The Analysis of Key Factors Related to ADCs Structural Design.
ABSTRACT: Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) have developed rapidly in recent decades. However, it is complicated to map out a perfect ADC that requires optimization of multiple parameters including antigens, antibodies, linkers, payloads, and the payload-linker linkage. The therapeutic targets of the ADCs are expected to express only on the surface of the corresponding target tumor cells. On the contrary, many antigens usually express on normal tissues to some extent, which could disturb the specificity of ADCs and limit their clinical application, not to mention the antibody is also difficult to choose. It requires to not only target and have affinity with the corresponding antigen, but it also needs to have a linkage site with the linker to load the payloads. In addition, the linker and payload are indispensable in the efficacy of ADCs. The linker is required to stabilize the ADC in the circulatory system and is brittle to release free payload while the antibody combines with antigen. Also, it is a premise that the dose of ADCs will not kill normal tissues and the released payloads are able to fulfill the killing potency in tumor cells at the same time. In this review, we mainly focus on the latest development of key factors affecting ADCs progress, including the selection of antibodies and antigens, the optimization of payload, the modification of linker, payload-linker linkage, and some other relevant parameters of ADCs.
Project description:It is becoming increasingly clear that site-specific conjugation offers significant advantages over conventional conjugation chemistries used to make antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). Site-specific payload placement allows for control over both the drug-to-antibody ratio (DAR) and the conjugation site, both of which play an important role in governing the pharmacokinetics (PK), disposition, and efficacy of the ADC. In addition to the DAR and site of conjugation, linker composition also plays an important role in the properties of an ADC. We have previously reported a novel site-specific conjugation platform comprising linker payloads designed to selectively react with site-specifically engineered aldehyde tags on an antibody backbone. This chemistry results in a stable C-C bond between the antibody and the cytotoxin payload, providing a uniquely stable connection with respect to the other linker chemistries used to generate ADCs. The flexibility and versatility of the aldehyde tag conjugation platform has enabled us to undertake a systematic evaluation of the impact of conjugation site and linker composition on ADC properties. Here, we describe the production and characterization of a panel of ADCs bearing the aldehyde tag at different locations on an IgG1 backbone conjugated using Hydrazino-iso-Pictet-Spengler (HIPS) chemistry. We demonstrate that in a panel of ADCs with aldehyde tags at different locations, the site of conjugation has a dramatic impact on in vivo efficacy and pharmacokinetic behavior in rodents; this advantage translates to an improved safety profile in rats as compared to a conventional lysine conjugate.
Project description:Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) represent an important class of emerging cancer therapeutics. Recent ADC development efforts highlighted the use of pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD) dimer payload for the treatment of several cancers. We identified the isoquinolidinobenzodiazepine (IQB) payload (D211), a new class of PBD dimer family of DNA damaging payloads. We have successfully synthesized all three IQB stereoisomers, experimentally showed that the purified (S,S)-D211 isomer is functionally more active than (R,R)-D221 and (S,R)-D231 isomers by >50,000-fold and ?200-fold, respectively. We also synthesized a linker-payload (D212) that uses (S,S)-D211 payload with a cathepsin cleavable linker, a hydrophilic PEG8 spacer, and a thiol reactive maleimide. In addition, homogeneous ADCs generated using D212 linker-payload exhibited ideal physicochemical properties, and anti-CD33 ADC displayed a robust target-specific potency on AML cell lines. These results demonstrate that D212 linker-payload described here can be utilized for developing novel ADC therapeutics for targeted cancer therapy.
Project description:Attaching a cytotoxic "payload" to an antibody to form an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) provides a mechanism for selective delivery of the cytotoxic agent to cancer cells via the specific binding of the antibody to cancer-selective cell surface molecules. The first ADC to receive marketing authorization was gemtuzumab ozogamicin, which comprises an anti-CD33 antibody conjugated to a highly potent DNA-targeting antibiotic, calicheamicin, approved in 2000 for treating acute myeloid leukemia. It was withdrawn from the US market in 2010 following an unsuccessful confirmatory trial. The development of two classes of highly potent microtubule-disrupting agents, maytansinoids and auristatins, as payloads for ADCs resulted in approval of brentuximab vedotin in 2011 for treating Hodgkin lymphoma and anaplastic large cell lymphoma, and approval of ado-trastuzumab emtansine in 2013 for treating HER2-positive breast cancer. Their success stimulated much research into the ADC approach, with >60 ADCs currently in clinical evaluation, mostly targeting solid tumors. Five ADCs have advanced into pivotal clinical trials for treating various solid tumors-platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, triple-negative breast cancer, glioblastoma, and small cell lung cancer. The level of target expression is a key parameter in predicting the likelihood of patient benefit for all these ADCs, as well as for the approved compound, ado-trastuzumab emtansine. The development of a patient selection strategy linked to target expression on the tumor is thus critically important for identifying the population appropriate for receiving treatment.
Project description:Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) offer a combination of antibody therapy and specific delivery of potent small-molecule payloads to target cells. The properties of the ADC molecule are determined by the balance of its components. The efficacy of the payload component increases with higher drug-to-antibody ratio (DAR), while homogeneous DAR = 8 ADCs are easily prepared by conjugation to the four accessible antibody hinge cystines. However, use of hydrophobic payloads has permitted only DAR = 2-4, due to poor pharmacokinetics and aggregation problems. Here, we describe generation and characterization of homogeneous DAR = 8 ADCs carrying a novel auristatin β-D-glucuronide, MMAU. The glycoside payload contributed to overall hydrophilicity of the ADC reducing aggregation. Compared to standard DAR = 2-4 ADCs, cytotoxicity of the homogeneous DAR = 8 ADCs was improved to low-picomolar IC50 values against cancer cells in vitro. Bystander efficacy was restored after ADC internalization and subsequent cleavage of the glycoside, although unconjugated MMAU was relatively non-toxic to cells. DAR = 8 MMAU ADCs were effective against target antigen-expressing xenograft tumors. The ADCs were also studied in 3D in vitro patient-derived xenograft (PDX) assays where they outperformed clinically used ADC. In conclusion, increased hydrophilicity of the payload contributed to the ADC's hydrophilicity, stability and safety to non-target cells, while significantly improving cytotoxicity and enabling bystander efficacy.
Project description:Antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) are no longer an unknown entity in the field of cancer therapy with the success of marketed ADCs like ADCETRIS and KADCYLA and numerous others advancing through clinical trials. The pursuit of novel cytotoxic payloads beyond the mictotubule inhibitors and DNA damaging agents has led us to the recent discovery of an mRNA splicing inhibitor, thailanstatin, as a potent ADC payload. In our previous work, we observed that the potency of this payload was uniquely tied to the method of conjugation, with lysine conjugates showing much superior potency as compared to cysteine conjugates. However, the ADC field is rapidly shifting towards site-specific ADCs due to their advantages in manufacturability, characterization and safety. In this work we report the identification of a highly efficacious site-specific thailanstatin ADC. The site of conjugation played a critical role on both the in vitro and in vivo potency of these ADCs. During the course of this study, we developed a novel methodology of loading a single site with multiple payloads using an in situ generated multi-drug carrying peptidic linker that allowed us to rapidly screen for optimal conjugation sites. Using this methodology, we were able to identify a double-cysteine mutant ADC delivering four-loaded thailanstatin that was very efficacious in a gastric cancer xenograft model at 3mg/kg and was also shown to be efficacious against T-DM1 resistant and MDR1 overexpressing tumor cell lines.
Project description:Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) that incorporate the exatecan derivative DXd in their payload are showing promising clinical results in solid tumor indications. The payload has an F-ring that also contains a second chiral center, both of which complicate its synthesis and derivatization. Here we report on new camptothecin-ADCs that do not have an F-ring in their payloads yet behave similarly to DXd-bearing conjugates in vitro and in vivo. This simplification allows easier derivatization of camptothecin A and B rings for structure-activity relationship studies and payload optimization. ADCs having different degrees of bystander killing and the ability to release hydroxyl or thiol-bearing metabolites following peptide linker cleavage were investigated.
Project description:Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are promising therapies for haematological cancers. Historically, their therapeutic benefit is due to ADC targeting of lineage-restricted antigens. The C-X-C motif chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) is attractive for targeted therapy of haematological cancers, given its expression in multiple tumour types and role in cancer "homing" to bone marrow. However, CXCR4 is also expressed in haematopoietic cells and other normal tissues, raising safety challenges to the development of anti-CXCR4 ADCs for cancer treatment. Here, we designed the first anti-CXCR4 ADC with favourable therapeutic index, effective in xenografts of haematopoietic cancers resistant to standard of care and anti-CXCR4 antibodies. We screened multiple ADC configurations, by varying type of linker-payload, drug-to-antibody ratio (DAR), affinity and Fc format. The optimal ADC bears a non-cleavable linker, auristatin as payload at DAR = 4 and a low affinity antibody with effector-reduced Fc. Contrary to other drugs targeting CXCR4, anti-CXCR4 ADCs effectively eliminated cancer cells as monotherapy, while minimizing leucocytosis. The optimal ADC selectively eliminated CXCR4+ cancer cells in solid tumours, but showed limited toxicity to normal CXCR4+ tissues, sparing haematopoietic stem cells and progenitors. Our work provides proof-of-concept that through empirical ADC design, it is possible to target proteins with broad normal tissue expression.
Project description:Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) represent an emerging class of biopharmaceutical agents that deliver highly potent anticancer agents (payloads) selectively to tumors or components associated with the tumor microenvironment. The linker, responsible for the connection between the antibody and payload, is a crucial component of ADCs. In certain examples the linker is composed of a cleavable short peptide which imparts an additional aspect of selectivity. Especially prevalent is the cathepsin B cleavable Mc-Val-Cit-PABOH linker utilized in many pre-clinical ADC candidates, as well as the FDA approved ADC ADCETRIS® (brentuximab vedotin). An alternative route for the synthesis of the cathepsin B cleavable Mc-Val-Cit-PABOH linker is reported herein that involved six steps from l-Citrulline and proceeded with a 50% overall yield. In this modified route, the spacer (a para-aminobenzyl alcohol moiety) was incorporated via HATU coupling followed by dipeptide formation. Importantly, this route avoided undesirable epimerization and proceeded with improved overall yield. Utilizing this methodology, a drug-linker construct incorporating a potent small-molecule inhibitor of tubulin polymerization (referred to as KGP05), was synthesized as a representative example.
Project description:Despite tremendous efforts in the field of targeted cancer therapy with antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), attrition rates have been high. Historically, the priority in ADC development has been the selection of target, antibody, and toxin, with little focus on the nature of the linker. We show here that a short and polar sulfamide spacer (HydraSpace™, Oss, The Netherlands) positively impacts ADC properties in various ways: (a) efficiency of conjugation; (b) stability; and (c) therapeutic index. Different ADC formats are explored in terms of drug-to-antibody ratios (DAR2, DAR4) and we describe the generation of a DAR4 ADC by site-specific attachment of a bivalent linker-payload construct to a single conjugation site in the antibody. A head-to-head comparison of HydraSpace™-containing DAR4 ADCs to marketed drugs, derived from the same antibody and toxic payload components, indicated a significant improvement in both the efficacy and safety of several vivo models, corroborated by in-depth pharmacokinetic analysis. Taken together, HydraSpace™ technology based on a polar sulfamide spacer provides significant improvement in manufacturability, stability, and ADC design, and is a powerful platform to enable next-generation ADCs with enhanced therapeutic index.
Project description:With the recent approval of 3 new antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) for solid tumors, this class of drugs is gaining momentum for the targeted treatment of cancer. Despite significant investment, there are still fundamental issues that are incompletely understood. Three of the recently approved ADCs contain payloads exhibiting bystander effects, where the payload can diffuse out of a targeted cell into adjacent cells. These effects are often studied using a mosaic of antigen positive and negative cells. However, the distance these payloads can diffuse in tumor tissue while maintaining a lethal concentration is unclear. Computational studies suggest bystander effects partially compensate for ADC heterogeneity in tumors in addition to targeting antigen negative cells. However, this type of study is challenging to conduct experimentally due to the low concentrations of extremely potent payloads. In this work, we use a series of 3-dimensional cell culture and primary human tumor xenograft studies to directly track fluorescently labeled ADCs and indirectly follow the payload via an established pharmacodynamic marker (?H2A. X). Using TAK-164, an anti-GCC ADC undergoing clinical evaluation, we show that the lipophilic DNA-alkylating payload, DGN549, penetrates beyond the cell targeted layer in GCC-positive tumor spheroids and primary human tumor xenograft models. The penetration distance is similar to model predictions, where the lipophilicity results in moderate tissue penetration, thereby balancing improved tissue penetration with sufficient cellular uptake to avoid significant washout. These results aid in mechanistic understanding of the interplay between antigen heterogeneity, bystander effects, and heterogeneous delivery of ADCs in the tumor microenvironment to design clinically effective therapeutics.