[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract While antibody engineering improves the properties of therapeutic antibodies, optimization of regions that do not contact antigens has been mainly focused on modifying the effector functions and pharmacokinetics of antibodies. We recently reported an asymmetric anti-FIXa/FX bispecific IgG4 antibody, ACE910, which mimics the cofactor function of FVIII by placing the two factors into spatial proximity for the treatment of hemophilia A. During the optimization process, we found that the activity was significantly affected by IgG subclass and by modifications to the inter-chain disulfide bonds, upper hinge region, elbow hinge region, and Fc glycan, even though these regions were unlikely to come into direct contact with the antigens. Of these non-antigen-contacting regions, the tertiary structure determined by the inter-chain disulfide bonds was found to strongly affect the FVIII-mimetic activity. Interestingly, IgG4-like disulfide bonds between Cys131 in the heavy chain and Cys114 in the light chain, and disulfide bonds between the two heavy chains at the hinge region were indispensable for the high FVIII-mimetic activity. Moreover, proline mutations in the upper hinge region and removal of the Fc glycan enhanced the FVIII-mimetic activity, suggesting that flexibility of the upper hinge region and CH2 domain is important for the FVIII-mimetic activity. This study suggests that these non-antigen-contacting regions can be engineered to improve the biological activity of IgG antibodies with functions similar to ACE910, such as placing two antigens into spatial proximity, retargeting effector cells to target cells, or co-ligating two identical or different antigens on the same cell.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ACE910 is a humanized anti-factor IXa/X bispecific antibody mimicking the function of factor VIII (FVIII). We previously demonstrated in non-human primates that a single intravenous (IV) dose of ACE910 exerted hemostatic activity against hemophilic bleeds artificially induced in muscles and subcutis, and that a subcutaneous (SC) dose of ACE910 showed a 3-week half-life and nearly 100% bioavailability, offering support for effective prophylaxis for hemophilia A by user-friendly SC dosing. However, there was no direct evidence that such SC dosing of ACE910 would prevent spontaneous bleeds occurring in daily life. In this study, we newly established a long-term primate model of acquired hemophilia A by multiple IV injections of an anti-primate FVIII neutralizing antibody engineered in mouse-monkey chimeric form to reduce its antigenicity. The monkeys in the control group exhibited various spontaneous bleeding symptoms as well as continuous APTT prolongation; notably, all exhibited joint bleeds, which are a hallmark of hemophilia. Weekly SC doses of ACE910 (initial 3.97 mg/kg followed by 1 mg/kg) significantly prevented these bleeding symptoms; notably, no joint bleeding symptoms were observed. ACE910 is expected to prevent spontaneous bleeds and joint damage in hemophilia A patients even with weekly SC dosing, although appropriate clinical investigation is required.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In hemophilia A, routine prophylaxis with exogenous factor VIII (FVIII) requires frequent intravenous injections and can lead to the development of anti-FVIII alloantibodies (FVIII inhibitors). To overcome these drawbacks, we screened asymmetric bispecific IgG antibodies to factor IXa (FIXa) and factor X (FX), mimicking the FVIII cofactor function. Since the therapeutic potential of the lead bispecific antibody was marginal, FVIII-mimetic activity was improved by modifying its binding properties to FIXa and FX, and the pharmacokinetics was improved by engineering the charge properties of the variable region. Difficulties in manufacturing the bispecific antibody were overcome by identifying a common light chain for the anti-FIXa and anti-FX heavy chains through framework/complementarity determining region shuffling, and by pI engineering of the two heavy chains to facilitate ion exchange chromatographic purification of the bispecific antibody from the mixture of byproducts. Engineering to overcome low solubility and deamidation was also performed. The multidimensionally optimized bispecific antibody hBS910 exhibited potent FVIII-mimetic activity in human FVIII-deficient plasma, and had a half-life of 3 weeks and high subcutaneous bioavailability in cynomolgus monkeys. Importantly, the activity of hBS910 was not affected by FVIII inhibitors, while anti-hBS910 antibodies did not inhibit FVIII activity, allowing the use of hBS910 without considering the development or presence of FVIII inhibitors. Furthermore, hBS910 could be purified on a large manufacturing scale and formulated into a subcutaneously injectable liquid formulation for clinical use. These features of hBS910 enable routine prophylaxis by subcutaneous delivery at a long dosing interval without considering the development or presence of FVIII inhibitors. We expect that hBS910 (investigational drug name: ACE910) will provide significant benefit for severe hemophilia A patients.
PLoS ONE 02/2013; 8(2):e57479. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0057479 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hemophilia A is a bleeding disorder resulting from coagulation factor VIII (FVIII) deficiency. Exogenously provided FVIII effectively reduces bleeding complications in patients with severe hemophilia A. In approximately 30% of such patients, however, the 'foreignness' of the FVIII molecule causes them to develop inhibitory antibodies against FVIII (inhibitors), precluding FVIII treatment in this set of patients. Moreover, the poor pharmacokinetics of FVIII, attributed to low subcutaneous bioavailability and a short half-life of 0.5 d, necessitates frequent intravenous injections. To overcome these drawbacks, we generated a humanized bispecific antibody to factor IXa (FIXa) and factor X (FX), termed hBS23, that places these two factors into spatially appropriate positions and mimics the cofactor function of FVIII. hBS23 exerted coagulation activity in FVIII-deficient plasma, even in the presence of inhibitors, and showed in vivo hemostatic activity in a nonhuman primate model of acquired hemophilia A. Notably, hBS23 had high subcutaneous bioavailability and a 2-week half-life and would not be expected to elicit the development of FVIII-specific inhibitory antibodies, as its molecular structure, and hence antigenicity, differs from that of FVIII. A long-acting, subcutaneously injectable agent that is unaffected by the presence of inhibitors could markedly reduce the burden of care for the treatment of hemophilia A.
Nature medicine 09/2012; 18(10):1570-4. DOI:10.1038/nm.2942 · 27.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since the first generation of humanized IgG1 antibodies reached the market in the late 1990s, IgG antibody molecules have been extensively engineered. The success of antibody therapeutics has introduced severe competition in developing novel therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, especially for promising or clinically validated targets. Such competition has led researchers to generate so-called second or third generation antibodies with clinical differentiation utilizing various engineering and optimization technologies. Parent IgG antibodies can be engineered to have improved antigen binding properties, effector functions, pharmacokinetics, pharmaceutical properties and safety issues. Although the primary role of the antibody variable region is to bind to the antigen, it is also the main source of antibody diversity and its sequence affects various properties important for developing antibody therapeutics. Here we review recent research activity in variable region engineering to generate superior antibody therapeutics.