-fold more efficient in TDCC of AML cells in vitro and in vivo. This BsAb did not react with and did not kill CD38-CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells from cord blood. We conclude that the novel anti-CD33 IgG(L)-scFv BsAb construct reported here is a potential candidate for clinical development.