A "Dual" Cell-Level Systems PK-PD Model to Characterize the Bystander Effect of ADC.
ABSTRACT: Here, we have developed a cell-level systems PK-PD model to characterize the bystander effect of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). Cytotoxicity data generated following incubation of Trastuzumab-vc-MMAE in cocultures of high HER2-expressing N87 and low HER2-expressing GFP-MCF7 cells were used to build the model. Single-cell PK model for ADC was used to characterize the PK of trastuzumab-vc-MMAE and released MMAE in N87 and GFP-MCF7 cells. The 2 cell-level PK models were mechanistically integrated to mimic the coculture condition. MMAE-induced intracellular occupancy of tubulin was used to drive the efficacy of ADC, and improvement in the tubulin occupancy of GFP-MCF7 cells in the presence of N87 cells was used to drive the bystander effect of trastuzumab-vc-MMAE. The "dual" cell-level PK-PD model was able to capture the observed data reasonably well. It was found that similar and high occupancy of tubulin by MMAE was required to achieve the cytotoxic effect in each cell line. In addition, estimated model parameters suggested that ?60% improvement in the tubulin occupancy was required to attain half of the maximum bystander killing effect by the ADC. The presented model provides foundation for in vivo systems PK-PD model to characterize and predict the bystander effect of ADCs.
Project description:Here, we have presented the development of a systems pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamics (PK-PD) model for antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), which uses intracellular target occupancy to drive in-vivo efficacy. The model is built based on PK and efficacy data generated using Trastuzumab-Valine-Citrulline-Monomethyl Auristatin E (T-vc-MMAE) ADC in N87 (high-HER2) and GFP-MCF7 (low-HER2) tumor bearing mice. It was observed that plasma PK of all ADC analytes was similar between the two tumor models; however, total trastuzumab, unconjugated MMAE, and total MMAE exposures were >10-fold, ~1.6-fold, and ~1.8-fold higher in N87 tumors. In addition, a prolonged retention of MMAE was observed within the tumors of both the mouse models, suggesting intracellular binding of MMAE to tubulin. A systems PK model, developed by integrating single-cell PK model with tumor distribution model, was able to capture all in vivo PK data reasonably well. Intracellular occupancy of tubulin predicted by the PK model was used to drive the efficacy of ADC using a novel PK-PD model. It was found that the same set of PD parameters was able to capture MMAE induced killing of GFP-MCF7 and N87 cells in vivo. These observations highlight the benefit of adopting a systems approach for ADC and provide a robust and predictive framework for successful clinical translation of ADCs.
Project description:Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are designed to target antigen expressing (Ag+) cells in a tumor. Once processed by the Ag+ cells, ADCs can release cytotoxic drug molecules that can diffuse out of Ag+ cells into the neighboring antigen-negative (Ag-) cells to induce their cytotoxicity. This additional efficacy of ADCs on Ag- cells in the presence of Ag+ cells is known as the 'bystander effect'. Although the importance of this phenomena is widely acknowledged for effective killing of a heterogeneous tumor, the rate and extent of the bystander killing in a heterogeneous system is not quantitatively understood yet. Thus, the objectives of this manuscript were to: (1) synthesize and characterize a tool ADC Trastuzumab-vc-MMAE that is capable of exhibiting bystander effect, (2) quantify the time course of the bystander effect for the tool ADC using in vitro co-culture systems created using mixture of various HER2-expressing cell lines, and (3) develop a pharmacodynamic (PD) model that is capable of characterizing the bystander effect of ADCs. Co-culture studies conducted using GFP labelled MCF7 cells as Ag- cells and N87, BT474, and SKBR3 as Ag+ cells revealed that the bystander effect of ADC increases with increasing fraction of Ag+ cells in a co-culture system, and with increased expression level of target on Ag+ cells. A notable lag time after ADC incubation was also observed prior to significant bystander killing of Ag- cells. Based on our results we hypothesize that there may be other determinants apart from the antigen expression level that can also influence the ability of Ag+ cells to demonstrate the bystander effect in a co-culture system. The co-culture analysis also suggested that the bystander effect of the ADC can dissipate over the period of time as the population of Ag+ cells declines. A novel PD model was developed to mathematically characterize the bystander effect of ADCs by combining two different cell distribution models to represent the population of Ag+ and Ag- cells in a co-culture system. This PD model can be integrated with the systems PK model for ADCs in the future to generate a quantitative framework that is capable of supporting the discovery and development of novel ADCs with optimal bystander killing capabilities.
Project description:Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a rational target for cancer therapy, because its overexpression plays an important oncogenic role in a variety of solid tumors; however, EGFR-targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapy for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is exceedingly rare. LR004 is a novel anti-EGFR antibody with the advantages of improved safety and fewer hypersensitivity reactions. It may be of great value as a carrier in ADCs with high binding affinity and internalization ability. Here, we prepared an EGFR-targeting ADC, LR004-VC-MMAE, and evaluated its antitumor activities against ESCC and EGFR-positive cells. LR004 was covalently conjugated with monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE) via a VC linker by antibody interchain disulfide bond reduction. VC-MMAE was conjugated with LR004 with approximately 4.0 MMAE molecules per ADC. LR004-VC-MMAE showed a potent antitumor effect against ESCC and other EGFR-positive cells with IC50 values of nM concentrations in vitro. The in vivo antitumor effects of LR004-VC-MMAE were investigated in ESCC KYSE520 and A431 xenograft nude mice models. Significant activity was seen at 5 mg·kg-1 , and complete tumor regression was observed at 15 mg·kg-1 in the KYSE520 xenograft nude mice after four injections, while the naked antibody LR004 had little effect on inhibiting tumor growth. Similar promising results were obtained in the A431 models. In addition, the tumors also remained responsive to LR004-VC-MMAE for large tumor experiments (tumor volume 400-500 mm3 ). The study results demonstrated that LR004-VC-MMAE could be a potential therapeutic agent for ESCC and other EGFR-expressing malignancies. We also evaluated PK profile of LR004-VC-MMAE ADC in the mice model, which would provide qualitative guiding significance for the further research.
Project description:BACKGROUND Human lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer-related mortality around the world, although a variety of new therapies have been used in the treatment of this disease. Antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) has revolutionized the field of cancer therapy in recent decades. Unlike traditional chemotherapy that damages the healthy cells, ADC first utilizes monoclonal antibodies to bind tumor-specific antigen targets and then deliver a highly potent cytotoxic agent to kill tumor cells. Thus, ADC can benefit cancer patients because this drug has less severe adverse effects. MATERIAL AND METHODS One type of ADC for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was designed in this study: Erbitux-vc-PAB-MMAE. It is a mouse/human chimeric monoclonal antibody, Erbitux, conjugating to the tubulin inhibitor auristatin. The efficacy of ADC was investigated through in vitro and in vivo studies. RESULTS Our in vitro study demonstrated that Erbitux-vc-PAB-MMAE could effectively inhibit proliferation of human lung cancer A549 cells, and arrested cell cycle at G2/M phase. In a mouse xenograft model, the results indicated that Erbitux-vc-PAB-MMAE could be exactly delivered to tumor tissues, and effectively inhibited tumor growth via promoting apoptosis of cancer cells. CONCLUSIONS The antibody portion of an ADC drug (Erbitux) was used as a vector to bring the effector molecule (tubulin inhibitor MMAE) to the targeted tumor tissue. This antibody-drug conjugate can exert a strong anti-tumor effect.
Project description:Monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE) is the most popular and widely used cytotoxin in the development of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). However, current MMAE-based ADCs are all constructed using cleavable linkers, and this design concept still has insurmountable drawbacks. Their potential instabilities and lipophilic MMAE-induced "bystander effect" inevitably increase the toxicity to normal tissues. Herein, we overturn previous negative views of MMAE-based ADCs with non-cleavable linkers and propose using ionized L-Cysteine (Cys)-linker-MMAE as a novel payload, which can ingeniously enrich and enter tumor cells through receptor-mediated endocytosis of antibodies while its lower permeability helps to avoid further off-target toxicity. We demonstrate that Cys-linker-MMAE maintains high potency similar to free MMAE at the tubulin molecular level and can also be efficiently released in target cells. As a result, the preferred ADC (mil40-15) not only exhibits ideal plasma stability and maintains potent cytotoxicity as MMAE (IC50: 10-11 M), but also shows improved safety with lower bystander toxicity (IC50: 10-9 M), its maximum tolerated dose approaching the level of the naked antibody (160 mg/kg). This study indicated that Cys-linker-MMAE has the potential as a potent payload for ADCs, which is expected to provide novel strategies for the development of MMAE-based ADCs.
Project description:Here we present the synthesis and evaluation of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), for which antibody and drug are non-covalently connected using complementary DNA linkers. These ADCs are composed of trastuzumab, an antibody targeting HER2 receptors overexpressed on breast cancer cells, and monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE) as a drug payload. In this new ADC format, trastuzumab conjugated to a 37-mer oligonucleotide (ON) was prepared and hybridized with its complementary ON modified at 5-end with MMAE (cON-MMAE) in order to obtain trastuzumab-DNA-MMAE. As an advantage, the cON-MMAE was completely soluble in water, which decreases overall hydrophobicity of toxic payload, an important characteristic of ADCs. The stability in the human plasma of these non-engineered ON-based linkers was investigated and showed a satisfactory half-life of 5.8 days for the trastuzumab-DNA format. Finally, we investigated the in vitro cytotoxicity profile of both the DNA-linked ADC and the ON-drug conjugates and compared them with classical covalently linked ADC. Interestingly, we found increased cytotoxicity for MMAE compared to cON-MMAE and an EC50 in the nanomolar range for trastuzumab-DNA-MMAE on HER2-positive cells. Although this proved to be less potent than classically linked ADC with picomolar range EC50, the difference in cytotoxicity between naked payload and conjugated payload was significant when an ON linker was used. We also observed an interesting increase in cytotoxicity of trastuzumab-DNA-MMAE on HER2-negative cells. This was attributed to enhanced non-specific interaction triggered by the DNA strand as it could be confirmed using ligand tracer assay.
Project description:vc-MMAE antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) consist of a monoclonal antibody (mAb) covalently bound with a potent anti-mitotic toxin (MMAE) through a protease-labile valine-citrulline (vc) linker. The objective of this study was to characterize the pharmacokinetics (PK) and explore exposure-response relationships of eight vc-MMAE ADCs, against different targets and for diverse tumor indications, using data from eight first-in-human Phase 1 studies. PK parameters of the three analytes, namely antibody-conjugated MMAE (acMMAE), total antibody, and unconjugated MMAE, were estimated using non-compartmental approaches and compared across the eight vc-MMAE ADCs. Relationships between analytes were assessed by linear regression. Exposure-response relationships were explored with key efficacy (objective response rate) and safety (Grade 2+ peripheral neuropathy) endpoints. PK profiles of acMMAE, total antibody and unconjugated MMAE following the first dose of 2.4 mg/kg were comparable across the eight ADCs; the exposure differences between molecules were small relative to the inter-subject variability. acMMAE exposure was strongly correlated with total antibody exposure for all the eight ADCs, but such correlation was less evident between acMMAE and unconjugated MMAE exposure. For multiple ADCs evaluated, efficacy and safety endpoints appeared to correlate well with acMMAE exposure, but not with unconjugated MMAE over the doses tested. PK of vc-MMAE ADCs was well characterized and demonstrated remarkable similarity at 2.4 mg/kg across the eight ADCs. Results from analyte correlation and exposure-response relationship analyses suggest that measurement of acMMAE analyte alone might be adequate for vc-MMAE ADCs to support the clinical pharmacology strategy used during late-stage clinical development.
Project description:Brentuximab vedotin, a CD30-directed antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), is approved for treating certain patients with CD30-expressing hematologic malignancies. Its primary mechanism of action is the targeted delivery of a microtubule-disrupting agent, monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE), to CD30-expressing cells. A population pharmacokinetic (PopPK) analysis was conducted to characterize the PK of ADC and unconjugated MMAE in patients with CD30-expressing hematologic malignancies by compartmental analysis and to evaluate the effects of covariates on PK of the ADC. A nonlinear mixed-effects modeling approach was used to evaluate data from 314 patients in 5 clinical studies. ADC PK was described by a linear, 3-compartment model with first-order elimination. MMAE PK was described by a semimechanistic, linear, 2-compartment model with first-order elimination. The estimated typical values for a 75-kg male patient were 1.56 L/d and 4.29 L for ADC systemic clearance (CL) and volume of central compartment (V1), respectively, with weight effect exponents of 0.698 and 0.503, respectively. Typical V1 in 75-kg females was 87% of that in males, with no impact on systemic ADC exposure. Typical values of MMAE clearance (CLM ) and volume of central compartment (V4) were 55.7 L/d and 79.8 L, respectively, with weight effect exponents fixed to 0.75 and 1.0, respectively. This is the first PopPK model of brentuximab vedotin to semimechanistically link the PK of ADC and that of the unconjugated small molecule MMAE. Both ADC and MMAE PK data were adequately described by the final integrated model, which supports weight-based dosing of brentuximab vedotin in adult patients with CD30-expressing hematologic malignancies.
Project description:Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), designed to selectively deliver cytotoxic agents to antigen-bearing cells, are poised to become an important class of cancer therapeutics. Human epithelial growth factor receptor (HER2) is considered an effective target for cancer treatment, and a HER2-targeting ADC has shown promising results. Most ADCs undergoing clinical evaluation contain linkers that have a lysosomal protease-cleavable dipeptide, of which the most common is valine-citrulline (VC). However, valine-alanine (VA), another dipeptide comprising two human essential amino acids, has been used in next generation ADCs loading new toxins, but the druggable properties of ADCs loaded the most popular monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE) remain to be further explored. In this study, we generated VA-based ADCs that connected MMAE to an anti-HER2 antibody. We studied the differences in the preparation process, in vitro stability, cathepsin B activity and in vitro cytotoxicity of VA-based ADC compared to the ADC of VC. VA had comparable performance to VC, which preliminarily displays its practicability. Additional efficacy and safety studies in a xenograft model indicate this novel ADC exerted potent anti-tumor activity and negligible toxicity. The results of this study show the application potential of VA-based ADC with MMAE as the payload.
Project description:A semi-mechanistic multiple-analyte population pharmacokinetics (PK) model was developed to describe the complex relationship between the different analytes of monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE) containing antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and to provide insight regarding the major pathways of conjugate elimination and unconjugated MMAE release in vivo.For an anti-CD79b-MMAE ADC the PK of total antibody (Tab), conjugate (evaluated as antibody conjugated MMAE or acMMAE), and unconjugated MMAE were quantified in cynomolgus monkeys for single (0.3, 1, or 3 mg/kg), and multiple doses (3 or 5 mg/kg, every-three-weeks for 4 doses). The PK data of MMAE in cynomolgus monkeys, after intravenous administration of MMAE at single doses (0.03 or 0.063 mg/kg), was included in the analysis. A semi-mechanistic model was developed and parameter estimates were obtained by simultaneously fitting the model to all PK data using a hybrid ITS-MCPEM method.The final model well described the observed Tab, acMMAE and unconjugated MMAE concentration-time profiles. Analysis suggested that conjugate is lost via both proteolytic degradation and deconjugation, while unconjugated MMAE in systemic circulation appears to be mainly released via proteolytic degradation of the conjugate.Our model improves the understanding of ADC catabolism, which may provide useful insights when designing future ADCs.