Anti-BR3 antibodies: a new class of B-cell immunotherapy combining cellular depletion and survival blockade.

Department of Immunology, Genentech, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.
Blood (Impact Factor: 9.78). 01/2008; 110(12):3959-67. DOI: 10.1182/blood-2007-04-088088
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Removal of pathogenic B lymphocytes by depletion of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) or deprivation of B-cell survival factors has demonstrated clinical benefit in both oncologic and immunologic diseases. Partial clinical responses and emerging data demonstrating incomplete B-cell depletion after immunotherapy fuels the need for improved therapeutic modalities. Lessons from the first generation of therapeutics directed against B-cell-specific antigens (CD20, CD22) are being applied to develop novel antibodies with additional functional attributes. We describe the generation of a novel class of B-cell-directed therapy (anti-BR3 mAbs) that combines the depleting capacity of a therapeutic mAb and blockade of B-cell-activating factor (BAFF)-BR3 B-cell survival. In mice, treatment with antagonistic anti-BR3 antibodies results in quantitatively greater reduction in some B-cell subsets and qualitatively different effects on bone marrow plasma cells compared with BR3-Fc BAFF blockade or with anti-CD20 treatment. Comparative analysis of BR3-Fc and anti-BR3 mAb reveals a lower B-cell dependence for BAFF-mediated survival in nonhuman primates than in mice. This novel class of B-cell-targeted therapies shows species characteristics in mice and primates that will guide translation to treatment of human disease.

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