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Controlled coupling of an ultrapotent auristatin warhead to cetuximab yields a next-generation antibody-drug conjugate for EGFR-targeted therapy of KRAS mutant pancreatic cancer

Greene, MK; Chen, T; Robinson, E; Straubinger, NL; Minx, C; Chan, DKW; Wang, J; ... Scott, CJ; + view all (2020) Controlled coupling of an ultrapotent auristatin warhead to cetuximab yields a next-generation antibody-drug conjugate for EGFR-targeted therapy of KRAS mutant pancreatic cancer. British Journal of Cancer , 123 pp. 1502-1512. 10.1038/s41416-020-01046-6. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) construction poses numerous challenges that limit clinical progress. In particular, common bioconjugation methods afford minimal control over the site of drug coupling to antibodies. Here, such difficulties are overcome through re-bridging of the inter-chain disulfides of cetuximab (CTX) with auristatin-bearing pyridazinediones, to yield a highly refined anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) ADC. / Methods: In vitro and in vivo assessment of ADC activity was performed in KRAS mutant pancreatic cancer (PaCa) models with known resistance to CTX therapy. Computational modelling was employed for quantitative prediction of tumour response to various ADC dosing regimens. / Results: Site-selective coupling of an auristatin to CTX yielded an ADC with an average drug:antibody ratio (DAR) of 3.9, which elicited concentration- and EGFR-dependent cytotoxicity at sub-nanomolar potency in vitro. In human xenografts, the ADC inhibited tumour growth and prolonged survival, with no overt signs of toxicity. Key insights into factors governing ADC efficacy were obtained through a robust mathematical framework, including target-mediated dispositional effects relating to antigen density on tumour cells. / Conclusions: Together, our findings offer renewed hope for CTX in PaCa therapy, demonstrating that it may be reformatted as a next-generation ADC and combined with a predictive modelling tool to guide successful translation.

Type: Article
Title: Controlled coupling of an ultrapotent auristatin warhead to cetuximab yields a next-generation antibody-drug conjugate for EGFR-targeted therapy of KRAS mutant pancreatic cancer
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41416-020-01046-6
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-020-01046-6
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Chemical modification, Targeted therapies
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Chemistry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10111881
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