Are you Angela Widom?

Claim your profile

Publications (6)32.24 Total impact

  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Using phage display, we generated a panel of optimized neutralizing antibodies against the human and mouse receptors for interleukin 21 (IL-21), a cytokine that is implicated in the pathogenesis of many types of autoimmune disease. Two antibodies, Ab-01 and Ab-02, which differed by only four amino acids in V(L) CDR3, showed potent inhibition of human and mouse IL-21R in cell-based assays and were evaluated for their pharmacological and pharmacodynamic properties. Ab-01, but not Ab-02, significantly reduced a biomarker of disease (anti-dsDNA antibodies) and IgG deposits in the kidney in the MRL-Fas(lpr) mouse model of lupus, suggesting that anti-IL-21R antibodies may prove useful in the treatment of lupus. Ab-01 also had a consistently higher exposure (AUC(0-infinity)) than Ab-02 following a single dose in rodents or cynomolgus monkeys (2-3-fold or 4-7-fold, respectively). Our data demonstrate that small differences in CDR3 sequences of optimized antibodies can lead to profound differences in in vitro and in vivo properties, including differences in pharmacological activity and pharmacokinetic profiles. The lack of persistent activity of Ab-02 in the MRL-Fas(lpr) mouse lupus model may have been a consequence of faster elimination, reduced potency in blocking the effects of mouse IL-21R, and more potent/earlier onset of the anti-product response relative to Ab-01.
    mAbs 01/2010; 2(3):335-46. · 5.28 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Immunotherapy targeting of amyloid beta (Abeta) peptide in transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer disease (AD) has been widely demonstrated to resolve amyloid deposition as well as associated neuronal, glial, and inflammatory pathologies. These successes have provided the basis for ongoing clinical trials of immunotherapy for treatment of AD in humans. Acute as well as chronic Abeta-targeted immunotherapy has also been demonstrated to reverse Abeta-related behavioral deficits assessing memory in AD transgenic mouse models. We observe that three antibodies targeting the same linear epitope of Abeta, Abeta(3-7), differ in their ability to reverse contextual fear deficits in Tg2576 mice in an acute testing paradigm. Reversal of contextual fear deficit by the antibodies does not correlate with in vitro recognition of Abeta in a consistent or correlative manner. To better define differences in antigen recognition at the atomic level, we determined crystal structures of Fab fragments in complex with Abeta. The conformation of the Abeta peptide recognized by all three antibodies was highly related and is also remarkably similar to that observed in independently reported Abeta:antibody crystal structures. Sequence and structural differences between the antibodies, particularly in CDR3 of the heavy chain variable region, are proposed to account for differing in vivo properties of the antibodies under study. These findings provide a structural basis for immunotherapeutic strategies targeting Abeta species postulated to underlie cognitive deficits in AD.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2009; 285(5):3417-27. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Phage and ribosome display technologies have emerged as important tools in the high-throughput screening of protein pharmaceuticals. However, a challenge created by the implementation of such tools is the need to purify large numbers of proteins for screening. While some assays may be compatible with crude bacterial lysates or periplasmic extracts, many functional assays, particularly cell-based assays, require protein of high purity and concentration. Here we evaluate several methods for small-scale, high-throughput protein purification. From our initial assessment we identified the HIS-Select 96-well filter plate system as the method of choice for further evaluation. This method was optimized and used to produce scFvs that were tested in cell-based functional assays. The behavior of HIS-Select purified scFvs in these assays was found to be similar to scFvs purified using a traditional large-scale 2-step purification method. The HIS-Select method allows high-throughput purification of hundreds of scFvs with yields in the 50-100 microg range, and of sufficient purity to allow evaluation in a cell-based proliferation assay. In addition, the use of a similar 96-well-based method facilitates the purification and subsequent screening of large numbers of IgGs and Fc fusion proteins generated through reformatting of scFv fragments.
    Journal of Immunological Methods 09/2008; 339(1):38-46. · 2.23 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Interleukin (IL)-13 is a key cytokine driving allergic and asthmatic responses and contributes to airway inflammation in cynomolgus monkeys after segmental challenge with Ascaris suum antigen. IL-13 bioactivity is mediated by a heterodimeric receptor (IL-13Ralpha1/IL-4Ralpha) and can be inhibited in vitro by targeting IL-13 interaction with either chain. However, in cytokine systems, in vitro neutralization activity may not always predict inhibitory function in vivo. To address the efficacy of two different IL-13 neutralization mechanisms in a primate model of atopic disease, two humanized monoclonal antibodies to IL-13 were generated, with highly homologous properties, differing in epitope recognition. Ab01 blocks IL-13 interaction with IL-4Ralpha, and Ab02 blocks IL-13 interaction with IL-13Ralpha1. In a cynomolgus monkey model of IgE responses to A. suum antigen, both Ab01 and Ab02 effectively reduced serum titers of Ascaris-specific IgE and diminished ex vivo Ascaris-triggered basophil histamine release, assayed 8 weeks after a single administration of antibody. The two antibodies also produced comparable reductions in pulmonary inflammation after lung segmental challenge with Ascaris antigen. Increased serum levels of IL-13, lacking demonstrable biological activity, were seen postchallenge in animals given either anti-IL-13 antibody but not in control animals given human IgG of irrelevant specificity. These findings demonstrate a potent effect of IL-13 neutralization on IgE-mediated atopic responses in a primate system and show that IL-13 can be efficiently neutralized by targeting either the IL-4Ralpha-binding epitope or the IL-13Ralpha1-binding epitope.
    Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 07/2008; 325(3):882-92. · 3.89 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Airway inflammation is a hallmark feature of asthma and a driver of airway hyperresponsiveness. IL-13 is a key inducer of airway inflammation in rodent models of respiratory disease, but a role for IL-13 has not been demonstrated in primates. We sought to test the efficacy of a neutralizing antibody to human IL-13 in a cynomolgus monkey model of lung inflammation. Using cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) that are sensitized to Ascaris suum through natural exposure, we developed a reproducible model of acute airway inflammation after segmental A suum antigen challenge. This model was used to test the in vivo efficacy of mAb13.2, a mouse mAb directed against human IL-13, and IMA-638, the humanized counterpart of mAb13.2. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells and BAL fluid were collected before and after antigen challenge and assayed for cellular content by means of differential count. Total BAL cell count, eosinophil number, and neutrophil number were all reduced in animals treated with mAb13.2 or IMA-638 compared with values in control animals that were untreated, given saline, or treated with human IgG of irrelevant specificity. In addition, levels of eotaxin and RANTES in BAL fluid were reduced in anti-IL-13-treated animals compared with levels seen in control animals. These findings support a role for IL-13 in maintaining lung inflammation in response to allergen challenge in nonhuman primates. IL-13 neutralization with a specific antibody could be a useful therapeutic strategy for asthma.
    Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 06/2007; 119(5):1251-7. · 12.05 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: IL-13 contributes to airway hyperresponsiveness, mucus secretion, inflammation, and fibrosis, suggesting that it plays a central role in asthma pathogenesis. Neutralization of IL-13 with sIL-13Ralpha2-Fc (sIL-13R) reduces allergen-induced airway responses in rodent models of respiratory disease, but its efficacy in a large animal model has not been previously reported. In this study, we determined whether two different strategies for IL-13 neutralization modified experimental asthma in sheep. Sheep with natural airway hypersensitivity to Ascaris suum antigen were treated intravenously either with sIL-13R, a strong antagonist of sheep IL-13 bioactivity in vitro, or with IMA-638 (IgG1, kappa), a humanized antibody to human IL-13. Higher doses of IMA-638 were used because, although it is a potent antagonist of human IL-13, this antibody has 20 to 30 times lower binding and neutralization activity against sheep IL-13. Control animals received human IgG of irrelevant specificity. Sheep were treated 24 h before inhalation challenge with nebulized A. suum. The effects on antigen-induced early and late bronchial responses, and antigen-induced hyperresponsiveness, were assessed. Both sIL-13R and IMA-638 provided dose-dependent inhibition of the antigen-induced late responses and airway hyperresponsiveness. The highest dose of IMA-638 also reduced the early phase response. These findings suggest that IL-13 contributes to allergen-induced airway responses in this sheep model of asthma, and that neutralization of IL-13 is an effective strategy for blocking these A. suum-induced effects.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 04/2007; 36(3):368-76. · 4.15 Impact Factor