A novel, native-format bispecific antibody triggering T-cell killing of B-cells is robustly active in mouse tumor models and cynomolgus monkeys.
ABSTRACT: Bispecific antibodies, while showing great therapeutic potential, pose formidable challenges with respect to their assembly, stability, immunogenicity, and pharmacodynamics. Here we describe a novel class of bispecific antibodies with native human immunoglobulin format. The design exploits differences in the affinities of the immunoglobulin isotypes for Protein A, allowing efficient large-scale purification. Using this format, we generated a bispecific antibody, REGN1979, targeting the B cell marker, CD20, and the CD3 component of the T cell receptor, which triggers redirected killing of B cells. In mice, this antibody prevented growth of B cell tumors and also caused regression of large established tumors. In cynomolgus monkeys, low doses of REGN1979 caused prolonged depletion of B cells in peripheral blood with a serum half-life of approximately 14 days. Further, the antibody induced a deeper depletion of B cells in lymphoid organs than rituximab. This format has broad applicability for development of clinical bispecific antibodies.
Project description:Bispecific antibodies combine two different antigen-binding sites in a single molecule, enabling more specific targeting, novel mechanisms of action, and higher clinical efficacies. Although they have the potential to outperform conventional monoclonal antibodies, many bispecific antibodies have issues regarding production, stability, and pharmacokinetic properties. Here, we describe a new approach for generating bispecific antibodies using a common light chain format and exploiting the stable architecture of human immunoglobulin G1 We used iterative experimental validation and computational modeling to identify multiple Fc variant pairs that drive efficient heterodimerization of the antibody heavy chains. Accelerated stability studies enabled selection of one Fc variant pair dubbed "DEKK" consisting of substitutions L351D and L368E in one heavy chain combined with L351K and T366K in the other. Solving the crystal structure of the DEKK Fc region at a resolution of 2.3 Å enabled detailed analysis of the interactions inducing CH3 interface heterodimerization. Local shifts in the IgG backbone accommodate the introduction of lysine side chains that form stabilizing salt-bridge interactions with substituted and native residues in the opposite chain. Overall, the CH3 domain adapted to these shifts at the interface, yielding a stable Fc conformation very similar to that in wild-type IgG. Using the DEKK format, we generated the bispecific antibody MCLA-128, targeting human EGF receptors 2 and 3. MCLA-128 could be readily produced and purified at industrial scale with a standard mammalian cell culture platform and a routine purification protocol. Long-term accelerated stability assays confirmed that MCLA-128 is highly stable and has excellent biophysical characteristics.
Project description:FLT3 is a receptor-tyrosine-kinase that is expressed on leukemic cells of the myeloid and lymphoid lineage rather specifically. We here report on the construction and selection of bispecific FLT3 X CD3 antibodies in a new recombinant format, termed Fabsc, that resembles the normal antibody structure more closely than the well-established bispecific single chain (bssc)-format. Our preferred antibody, which emerged from an initial selection procedure utilizing different FLT3- and CD3-antibodies, contains the FLT3-antibody 4G8 and the CD3-antibody UCHT1. The 4G8 X UCHT1 Fabsc-antibody was found to be superior to a bssc-antibody with identical specificities with respect to (i) affinity to the target antigen FLT3, (ii) production yield by transfected cells, and (iii) the diminished formation of aggregates. T-cell activation in the presence and absence of cultured leukemic cells and killing of these cells was comparable for both molecules. In addition, the 4G8 X UCHT1 Fabsc-antibody was found to induce T-cell activation and efficient killing of leukemic blasts in primary peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) cultures of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. In these experiments, the bispecific molecule was clearly superior to an Fc-optimized monospecific FLT3-antibody described previously, indicating that within PBMC of AML patients the recruitment of T cells is more effective than that of natural killer cells.
Project description:Bispecific antibodies based on full-length antibody structures are more optimal than fragment-based formats because they benefit from the favorable properties of the Fc region. However, the homodimeric nature of Fc effectively imposes bivalent binding on all current full-length bispecific antibodies, an attribute that can result in nonspecific activation of cross-linked receptors. We engineered a novel bispecific format, referred to as mAb-Fv, that utilizes a heterodimeric Fc region to enable monovalent co-engagement of a second target antigen in a full-length context. mAb-Fv constructs co-targeting CD16 and CD3 were expressed and purified as heterodimeric species, bound selectively to their co-target antigens, and mediated potent cytotoxic activity by NK cells and T cells, respectively. The capacity to co-engage distinct target antigens simultaneously with different valencies is an improved feature for bispecific antibodies with promising therapeutic implications.
Project description:Chemically programmed bispecific antibodies (biAbs) endow target cell-binding small molecules with the ability to recruit and activate effector cells of the immune system. Here we report a platform of chemically programmed biAbs aimed at redirecting cytotoxic T cells to eliminate cancer cells. Two different antibody technologies were merged together to make a novel chemically programmed biAb. This was achieved by combining the humanized anti-hapten monoclonal antibody (mAb) h38C2 with the humanized anti-human CD3 mAb v9 in a clinically investigated diabody format known as Dual-Affinity Re-Targeting (DART). We show that h38C2 × v9 DARTs can readily be equipped with tumor-targeting hapten-derivatized small molecules without causing a systemic response harming healthy tissues. As a proof of concept, we chemically programmed h38C2 × v9 with hapten-folate and demonstrated its selectivity and potency against folate receptor 1 (FOLR1)-expressing ovarian cancer cells in vitro and in vivo Unlike conventional biAbs, chemically programmed biAbs in DART format are highly modular with broad utility in terms of both target and effector cell engagement. Most importantly, they provide tumor-targeting compounds access to the power of cancer immunotherapy.
Project description:Bispecific antibodies come in many different formats, including the particularly interesting two-in-one antibodies, where one conventional IgG binds two different antigens. The IgG format allows these antibodies to mediate Fc-related functionality, and their wild-type structure ensures low immunogenicity and enables standard methods to be used for development. It is however difficult, time-consuming and costly to generate two-in-one antibodies. Herein we demonstrate a new approach to create a similar type of antibody by combining two different variable heavy (VH) domains in each Fab arm of an IgG, a tetra-VH IgG format. The VHs are used as building blocks, where one VH is placed at its usual position, and the second VH replaces the variable light (VL) domain in a conventional IgG. VH domains, binding several different types of antigens, were discovered and could be rearranged in any combination, offering a convenient "plug and play" format. The tetra-VH IgGs were found to be functionally tetravalent, binding two antigens on each arm of the IgG molecule simultaneously. This offers a new strategy to also create monospecific, tetravalent IgGs that, depending on antigen architecture and mode-of-action, may have enhanced efficacy compared to traditional bivalent antibodies.
Project description:Bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) are emerging as an important class of biopharmaceutical. The majority of BsAbs are created from conventional antibodies or fragments engineered into more complex configurations. A recurring challenge in their development, however, is the identification of components that are optimised for inclusion in the final format in order to deliver both efficacy and robust biophysical properties. Using a modular BsAb format, the mAb-dAb, we assessed whether an 'in-format' screening approach, designed to select format-compatible domain antibodies, could expedite lead discovery. Human nerve growth factor (NGF) was selected as an antigen to validate the approach; domain antibody (dAb) libraries were screened, panels of binders identified, and binding affinities and potencies compared for selected dAbs and corresponding mAb-dAbs. A number of dAbs that exhibited high potency (IC50) when assessed in-format were identified. In contrast, the corresponding dAb monomers had ?1000-fold lower potency than the formatted dAbs; such dAb monomers would therefore have been omitted from further characterization. Subsequent stoichiometric analyses of mAb-dAbs bound to NGF, or an additional target antigen (vascular endothelial growth factor), suggested different target binding modes; this indicates that the observed potency improvements cannot be attributed simply to an avidity effect offered by the mAb-dAb format. We conclude that, for certain antigens, screening naïve selection outputs directly in-format enables the identification of a subset of format-compatible dAbs, and that this offers substantial benefits in terms of molecular properties and development time.
Project description:During the past two decades we have seen a phenomenal evolution of bispecific antibodies for therapeutic applications. The 'zoo' of bispecific antibodies is populated by many different species, comprising around 100 different formats, including small molecules composed solely of the antigen-binding sites of two antibodies, molecules with an IgG structure, and large complex molecules composed of different antigen-binding moieties often combined with dimerization modules. The application of sophisticated molecular design and genetic engineering has solved many of the technical problems associated with the formation of bispecific antibodies such as stability, solubility and other parameters that confer drug properties. These parameters may be summarized under the term 'developability'. In addition, different 'target product profiles', i.e., desired features of the bispecific antibody to be generated, mandates the need for access to a diverse panel of formats. These may vary in size, arrangement, valencies, flexibility and geometry of their binding modules, as well as in their distribution and pharmacokinetic properties. There is not 'one best format' for generating bispecific antibodies, and no single format is suitable for all, or even most of, the desired applications. Instead, the bispecific formats collectively serve as a valuable source of diversity that can be applied to the development of therapeutics for various indications. Here, a comprehensive overview of the different bispecific antibody formats is provided.
Project description:Bispecific antibodies are of great interest due to their ability to simultaneously bind and engage different antigens or epitopes. Nevertheless, it remains a challenge to assemble, produce and/or purify them. Here we present an innovative dual anti-idiotypic purification process, which provides pure bispecific antibodies with native immunoglobulin format. Using this approach, a biparatopic IgG1 antibody targeting two distinct, HGF-competing, non-overlapping epitopes on the extracellular region of the MET receptor, was purified with camelid single-domain antibody fragments that bind specifically to the correct heavy chain/light chain pairings of each arm. The purity and functionality of the anti-MET biparatopic antibody was then confirmed by mass spectrometry and binding experiments, demonstrating its ability to simultaneously target the two epitopes recognized by the parental monoclonal antibodies. The improved MET-inhibitory activity of the biparatopic antibody compared to the parental monoclonal antibodies, was finally corroborated in cell-based assays and more importantly in a tumor xenograft mouse model. In conclusion, this approach is fast and specific, broadly applicable and results in the isolation of a pure, novel and native-format anti-MET biparatopic antibody that shows superior biological activity over the parental monospecific antibodies both in vitro and in vivo.
Project description:Generation of bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) requires a combination of compatible binders in formats that support desired functionalities. Here, we report that bsAb-matrices can be generated by Format Chain Exchange (FORCE), enabling screening of combinatorial binder/format spaces. Input molecules for generation of bi/multi-valent bsAbs are monospecific entities similar to knob-into-hole half-antibodies, yet with complementary CH3-interface-modulated and affinity-tagged dummy-chains. These contain mutations that lead to limited interface repulsions without compromising expression or biophysical properties of educts. Mild reduction of combinations of educts triggers spontaneous chain-exchange reactions driven by partially flawed CH3-educt interfaces resolving to perfect complementarity. This generates large bsAb matrices harboring different binders in multiple formats. Benign biophysical properties and good expression yields of educts, combined with simplicity of purification enables process automation. Examples that demonstrate the relevance of screening binder/format combinations are provided as a matrix of bsAbs that simultaneously bind Her1/Her2 and DR5 without encountering binder or format-inflicted interferences.
Project description:Bispecific antibodies have therapeutic potential by expanding the functions of conventional antibodies. Many different formats of bispecific antibodies have meanwhile been developed. Most are genetic modifications of the antibody backbone to facilitate incorporation of two different variable domains into a single molecule. Here, we present a bispecific format where we have fused two full-sized IgG antibodies via their C termini using sortase transpeptidation and click chemistry to create a covalently linked IgG antibody heterodimer. By linking two potent anti-influenza A antibodies together, we have generated a full antibody dimer with bispecific activity that retains the activity and stability of the two fusion partners.