Dario Neri

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

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Publications (328)1859.96 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Management of chronic rejection is challenging since there are not sufficient preventive or therapeutic strategies. The rejection process leads to overexpression of ED-A(+) fibronectin (ED-A(+) Fn). The human antibody F8, specific to ED-A(+) Fn, may serve as a vehicle for targeted delivery of bioactive payloads, e.g. interleukin 10 (IL-10). The aim of this study was to investigate the therapeutic effects of the fusion protein F8-interleukin-10 (F8-IL10) in the process of chronic rejection development. A heterotopic rat heart transplantation model was used to induce chronic rejection. For therapeutic interventions, the immunocytokines F8-humanIL10 (DEKAVIL), F8-ratIL10 as well as KSF-humanIL10 (irrelevant antigen-specificity) were used. Treatment was performed weekly for 10weeks starting at day 7 after transplantation (1mg/animal). In the cardiac allografts, treatment with F8-huIL10 or F8-ratIL10 was associated with increased heart weights, a higher grade of chronic rejection, increased CIF, higher protein expression levels of alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), an augmented infiltration with inflammatory cells (CD4+, CD8+ and CD68+ cells) and higher serum levels of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) compared to the control groups. All observed treatment effects are transplantation-specific since the F8 antibody is specific to ED-A(+) Fn that is not expressed in healthy hearts. A clear targeting effect of F8-huIL10 as well as F8-ratIL10 could be proven. Against that background, a further study is needed to address the question, if F8-IL10 treatment is capable to reduce CAV and CIF starting at a time point when chronic rejection has fully developed (therapeutic approach). Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    International Journal of Cardiology 09/2015; 195. DOI:10.1016/j.ijcard.2015.05.144 · 6.18 Impact Factor
  • Jörg Scheuermann, Dario Neri
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    ABSTRACT: In contrast to single-pharmacophore DNA-encoded libraries, where only one chemical moiety is linked to DNA, dual-pharmacophore DNA-encoded chemical libraries feature the display of two independent small-molecules in close proximity. This, in principle, allows to explore adjacent epitopes on a pharmaceutical target of choice and hence the discovery of simultaneously binding pairs of fragments, by virtue of the chelate effect. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Current Opinion in Chemical Biology 06/2015; 26. DOI:10.1016/j.cbpa.2015.02.021 · 7.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, we have shown that radiotherapy (RT) combined with the immunocytokine L19-IL2 can induce long-lasting antitumour effects, dependent on ED-B expression and infiltration of cytotoxic T cells. On the other hand, in certain tumours, IL2 treatment can trigger a natural killer cell (NK) immune response. The aim of this study is to investigate the therapeutic effect of our combination therapy in the ED-B positive F9 teratocarcinoma model, lacking MHCI expression and known to be dependent on NK immune responses.
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    ABSTRACT: The potential of DNA-encoded combinatorial libraries (DECLs) as tools for hit discovery crucially relies on the availability of methods for their synthesis at acceptable purity and quality. Incomplete reactions in the presence of DNA can noticeably affect the purity of DECLs and methods to selectively remove unreacted oligonucleotide-based starting products would likely enhance the quality of DECL screening results. We describe an approach to selectively remove unreacted oligonucleotide starting products from reaction mixtures and demonstrate its applicability in the context of acylation of amino-modified DNA. Following an amide bond forming reaction, we treat unreacted amino-modified DNAs with biotinylating reagents and isolate the corresponding biotinylated oligonucleotides from the reaction mixture by affinity capture on streptavidin-coated sepharose. This approach, which yields the desired DNA-conjugate at enhanced purity, can be applied both to reactions performed in solution and to procedures in which DNA is immobilized on an anion exchange solid support.
    06/2015; DOI:10.1021/acscombsci.5b00072
  • Giulio Casi, Dario Neri
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    ABSTRACT: Conventional cancer chemotherapy heavily relies on the use of cytotoxic agents, which typically do not preferentially localize at the tumor site and cause toxicity to normal organs, preventing dose escalation to therapeutically active regimens. In principle, antibodies and other ligands could be used for the selective pharmacodelivery of cytotoxic agents to the neoplastic mass. For many years, the availability of ligands, capable of selective internalization into tumor cells, has been considered to be an essential requirement for the development of targeted cytotoxics. This assumption, however, has recently been challenged on the basis of therapeutic data obtained with non-internalizing drug conjugates. Moreover, quantitative evaluations of the tumor targeting properties of antibodies and of small organic ligands have provided new insights for the implementation of optimal strategies for the development of targeted cytotoxics. In this article, we highlight opportunities and challenges associated with the clinical and industrial development of antibody-drug conjugates and small molecule-drug conjugates for cancer therapy.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 06/2015; DOI:10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b00457 · 5.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the synthesis and screening of a DNA-encoded chemical library containing 76230 compounds. In this library, sets of amines and carboxylic acids are directly linked producing encoded compounds with compact structures and drug-like properties. Affinity screening of this library yielded inhibitors of the potential pharmaceutical target tankyrase 1, a poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. These compounds have drug-like characteristics, and the most potent hit compound (X066/Y469) inhibited tankyrase 1 with an IC50 value of 250 nM.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 06/2015; 58(12). DOI:10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b00432 · 5.48 Impact Factor
  • Emil Bujak, Danilo Ritz, Dario Neri
    06/2015; 4(2):71-87. DOI:10.3390/antib4020071
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    ABSTRACT: The extracellular matrix protein ED-B fibronectin (ED-B) is upregulated in inflammatory atherosclerotic lesions. However, functional in vivo imaging of ED-B-containing plaques has not been explored. This study evaluated whether [99mTc]-conjugated AP39 ([99mTc]-AP39), a single-chain antibody specific to ED-B, can be used for in vivo detection of atherosclerotic plaques in Western diet (WD)-fed, apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE-/-) mice as compared to wildtype (WT) control mice. Using SPECT, 12-month-old WD-fed apoE-/- and WT mice were studied 4 hours after injecting [99mTc]-AP39 (148 MBq). Subsequently, mice were sacrificed, thoracic aortas measured in a g-counter, and plaques analyzed using histology, immuno-histochemistry, autoradiography, and morphometry. In vivo [99mTc]-AP39-SPECT imaging of apoE-/- mice demonstrated a significant signal activity in the plaque-ridden thoracic aorta (52.236±40.646 cpm/cm3) that co-localized with the aortic arch and the supra-aortic arteries in MRI scans. Low signal activity (9.468±4.976 cpm/cm3) was observed in WT mice. In apoE-/- mice, the strongest signals were detected in the aortic root, aortic arch and along the abdominal aorta. Autoradiography analysis of aortas from apoE-/- mice confirmed the in vivo observation by demonstrating signal localization in atherosclerotic plaques. The size of autoradiography-positive plaque areas correlated significantly with the size of ED-B-positive (r=0.645, P=0.044) or macrophage-infiltrated (r=0.84, P<0.002) plaques. A significant correlation was found between the sizes of ED-B-positive and macrophage-infiltrated plaque areas (r=0.93, P<0.01). [99mTc]-AP39-SPECT in vivo imaging detects inflammatory plaque lesions in WD-fed apoE-/- mice.
    The quarterly journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging: official publication of the Italian Association of Nuclear Medicine (AIMN) [and] the International Association of Radiopharmacology (IAR), [and] Section of the Society of.. 06/2015; 59(2):228-37. · 1.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Phosphatidylserine (PS) and other anionic phospholipids, which become exposed on the surface of proliferating endothelial cells, tumor cells and certain leukocytes, have been used as targets for the development of clinical-stage biopharmaceuticals. One of these products (bavituximab) is currently being investigated in Phase 3 clinical trials. There are conflicting reports on the ability of bavituximab and other antibodies to recognize PS directly or through beta-2 glycoprotein 1, a serum protein that is not highly conserved across species. Here, we report on the generation and characterization of two fully human antibodies directed against phosphatidylserine. One of these antibodies (PS72) bound specifically to phosphatidylserine and to phosphatidic acid, but did not recognize other closely related phospholipids, while the other antibody (PS41) also bound to cardiolipin. Both PS72 and PS41 stained 8/9 experimental tumor models in vitro, but both antibodies failed to exhibit a preferential tumor accumulation in vivo, as revealed by quantitative biodistribution analysis. Our findings indicate that anionic phospholipids are exposed and accessible in most tumor types, but cast doubts about the possibility of efficiently targeting tumors in vivo with PS-specific reagents.
    Investigational New Drugs 05/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10637-015-0248-0 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The intratumoral injection of cytokines, in particular IL2, has shown promise for cutaneous melanoma patients with unresectable disease or continuous recurrence despite surgery. We recently reported that the intralesional injection of L19-IL2, an immunocytokine combining IL2 and the human monoclonal antibody fragment L19, resulted in efficient regional control of disease progression, increased time to distant metastasis and evidence of effect on circulating immune cell populations. We have also shown in preclinical models of cancer a remarkable synergistic effect of the combination of L19-IL2 with L19-TNF, a second clinical-stage immunocytokine, based on the same L19 antibody fused to TNF. Here, we describe the results of a phase II clinical trial based on the intralesional administration of L19-IL2 and L19-TNF in patients with stage IIIC and IVM1a metastatic melanoma, who were not candidate to surgery. In 20 efficacy-evaluable patients, 32 melanoma lesions exhibited complete responses upon intralesional administration of the two products, with mild side effects mainly limited to injection site reactions. Importantly, we observed complete responses in 7/13 (53.8 %) non-injected lesions (4 cutaneous, 3 lymph nodes), indicating a systemic activity of the intralesional immunostimulatory treatment. The intralesional administration of L19-IL2 and L19-TNF represents a simple and effective method for the local control of inoperable melanoma lesions, with a potential to eradicate them or make them suitable for a facile surgical removal of the residual mass.
    Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 05/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00262-015-1704-6 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is increasing interest in the site-directed pharmacodelivery of therapeutic payloads to the tumor site using antibodies as transport vehicles. Here, we investigated the efficacy of L19-IL2, an antibody-cytokine fusion protein that specifically delivers IL-2 to the tumor site by homing to the extra-domain B of fibronectin (EDB-Fn) expressed on tumor-associated blood vessels, against mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) in mice. L19-IL2 was shown to selectively localize at lymphoma lesions in vivo and to mediate significant lymphoma growth retardation, which was potentiated by co-administration of the anti-CD20 antibody rituximab. When co-injected with rituximab, L19-IL2 induced complete remissions of localized MCL xenografts in 6/8 mice (75%), whereas the combination of rituximab and equivalent doses of non-targeted IL-2 only slightly delayed tumor growth. In disseminated MCL, combination therapy with L19-IL2 and rituximab exhibited a significant survival benefit over treatment with IL-2 and rituximab and completely eradicated the disease in 2/7 cases (28.6%). Mechanistically, histological analyses of post-therapeutic lymphoma tissues revealed a strong intratumoral accumulation of macrophages and natural killer cells after a single dose of the immunocytokine, whereas L19-IL2 had no significant impact on microvessel density or on tissue penetration of co-injected rituximab. Collectively, these results provide the scientific rationale for the clinical evaluation of L19-IL2 in combination with anti-CD20 immunotherapy in patients with MCL. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Leukemia research 04/2015; 39(7). DOI:10.1016/j.leukres.2015.04.005 · 2.69 Impact Factor
  • Jörg Scheuermann, Dario Neri
    Current opinion in chemical biology 04/2015; 26. DOI:10.1016/j.cbpa.2015.03.014 · 7.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endometriosis is caused by the displacement of endometrium outside the uterus contributing heavily to infertility and debilitating pelvic pain. Ectopic adhesion and growth are believed to occur under the influence of a favorable hormonal environment and immunological factors. The objective of this study is to analyze the effect of a targeted therapy with an antibody-based pharmacodelivery of interleukin 4 (F8-IL4) in a mouse model of experimentally induced endometriosis. Endometriosis-like lesions were induced in Balb/c mice. The animals were treated intravenously with F8-IL4 or with untargeted IL4 (KSF-IL4). Twelve days after disease induction, the lesions were isolated. A significant reduction in the number of total lesions/mouse and in the total volume of lesions/mouse was observed in mice treated with F8-IL4 compared to controls (P = .029 and P = .006, respectively), while no difference was found between KSF-IL4-treated mice and their controls. Gene expression was evaluated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Expression of genes involved in cell adhesion, extracellular matrix invasion, and neovascularization was significantly downregulated in F8-IL4-treated mice compared to their controls (integrin β1: P = .02; metalloproteinase [MMP] 3: P = .02; MMP9: P = .04; vascular endothelial growth factor: P = .04). Gene expression of inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor α, IL1β, IL1α, and IL6) did not vary in the ectopic lesions isolated from F8-IL4-treated mice compared to their controls. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated a significantly reduced expression of E-cadherin and β-catenin in the lesions of mice treated with F8-IL4. Our results show that the antibody-mediated targeted delivery of IL4 inhibits the development of endometriosis in a syngeneic mouse model by likely impairing adhesion, invasion, and vascularization of the ectopic endometrium. © The Author(s) 2015.
    Reproductive sciences (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) 04/2015; DOI:10.1177/1933719115578930 · 2.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Parallel affinity screening of a DNA-encoded chemical library against rat, bovine and human serum albumin allowed the identification of small-molecule ligands with distinctive binding specificities to the individual proteins.
    Chemical Communications 03/2015; 51(38). DOI:10.1039/c5cc01230a · 6.72 Impact Factor
  • Giulio Casi, Dario Neri
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    ABSTRACT: Conventional cancer chemotherapy is limited by the fact that small organic cytotoxic agents typically do not preferentially localize at the tumor site, causing unwanted toxicities to normal organs and limiting dose escalation to therapeutically active regimens. In principle, antibodies and other ligands could be used for the selective pharmacodelivery of cytotoxic agents to the tumor environment. While traditionally internalizing ligands have been used for such targeting applications, increasing experimental evidence suggests that the ligand-based delivery of anti-cancer drugs to the extracellular space in the tumor, followed by suitable release strategies, may mediate a potent anti-cancer activity. In this review, we outline the main requirements for the development of non-internalizing targeted cytotoxics.
    Molecular Pharmaceutics 03/2015; 12(6). DOI:10.1021/mp500798y · 4.79 Impact Factor
  • Christian Hess, Dario Neri
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the expression and in vivo characterization of an antibody-cytokine fusion protein, based on murine Interleukin-13 (IL13) and the monoclonal antibody F8, specific to the alternatively spliced extra domain A of fibronectin, a marker of neo-angiogenesis. The IL13 moiety was fused at the C-terminal extremity of the F8 antibody in diabody format. The resulting F8-IL13 immunocytokine retained the full binding properties of the parental antibody and cytokine bioactivity. The fusion protein could be expressed in mammalian cells, purified to homogeneity and showed a preferential accumulation at the tumor site. When used as single agent at doses of 200 μg, F8-IL13 exhibited a strong inhibition of tumor growth rate in two models of cancer (F9 teratocarcinoma and Wehi-164), promoting an infiltration of various types of leukocytes into the neoplastic mass. This anticancer activity could be potentiated by combination with an immunocytokine based on the F8 antibody and murine IL12, leading to complete and long-lasting tumor eradications. Mice cured from Wehi-164 sarcomas acquired a durable protective antitumor immunity, and selective depletion of immune cells revealed that the antitumor activity was mainly mediated by cluster of differentiation 4-positive T cells. This study indicates that IL13 can be efficiently delivered to the tumor neo-vasculature and that it mediates a potent anticancer activity in the two models of cancer investigated in this study. The observed mechanism of action for F8-IL13 was surprising, since immunocytokines based on other payloads (e.g., IL2, IL4, IL12 and TNF) eradicate cancer by the combined contribution of natural killer cells and cluster of differentiation 8-positive T cells.
    Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 02/2015; 64(5). DOI:10.1007/s00262-015-1666-8 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The antibody-based delivery of interleukin-2 (IL-2) to extracellular targets expressed in the easily accessible tumor-associated vasculature has shown potent anti-leukemic activity in xenograft and immunocompetent murine models of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), especially in combination with cytarabine. Here, we report our experiences in four patients with relapsed AML after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT), who were treated with the immunocytokine F16-IL2, in combination with low-dose cytarabine (LDAC). One patient with disseminated extramedullary AML lesions achieved a complete metabolic response in PET/CT, which lasted three months. Two out of three patients with bone marrow (BM) relapse achieved a blast reduction with transient molecular negativity. One of the two enjoyed a short complete remission before AML relapse occurred two months after the first infusion of F16-IL2. In line with a site-directed delivery of the cytokine, F16-IL2 led to an extensive infiltration of immune effector cells in the BM. Grade 2 fevers were the only non-hematological side effects in two patients. Grade 3 cytokine-release syndrome developed in the other two patients, but was manageable in both cases with glucocorticoids. The concept of specifically targeting IL-2 to the leukemia-associated stroma deserves further evaluation in clinical trials, especially in patients who relapse after allo-HSCT. Copyright © 2015, American Association for Cancer Research.
    02/2015; 3(5). DOI:10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-14-0179
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    ABSTRACT: Methods for the rapid and inexpensive discovery of hit compounds are essential for pharmaceutical research and DNA-encoded chemical libraries represent promising tools for this purpose. We here report on the design and synthesis of DAL-100K, a DNA-encoded chemical library containing 103 200 structurally compact compounds. Affinity screening experiments and DNA-sequencing analysis provided ligands with nanomolar affinities to several proteins, including prostate-specific membrane antigen and tankyrase 1. Correlations of sequence counts with binding affinities and potencies of enzyme inhibition were observed and enabled the identification of structural features critical for activity. These results indicate that libraries of this type represent a useful source of small-molecule binders for target proteins of pharmaceutical interest and information on structural features important for binding.
    Angewandte Chemie 02/2015; 127(13). DOI:10.1002/ange.201410736
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    ABSTRACT: The ability of antibodies to extravasate out of blood vessels is critical for therapeutic activity, because molecular targets for most diseases are located outside of the endothelial lining. By performing detailed biodistribution studies with a novel IL9-armed cancer-specific antibody, we identified a clear correlation between N-linked glycan structures and tumor-targeting efficiencies. Site-specific glycan analysis provided a detailed view of the glycan microheterogeneity present on the IL9 portion of the recombinant protein. Nonsialylated glycan structures have a negative impact on disease-homing activity, highlighting the importance of glycosylation control and characterization during process development.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2015; 112(7). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1416694112 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Antibody-cytokine fusion proteins (immunocytokines) represent a novel class of armed antibodies in oncology. In particular, IL2–and TNF–based immunocytokines targeting the EDB domain of fibronectin and the A1 domain of tenascin-C have demonstrated promising anti-tumor activity and are currently investigated in Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. To advance the development of immunocytokines for NSCLC, we here report on the therapeutic efficacy of F8-IL2, an immunocytokine directed against the alternatively-spliced EDA domain of fibronectin in a fully immunocompetent, orthotopic model of NSCLC, and the characterization of the target antigen expression in human NSCLC specimens.
    Lung Cancer 01/2015; 88(1). DOI:10.1016/j.lungcan.2015.01.019 · 3.74 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

10k Citations
1,859.96 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1997–2014
    • Eawag: Das Wasserforschungs-Institut des ETH-Bereichs
      Duebendorf, Zurich, Switzerland
    • ETH Zurich
      • • Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences
      • • Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences
      • • Institute of Molecular Biology and Biophysics
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2013
    • VU University Medical Center
      • Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery
      Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 2008
    • National Research Council
      • Institute of Biomedical Technologies ITB
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2006
    • University of Liège
      • Metastasis Research Laboratory
      Liège, WAL, Belgium
  • 1999–2006
    • University of Zurich
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2004
    • HELIOS Klinikum Erfurt
      Erfurt, Thuringia, Germany
  • 2003
    • Università degli Studi di Genova
      • Dipartimento di Medicina sperimentale (DIMES)
      Genova, Liguria, Italy
  • 2002
    • Universitätsklinikum Jena
      Jena, Thuringia, Germany
  • 1997–2002
    • Università degli Studi di Siena
      • Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neuroscience
      Siena, Tuscany, Italy
  • 1991–1998
    • Hochschule für Technik Zürich
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 1996
    • Medical Research Council (UK)
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom