Dario Neri

Eawag: Das Wasserforschungs-Institut des ETH-Bereichs, Duebendorf, Zurich, Switzerland

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Publications (287)1606.73 Total impact

  • Chiara Catania, Michela Maur, Rossana Berardi, Andrea Rocca, Anna Maria Di Giacomo, Gianluca Spitaleri, Cristina Masini, Chiara Pierantoni, Reinerio González-Iglesias, Giulia Zigon, Annaelisa Tasciotti, Leonardo Giovannoni, Valeria Lovato, Giuliano Elia, Hans D Menssen, Dario Neri, Stefano Cascinu, Pier Franco Conte, Filippo de Braud
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    ABSTRACT: A phase Ib/II trial was performed to evaluate safety, tolerability, recommended dose (RD) and efficacy of F16-IL2, a recombinant antibody-cytokine fusion protein, in combination with doxorubicin in patients with solid tumours (phase Ib) and metastatic breast cancer (phase II). Six patient cohorts with progressive solid tumours (n = 19) received escalating doses of F16-IL2 [5-25 Million International Units (MIU) of IL2 equivalent dose] in combination with escalating doses of doxorubicin (0-25mg/m(2)) on day 1, 8 and 15 every 4 weeks. Subsequently, patients with metastatic breast cancer (n = 10) received the drug combination at the RD. Clinical data and laboratory findings were analysed for safety, tolerability, and activity. F16-IL2 could be administered up to 25 MIU, in combination with the RD of doxorubicin (25mg/m(2)). No human anti-fusion protein antibodies (HAFA) response was detected. Pharmacokinetics of F16-IL2 was dose-dependent over the tested range, with half-lives of ca. 13 and ca. 8 hours for cohorts dosed at lower and higher levels, respectively. Toxicities were controllable and reversible, with no combination treatment-related death. After 8 weeks, 57% and 67% disease control rates were observed for Phase I and II, respectively (decreasing to 43% and 33% after 12 weeks), considering 14 and 9 patients evaluable for efficacy. One patient experienced a long lasting partial response (45 weeks), still on-going at exit of study. F16-IL2 can be safely and repeatedly administered at the RD of 25 Mio I.U. in combination with 25mg/m(2) doxorubicin; its safety and activity are currently being investigated in combination with other chemotherapeutics, in order to establish optimal therapy settings.
    Cell adhesion & migration 01/2015; · 3.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background The antibody-mediated delivery of cytokines (“immunocytokines”) to sites of pathological angiogenesis represents an attractive strategy for the development of innovative biopharmaceuticals, capable of modulating the activity of the immune system in cancer and in chronic inflammatory conditions. Objective Recombinant IL4 has previously been shown to be therapeutically active in patients with psoriasis. The antibody-mediated delivery of this cytokine to sites of chronic skin inflammatory conditions should lead to an improved potency and selectivity, compared to non-targeted IL4. Methods The therapeutic activity of F8-IL4, a fusion protein of the F8 antibody (specific to the alternatively-spliced EDA domain of fibronectin) with murine IL4, was investigated in three immunocompetent mouse models of skin inflammation: two induced by the TLR7/8 ligand imiquimod (in Balb/c and C57BL/6) and one mediated by the over-expression of VEGF-A. Results The EDA domain of fibronectin, a marker for angiogenesis, is expressed in the inflamed skin in all three models and F8-IL4 selectively localized to inflamed skin lesions following intravenous administration. The F8-IL4 fusion protein mediated a therapeutic benefit, which was superior to the one of a non-targeted version of IL4 and led to increased levels of key regulatory cytokines (including IL5, IL10, IL13, and IL27) in the inflamed skin, while IL2 levels were not affected in all treatment groups. A murine version of etanercept and a murine anti-IL17 antibody were used as positive control in the therapy experiments. Conclusion Skin inflammatory lesions can be selectively targeted using anti-EDA antibody–cytokine fusion proteins and the pharmacodelivery of IL4 confers a therapeutic benefit by shifting the cytokine balance.
    Journal of Dermatological Science 11/2014; · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Advances in the understanding of tumor immunology and molecular biology of melanoma cells have favored a larger application of immunotherapy and targeted therapies in the clinic. Several selective mutant gene inhibitors and immunomodulating antibodies have been reported to improve overall survival or progression-free survival in metastatic melanoma patients. However, despite impressive initial responses, patients treated with selective inhibitors relapse quickly, and toxicities associated to the use of immunomodulating antibodies are not easily manageable. In this sense, the concept of using antibodies as delivery vehicles for the preferential in vivo localization of the drug at the site of disease with reduction of side effects has raised particular interest. Antibody-cytokine fusion proteins (termed immunocytokines) represent a new simple and effective way to deliver the immunomodulatory payload at the tumor site, with the aim of inducing both local and systemic antitumoral immune responses and limiting systemic toxicities. Several clinical trials have been conducted and are actually ongoing with different immunocytokines, in several tumor histotypes. In metastatic melanoma patients, different drug delivery modalities such as systemic, loco-regional and intratumoral are under investigation. In this review, the rationale for the use of L19-IL2 and L19-TNF, two clinical stage immunocytokines produced by the Philogen group, as well as opportunities for their future development will be discussed.
    Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 10/2014; · 3.94 Impact Factor
  • The Israel Medical Association journal: IMAJ 10/2014; 16(10):666. · 0.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fibrin formation from fibrinogen is a rare process in the healthy organism, but is a pathological feature of thrombotic events, cancer and a wide range of inflammatory conditions. We have designed and constructed an antibody phage display library (containing 13 billion clones), for the selective recognition of the N-terminal peptide of fibrin alpha chain. The key structural feature for selective fibrin binding was a K94E mutation in the VH domain. From this library, an antibody was isolated (termed AP2), which recognizes the five N-terminal aminoacids of fibrin with high-affinity (Kd=44 nM), but does not bind to fibrinogen. The AP2 antibody could be expressed in various formats (scFv, SIP and IgG) and inhibited fibrin clot formation in a concentration-dependent manner. Moreover, the AP2 antibody stained the fibrin-rich provisional stroma in solid tumors, but did not exhibit any detectable staining towards normal tissues. Using a radioiodinated antibody preparation and quantitative biodistribution studies in tumor-bearing mice, AP2 was shown to selectively localize to fibrin-rich F9 murine teratocarcinomas, but not to SKRC-52 human kidney cancer xenografts. Collectively, the experiments indicate that the AP2 antibody recognizes fibrin in vitro and in vivo. The antibody may facilitate the development of fibrin-specific therapeutic agents.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 10/2014; · 3.96 Impact Factor
  • Thomas List, Giulio Casi, Dario Neri
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    ABSTRACT: The combination of immunostimulatory agents with cytotoxic drugs is emerging as a promising approach for potentially curative tumor therapy, but advances in this field are hindered by the requirement of testing individual combination partners as single agents in dedicated clinical studies, often with suboptimal efficacy. Here we describe for the first time a novel multi-payload class of targeted drugs, the immunocytokine-drug conjugates (IDCs), which combine a tumor-homing antibody, a cytotoxic drug and a pro-inflammatory cytokine in the same molecular entity. In particular, the IL2 cytokine and the disulfide-linked maytansinoid DM1 microtubular inhibitor could be coupled to the F8 antibody, directed against the alternatively-spliced EDA domain of fibronectin, in a site-specific manner, yielding a chemically defined product with selective tumor homing performance and potent anticancer activity in vivo, as tested in two different immunocompetent mouse models.
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 09/2014; · 5.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Antibody-cytokine fusion proteins (immunocytokines) are innovative biopharmaceutical agents, which are being considered for the therapy of cancer and chronic inflammatory conditions. Immunomodulatory fusion proteins capable of selective localization at the sites of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are of particular interest, as they may increase the therapeutic index of the cytokine payload. The F8 antibody recognizes the alternatively spliced extra domain A of fibronectin, a marker of angiogenesis, which is strongly overexpressed at sites of arthritis. In this study, we investigated the targeting and therapeutic activity of the immunocytokine F8-IL4 in the mouse model of collagen-induced arthritis. Different combination regimes were tested and evaluated by the analysis of serum and tissue cytokine levels. We show that F8-IL4 selectively localizes to neovascular structures at sites of rheumatoid arthritis in the mouse, leading to high local concentrations of IL4. When used in combination with dexamethasone, F8-IL4 was able to cure mice with established collagen-induced arthritis. Response to treatment was associated with an elevation of IL13 levels and decreased IL6 plasma concentrations. A fully human version of F8-IL4 is currently being developed for clinical investigations.
    Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 08/2014; · 9.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: DNA-encoded chemical libraries are collections of small molecules, attached to DNA fragments serving as identification barcodes, which can be screened against multiple protein targets, thus facilitating the drug discovery process. The preparation of large DNA-encoded chemical libraries crucially depends on the availability of robust synthetic methods, which enable the efficient conjugation to oligonucleotides of structurally diverse building blocks, sharing a common reactive group. Reactions of DNA derivatives with amines and/or carboxylic acids are particularly attractive for the synthesis of encoded libraries, in view of the very large number of building blocks that are commercially available. However, systematic studies on these reactions in the presence of DNA have not been reported so far. We first investigated conditions for the coupling of primary amines to oligonucleotides, using either a nucleophilic attack on chloroacetamide derivatives or a reductive amination on aldehyde-modified DNA. While both methods could be used for the production of secondary amines, the reductive amination approach was generally associated with higher yields and better purity. In a second endeavor, we optimized conditions for the coupling of a diverse set of 501 carboxylic acids to DNA derivatives, carrying primary and secondary amine functions. The coupling efficiency was generally higher for primary amines, compared to secondary amine substituents, but varied considerably depending on the structure of the acids and on the synthetic methods used. Optimal reaction conditions could be found for certain sets of compounds (with conversions >80%), but multiple reaction schemes are needed when assembling large libraries with highly diverse building blocks. The reactions and experimental conditions presented in this article should facilitate the synthesis of future DNA-encoded chemical libraries, while outlining the synthetic challenges that remain to be overcome.
    Bioconjugate Chemistry 07/2014; · 4.82 Impact Factor
  • Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 07/2014; · 3.94 Impact Factor
  • N. Krall, F. Pretto, D. Neri
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    ABSTRACT: There is a pressing need for the development of innovative chemical drug delivery strategies in oncology, since conventional chemotherapeutic agents typically do not localise to solid tumours in vivo. It is widely accepted that bivalent antibody formats accumulate in tumours more strongly than monovalent ones and that they should thus be preferred for antibody-based pharmacodelivery approaches. For small molecule-drug conjugates this is less clear. Here, we show that a bivalent ligand against the tumour marker carbonic anhydrase IX leads to an improved tumour-targeting performance compared with the corresponding monovalent counterpart in the SKRC52 model of constitutively CAIX-positive renal cell carcinoma. A bivalent disulfide-linked small drug conjugate with the potent cytotoxic maytansinoid DM1 as the payload can mediate complete eradication of the same tumours, which are resistant to standard-of-care therapeutics, in a proportion of treated mice. In the A375 melanoma model, which preferentially expresses CAIX at sites distant to blood vessels, no measurable tumour accumulation could be observed. Our results suggest that the use of bivalent small molecule ligand-drug conjugates against CAIX may represent an attractive chemical strategy for the treatment of constitutively CAIX-positive kidney cancer.
    Chemical Science 07/2014; · 8.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is a considerable interest for the discovery and characterization of tumor-associated antigens, which may facilitate antibody-based pharmacodelivery strategies. Thrombospondin-1 and thrombospondin-2 are homologous secreted proteins, which have previously been reported to be overexpressed during remodeling typical for wound healing and tumor progression and to possibly play a functional role in cell proliferation, migration and apoptosis. To our knowledge, a complete immunohistochemical characterization of thrombospondins levels in normal rodent tissues has not been reported so far. Using antibody phage technology, we have generated and characterized monoclonal antibodies specific to murine thrombospondin-1 and thrombospondin-2, two antigens which share 62% aminoacid identity. An immunofluorescence analysis revealed that both antigens are virtually undetectable in normal mouse tissues, except for a weak staining of heart tissue by antibodies specific to thrombospondin-1. The analysis also showed that thrombospondin-1 was strongly expressed in 5/7 human tumors xenografted in nude mice, while it was only barely detectable in 3/8 murine tumors grafted in immunocompetent mice. By contrast, a high-affinity antibody to thrombospondin-2 revealed a much lower level of expression of this antigen in cancer specimens. Our analysis resolves ambiguities related to conflicting reports on thrombosponding expression in health and disease. Based on our findings, thrombospondin-1 (and not thrombospondin-2) may be considered as a target for antibody-based pharmacodelivery strategies, in consideration of its low expression in normal tissues and its upregulation in cancer.
    Experimental Cell Research 06/2014; · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Antibody-cytokine fusion proteins (“immunocytokines”) represent a promising class of armed antibody products, which allow the selective delivery of potent pro-inflammatory payloads at the tumor site. The antibody-based selective delivery of interleukin-2 (IL2) is particularly attractive for the treatment of metastatic melanoma, an indication for which this cytokine received marketing approval from the US Food and drug administration. We used the K1735M2 immunocompetent syngeneic model of murine melanoma to study the therapeutic activity of F8–IL2, an immunocytokine based on the F8 antibody in diabody format, fused to human IL2. F8–IL2 was shown to selectively localize at the tumor site in vivo, following intravenous administration, and to mediate tumor growth retardation, which was potentiated by the combination with paclitaxel or dacarbazine. Combination treatment led to a substantially more effective tumor growth inhibition, compared to the cytotoxic drugs used as single agents, without additional toxicity. Analysis of the immune infiltrate revealed a significant accumulation of CD4+ T cells 24 h after the administration of the combination. The fusion proteins F8–IL2 and L19–IL2, specific to the alternatively spliced extra domain A and extra domain B of fibronectin respectively, were also studied in combination with tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-based immunocytokines. The combination treatment was superior to the action of the individual immunocytokines and was able to eradicate neoplastic lesions after a single intratumoral injection, a procedure that is being clinically used for the treatment of Stage IIIC melanoma. Collectively, these data reinforce the rationale for the use of IL2-based immunocytokines in combination with cytotoxic agents or TNF-based immunotherapy for the treatment of melanoma patients.
    Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 06/2014; · 3.94 Impact Factor
  • Christian Hess, Dario Neri
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    ABSTRACT: There is an increasing biotechnological interest in the 'arming' of therapeutic antibodies with bioactive payloads. While many antibody-cytokine fusion proteins have been extensively investigated in preclinical and clinical studies, there are only few reports related to antibody-chemokine fusion proteins ('immunochemokines'). Here, we describe the cloning, expression, and characterization of 10 immunochemokines based on the monoclonal antibody F8, specific to the alternatively spliced extra domain A (EDA) of fibronectin, a marker of angiogenesis. Among the 10 murine chemokines tested in our study, only CCL19, CCL20, CCL21, and CXCL10 could be expressed and isolated at acceptable purity levels as F8-based fusion proteins. The immunochemokines retained the binding characteristics of the parental antibody, but could not be characterized by gel-filtration analysis, an analytical limitation which had previously been observed in our laboratory for the unconjugated chemokines. When radioiodinated preparations of CCL19-F8, CCL20-F8, CCL21-F8, and CXCL10-F8 were tested in quantitative biodistribution studies in tumor-bearing mice, the four fusion proteins failed to preferentially accumulate at the tumor site, while the unconjugated parental antibody displayed a tumor:blood ratio >20:1, 24 h after intravenous (i.v.) administration. The tumor-targeting ability of CCL19-F8 could be rescued only in part by preadministration of unlabeled CCL19-F8, indicating that a chemokine trapping mechanism may hinder pharmacodelivery strategies. While this article highlights expression, analytical, and biodistribution challenges associated with the antibody-based in vivo delivery of chemokines at sites of disease, it provides the first comprehensive report in this field and may facilitate future studies with immunochemokines.
    Experimental Biology and Medicine 05/2014; · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Management of acute and especially chronic rejection after human cardiac transplantation is still challenging. Chronic rejection, represented by allograft vasculopathy (CAV) and cardiac interstitial fibrosis (CIF) is known to cause severe long-term complications. Rejection associated tissue-remodelling entails the reoccurrence of fetal variants of Fibronectin (Fn) and Tenascin-C (Tn-C), which are virtually absent in adult human organs. In a rat model, an extensive re-expression could be demonstrated for ED-A(+) Fn with spatial association to CAV and CIF. Thus, it is of great interest to investigate the cardiac tissue expression and distribution in human samples. From 48 heart transplanted patients, 64 tissue specimens derived from right ventricular biopsies were available. Histopathological analysis was performed according to the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) guidelines for the detection of acute rejection. By immunohistochemistry, protein expression of ED-A(+) Fn, B(+) Tn-C, alpha-smooth muscle actin, CD31 and CD45 was assessed and analysed semiquantitatively. Co-localisation studies were performed by means of immunofluorescence double labelling. Histopathological analysis of the 64 samples revealed different ISHLT grades (0R in 36 cases, 1R in 20 cases and 2R in 8 cases). There was a distinct and quantitatively relevant re-occurrence of ED-A(+) Fn and B(+) Tn-C in most samples. Semi-quantitative evaluation did not show any correlation to the acute rejection grade for all markers. Interestingly, significant correlations to the extent of inflammation could be shown for ED-A(+) Fn (r = 0.442, p = 0.000) and B(+) Tn-C (r = 0.408, p = 0.001) as well as between both proteins (r = 0.663, p = 0.000). A spatial association of ED-A(+) Fn and B(+) Tn-C to CAV and CIF could be demonstrated. A relevant re-occurrence of ED-A(+) Fn and B(+) Tn-C following human heart transplantation could be demonstrated with spatial association to signs of rejection and a significant correlation to tissue inflammation. These data might contribute to the identification of novel biomarkers reflecting the rejection process and to the development of promising strategies to image, prevent or treat cardiac rejection.
    Journal of molecular histology 05/2014; · 1.75 Impact Factor
  • Teresa Hemmerle, Dario Neri
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    ABSTRACT: Cytokines often display substantial toxicities at low concentrations, preventing their escalation for therapeutic treatment of cancer. Fusion proteins comprising cytokines and recombinant antibodies may improve the anticancer activity of proinflammatory cytokines. Murine IFN-γ was appended in the diabody format at the C-terminus of the F8 antibody, generating the F8-IFN-γ fusion protein. The F8 antibody is specific for the extra-domain A (EDA) of fibronectin, a tumor-associated antigen that is expressed in the vasculature and stroma of almost all tumor types. Tumor-targeting properties were measured in vivo using a radioiodinated preparation of the fusion protein. Therapy experiments were performed in three syngeneic murine models of cancer [F9 teratocarcinoma, WEHI-164 fibrosarcoma, and Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC)]. F8-IFN-γ retained the biologic activity of both the antibody and the cytokine moiety in vitro, but, unlike the parental F8 antibody, it did not preferentially localize to the tumors in vivo. However, when unlabeled F8-IFN-γ was administered before radioiodinated F8-IFN-γ, a selective accumulation at the tumor site was observed. F8-IFN-γ showed dose-dependent anticancer activity with a clear superiority over untargeted recombinant IFN-γ. The anticancer activity was potentiated by combining with F8-IL-4 without additional toxicities, whereas combination of F8-IFN-γ with F8-TNF was lethal in all mice. Unlike other antibody-cytokine fusions, the use of IFN-γ as payload for anticancer therapy is associated with a receptor-trapping mechanism, which can be overcome by the administration of a sufficiently large amount of the fusion protein without any detectable toxicity at the doses used. Cancer Immunol Res; 2(6); 1-9. ©2014 AACR.
    Cancer immunology research. 05/2014;
  • Christian Hess, Dario Neri
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    ABSTRACT: There is an increasing biotechnological interest in 'arming' therapeutic antibodies with bioactive payloads. Many antibody-cytokine fusion proteins (immunocytokines) have been described and some of these biopharmaceuticals have progressed to clinical studies. Here, we describe for the first time the expression and in vivo characterization of immunocytokines based on murine IL1β and IL6. These potent pro-inflammatory cytokines were fused at the N-terminus or at the C-terminus of the monoclonal antibodies F8 (specific to the alternatively-spliced extra-domain A domain of fibronectin, a marker of tumor angiogenesis). All immunocytokines retained the binding properties of the parental antibody and were homogenous, when analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and size-exclusion chromatography, except for the N-terminal fusion of IL1β which revealed the presence of glycosylated species. When analyzed by quantitative biodistribution analysis using radioiodinated protein preparations, F8 fusions with IL6 revealed a preferential accumulation at the tumor site for both cytokine orientations, whereas IL1β fusions exhibited lower tumor to organ ratios and a slower blood clearance profile. The fusion proteins with the cytokine payload at the C-terminus were studied in therapy experiments in immunocompetent mice bearing F9 tumors. Immunocytokines based on IL1β resulted in 10% body weight loss at a 5-µg dose, whereas IL6-based products caused a 5% body weight loss at a 225-µg dose. Both F8-IL1β and F8-IL6 exhibited a <50% inhibition of tumor growth rate, which was substantially lower than the one previously reported for F8-TNF, a closely related pro-inflammatory immunocytokine. This study indicates that IL6 can be efficiently delivered to the tumor neo-vasculature by fusion with the F8 antibody. While F8-IL6 was not as potent as other F8-based immunocytokines that exhibit similar biodistribution profiles, the fusion protein sheds light on the different roles of pro-inflammatory cytokines in boosting immunity against the tumor.
    Protein Engineering Design and Selection 05/2014; · 2.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Antibody-drug conjugates are increasingly being used for cancer therapy, but little is known about their ability to promote anti-cancer immunity, which may lead to long-lasting remissions. We investigated the therapeutic effect of antibody-based pharmacodelivery of cemadotin, a cytotoxic drug, and interleukin-2, a strong pro-inflammatory cytokine. Using the F8 antibody, which selectively localizes to the tumor neo-vasculature, combination treatment led to tumor eradication, in a process dependent on CD8+ T cells and natural killer cells in the C1498 syngeneic mouse model of AML. The clinical combination of ADCs and antibody-cytokine proteins should be facilitated by their orthogonal toxicity profiles.
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 04/2014; · 5.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Antikörper-Wirkstoff-Konjugate sind eine vielversprechende Klasse neuer Krebsmedikamente. Die Verwendung niedermolekularer Liganden für den zielgerichteten Transport zytotoxischer Substanzen in solide Tumoren ist dagegen weniger gut entwickelt. Hier beschreiben wir zum ersten Mal kleine Ligand-Wirkstoff-Konjugate zur Behandlung von Carboanhydrase IX exprimierenden Tumoren. Mit Ligand-Fluoreszenzfarbstoff-Konjugaten zeigen wir, dass solche Moleküle sich bevorzugt in Antigen exprimierenden Läsionen anreichern, schnell ihr Ziel erreichen und tief in den Tumor eindringen können. Ferner sind derartige Konstrukte durch Totalsynthese herstellbar. Ein über eine Disulfidbrücke verbundenes Wirkstoff-Konjugat bestehend aus dem Maytansinoid DM1 als zytotoxischer Nutzlast und einem Derivat von Acetazolamid als Transportligand zeigte eine hohe Wirksamkeit gegen SKRC52-Nierenkleinzellkarzinom in vivo. Die klinisch eingesetzten Standardtherapien Sunitinib und Sorafenib hatten dagegen keine Aktivität.
    Angewandte Chemie 04/2014; 126(16).
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    ABSTRACT: L19-IL2 is a recombinant protein comprising the cytokine IL2 fused to the single-chain monoclonal antibody L19. In previous studies, intralesional injection with IL2 has shown efficacy for the locoregional treatment of cutaneous/subcutaneous metastases in patients with advanced melanoma. The objectives of this study were to investigate whether (i) intralesional delivery of a targeted form of IL2 would yield similar results, with reduction of injection frequency and treatment duration; and (ii) systemic immune responses were induced by the local treatment. Patients with stage IIIB/IIIC melanoma and cutaneous/subcutaneous injectable metastases received weekly intratumoral injections of L19-IL2 at a maximum dose of 10 MIU/week for 4 consecutive weeks. Tumor response was evaluated 12 weeks after the first treatment. Twenty-four of 25 patients were evaluable for therapy-induced responses. A complete response (CR) by modified immune-related response criteria (irRC) of all treated metastases was achieved in 6 patients (25%), with long-lasting responses in most cases (5 patients for ≥24 months). Objective responses were documented in 53.9% of all index lesions [44.4% CR and 9.5% partial responses (by irRC)], and 36.5% of these remained stable, while 9.5% progressed. Toxicity was comparable with that of free IL2, and no serious adverse events were recorded. A significant temporary increase of peripheral regulatory T cells and natural killer cells, sustained increase of absolute CD4(+) lymphocytes, and decrease of myeloid-derived suppressor cells were observed upon treatment. Finally, we recorded encouraging data about the progression time to distant metastases and overall survival. Cancer Immunol Res; 2(7); 1-11. ©2014 AACR.
    Cancer immunology research. 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Conspectus DNA-encoded chemical libraries (DECLs) represent a promising tool in drug discovery. DECL technology allows the synthesis and screening of chemical libraries of unprecedented size at moderate costs. In analogy to phage-display technology, where large antibody libraries are displayed on the surface of filamentous phage and are genetically encoded in the phage genome, DECLs feature the display of individual small organic chemical moieties on DNA fragments serving as amplifiable identification barcodes. The DNA-tag facilitates the synthesis and allows the simultaneous screening of very large sets of compounds (up to billions of molecules), because the hit compounds can easily be identified and quantified by PCR-amplification of the DNA-barcode followed by high-throughput DNA sequencing. Several approaches have been used to generate DECLs, differing both in the methods used for library encoding and for the combinatorial assembly of chemical moieties. For example, DECLs can be used for fragment-based drug discovery, displaying a single molecule on DNA or two chemical moieties at the extremities of complementary DNA strands. DECLs can vary substantially in the chemical structures and the library size. While ultralarge libraries containing billions of compounds have been reported containing four or more sets of building blocks, also smaller libraries have been shown to be efficient for ligand discovery. In general, it has been found that the overall library size is a poor predictor for library performance and that the number and diversity of the building blocks are rather important indicators. Smaller libraries consisting of two to three sets of building blocks better fulfill the criteria of drug-likeness and often have higher quality. In this Account, we present advances in the DECL field from proof-of-principle studies to practical applications for drug discovery, both in industry and in academia. DECL technology can yield specific binders to a variety of target proteins and is likely to become a standard tool for pharmaceutical hit discovery, lead expansion, and Chemical Biology research. The introduction of new methodologies for library encoding and for compound synthesis in the presence of DNA is an exciting research field and will crucially contribute to the performance and the propagation of the technology.
    Accounts of Chemical Research 03/2014; · 24.35 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

7k Citations
1,606.73 Total Impact Points


  • 1997–2014
    • Eawag: Das Wasserforschungs-Institut des ETH-Bereichs
      Duebendorf, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2006–2013
    • VU University Medical Center
      • Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery
      Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands
    • University of Liège
      • Metastasis Research Laboratory
      Liège, WAL, Belgium
  • 2012
    • IEO - Istituto Europeo di Oncologia
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
  • 1997–2012
    • ETH Zurich
      • • Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences
      • • Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences
      • • Institute of Molecular Biology and Biophysics
      Zürich, ZH, Switzerland
  • 2011
    • Universitätsklinikum Tübingen
      Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2006–2011
    • Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena
      • • Clinic of Internal Medicine III
      • • Institute of Pathology
      Jena, Thuringia, Germany
  • 2008
    • National Research Council
      • Institute of Biomedical Technologies ITB
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1998–2003
    • Università degli Studi di Genova
      • Dipartimento di Medicina sperimentale (DIMES)
      Genova, Liguria, Italy
    • Hochschule für Technik Zürich
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 1996–2000
    • Università degli Studi di Siena
      • Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neuroscience
      Siena, Tuscany, Italy