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Publications (10)100.36 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: AMG623, also known as A-623, is an antagonist of B-cell activating factor (BAFF). The present study was to evaluate the effects of AMG623 on murine models of autoimmune diseases. AMG623 was generated through phage library. Inhibitory activities of AMG623 against human and murine BAFF were measured by biacore binding and BAFF-mediated B-cell proliferation assay. Pharmacological effects of AMG623 were studied in BALB/c mice, collagen-induced arthritis model (CIA) and in the NZBxNZW F1 lupus model. AMG623 binds to both soluble and cell surface BAFF. AMG623 blocks both human murine BAFF binding to the receptors. Treatment of AMG623 resulted in B-cell number reduction, and improvement of arthritis and lupus development in mice. AMG623 is a novel modality of BAFF antagonist. AMG623 is a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of SLE, rheumatoid arthritis, and other B-cell-mediated autoimmune diseases.
    Clinical and experimental rheumatology 02/2012; 30(2):197-201. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The physiological role of Dickkopf-1 (Dkk1) during postnatal bone growth in rodents and in adult rodents was examined utilizing an antibody to Dkk1 (Dkk1-Ab) that blocked Dkk1 binding to both low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 6 (LRP6) and Kremen2, thereby preventing the Wnt inhibitory activity of Dkk1. Treatment of growing mice and rats with Dkk1-Ab resulted in a significant increase in bone mineral density because of increased bone formation. In contrast, treatment of adult ovariectomized rats did not appreciably impact bone, an effect that was associated with decreased Dkk1 expression in the serum and bone of older rats. Finally, we showed that Dkk1 plays a prominent role in adult bone by mediating fracture healing in adult rodents. These data suggest that, whereas Dkk1 significantly regulates bone formation in younger animals, its role in older animals is limited to pathologies that lead to the induction of Dkk1 expression in bone and/or serum, such as traumatic injury.
    Journal of bone and mineral research: the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 07/2011; 26(11):2610-21. · 6.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Conatumumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody that binds to and activates human death receptor 5 (DR5; also known as TRAIL receptor 2). The purpose of this study was to characterize (64)Cu-labeled conatumumab as a PET tracer for imaging DR5 in tumors. DOTA-conatumumab was synthesized by incubating conatumumab with 2,2',2″-(10-(2-(2,5-dioxopyrrolidin-1-yloxy)-2-oxoethyl)-1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7-triyl)triacetic acid (DOTA-NHS). The absolute numbers of DOTA molecules per conatumumab molecules were determined by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry and electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. (64)Cu-DOTA-conatumumab was prepared by incubating (64)CuCl(2) (33-222 MBq) with DOTA-conatumumab at 37°C for 1 h. Binding of conatumumab and DOTA-conatumumab to Fc-coupled human DR5 (huTR2-Fc) was tested in a kinetic analysis assay, and the biologic activity of copper-DOTA-conatumumab was measured using a caspase-3/7 luminescent assay. In vivo evaluation of DOTA-conatumumab and copper-DOTA-conatumumab was done in severe combined immunodeficiency mice bearing Colo205 xenografts: tissue uptake was determined with biodistribution studies, and small-animal PET and autoradiography were used to determine the uptake of (64)Cu-DOTA conatumumab into tumors and other tissues. DOTA-conatumumab was prepared with an average of 5 DOTA molecules per conatumumab molecule. The in vitro median effective concentration required to induce a 50% effect of DOTA-conatumumab and conatumumab from the assay were 389 and 320 pM, respectively. The median effective dose (±SD) of DOTA-conatumumab and conatumumab via the caspase assay was 135 ± 31 and 128 ± 30 pM, respectively. In female CB17 severe combined immunodeficiency mice bearing Colo205 xenografts, DOTA-conatumumab and conatumumab inhibited tumor growth to the same extent. Small-animal PET studies showed tumor uptake at 24 h after injection of the tracer, with a mean standardized uptake value of 3.16 (n = 2). Tumor uptake was decreased by the coadministration of 400 μg of unlabeled conatumumab (mean standardized uptake value, 1.55; n = 2), suggesting saturable uptake. Tissue uptake determined by biodistribution studies was in agreement with the small-animal PET findings. These results suggest that (64)Cu-DOTA-conatumumab is a potential PET tracer for imaging DR5 in tumors and may be useful for measuring on-target occupancy by conatumumab.
    Journal of Nuclear Medicine 06/2011; 52(6):942-9. · 5.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Muscle wasting and cachexia have long been postulated to be key determinants of cancer-related death, but there has been no direct experimental evidence to substantiate this hypothesis. Here, we show that in several cancer cachexia models, pharmacological blockade of ActRIIB pathway not only prevents further muscle wasting but also completely reverses prior loss of skeletal muscle and cancer-induced cardiac atrophy. This treatment dramatically prolongs survival, even of animals in which tumor growth is not inhibited and fat loss and production of proinflammatory cytokines are not reduced. ActRIIB pathway blockade abolished the activation of the ubiquitin-proteasome system and the induction of atrophy-specific ubiquitin ligases in muscles and also markedly stimulated muscle stem cell growth. These findings establish a crucial link between activation of the ActRIIB pathway and the development of cancer cachexia. Thus ActRIIB antagonism is a promising new approach for treating cancer cachexia, whose inhibition per se prolongs survival.
    Cell 08/2010; 142(4):531-43. · 31.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) binds to death receptors 4 and 5 (DR4, DR5) to transduce apoptotic signals. Conatumumab (AMG 655) is an investigational, fully human monoclonal agonist antibody (IgG(1)) to human DR5, which induces apoptosis via caspase activation. In this study, we demonstrate that conatumumab binds to DR5, activating intracellular caspases in vitro in the presence of a cross-linker. We also show that conatumumab has activity in vivo and inhibits tumor growth in colon (Colo205 and HCT-15), lung (H2122) and pancreatic (MiaPaCa2/T2) xenograft models. Conatumumab also enhances the antitumor activity of chemotherapeutics in vivo. Caspase activation in Colo205 tumors is dose-dependent and correlated with serum concentrations of conatumumab. We demonstrate for the first time that increases in serum caspase-3/7 activity and levels of M30 (neoepitope of caspase-cleaved cytokeratin-18) are linked to activation of the extrinsic apoptotic pathway using conatumumab in a preclinical model. These data suggest that conatumumab has potential as a therapeutic agent for treating patients with multiple tumor types, and that serum caspase-3/7 and M30 levels may serve as biomarkers of conatumumab activity.
    Cancer biology & therapy 04/2010; 9(8):618-31. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: AMG 102 is a fully human monoclonal antibody that selectively targets and neutralizes hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF). A detailed biochemical and functional characterization of AMG 102 was done to support its clinical development for the treatment of cancers dependent on signaling through the HGF/SF:c-Met pathway. In competitive equilibrium binding experiments, AMG 102 bound to human and cynomolgus monkey HGF with affinities of approximately 19 pmol/L and 41 pmol/L, respectively. However, AMG 102 did not detect mouse or rabbit HGF on immunoblots. Immunoprecipitation experiments showed that AMG 102 preferentially bound to the mature, active form of HGF, and incubation of AMG 102/HGF complexes with kallikrein protease indicated that AMG 102 had no apparent effect on proteolytic processing of the inactive HGF precursor. AMG 102 inhibited human and cynomolgus monkey HGF-induced c-Met autophosphorylation in PC3 cells with IC(50) values of 0.12 nmol/L and 0.24 nmol/L, respectively. AMG 102 also inhibited cynomolgus monkey HGF-induced migration of human MDA-MB-435 cells but not rat HGF-induced migration of mouse 4T1 cells. Epitope-mapping studies of recombinant HGF molecules comprising human/mouse chimeras and human-to-mouse amino acid substitutions showed that amino acid residues near the NH(2)-terminus of the beta-chain are critical for AMG 102 binding. Bound AMG 102 protected one trypsin protease cleavage site near the NH(2)-terminus of the beta-chain of human HGF, further substantiating the importance of this region for AMG 102 binding. Currently, AMG 102 is in phase II clinical trials in a variety of solid tumor indications. Mol Cancer Ther; 9(2); 400-9.
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 02/2010; 9(2):400-9. · 5.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: c-Met is a receptor tyrosine kinase frequently overexpressed or amplified in many types of human cancers. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF, also known as scatter factor) is the only known ligand for c-Met. In this study, soluble human and murine c-Met receptor-Fc fusion proteins were generated and were shown to bind to human and murine HGF as measured by fluorescence-activated cell sorting and surface plasmon resonance (Biacore) assays. Also, both human and murine c-Met-Fc showed activity in functional cell assays, inhibiting HGF-induced c-Met phosphorylation in PC3 and 4T1 cells, respectively, and inhibiting HGF-driven cellular invasion in a dose-dependent manner. Pharmacokinetic analysis showed that both reagents were suitable for in vivo testing. Systemic administration of human c-Met-Fc significantly inhibited tumor growth in the human HGF-dependent U-87 MG xenograft model at daily doses of 30 or 100 μg (P < 0.0001). Similarly, murine c-Met-Fc, at 100 μg daily, significantly inhibited tumor growth in the murine HGF-dependent CT-26 syngeneic tumor model (P < 0.002). Human and murine c-Met-Fc seemed to be well-tolerated in animals. In conclusion, both mouse and human versions of c-Met-Fc effectively block HGF-induced activation of c-Met and inhibit growth of tumor xenografts, providing further evidence that c-Met is an important target for oncology therapeutics.
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 05/2009; 8(5):1119-25. · 5.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The development of bone-rebuilding anabolic agents for potential use in the treatment of bone loss conditions, such as osteoporosis, has been a long-standing goal. Genetic studies in humans and mice have shown that the secreted protein sclerostin is a key negative regulator of bone formation, although the magnitude and extent of sclerostin's role in the control of bone formation in the aging skeleton is still unclear. To study this unexplored area of sclerostin biology and to assess the pharmacologic effects of sclerostin inhibition, we used a cell culture model of bone formation to identify a sclerostin neutralizing monoclonal antibody (Scl-AbII) for testing in an aged ovariectomized rat model of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Six-month-old female rats were ovariectomized and left untreated for 1 yr to allow for significant estrogen deficiency-induced bone loss, at which point Scl-AbII was administered for 5 wk. Scl-AbII treatment in these animals had robust anabolic effects, with marked increases in bone formation on trabecular, periosteal, endocortical, and intracortical surfaces. This not only resulted in complete reversal, at several skeletal sites, of the 1 yr of estrogen deficiency-induced bone loss, but also further increased bone mass and bone strength to levels greater than those found in non-ovariectomized control rats. Taken together, these preclinical results establish sclerostin's role as a pivotal negative regulator of bone formation in the aging skeleton and, furthermore, suggest that antibody-mediated inhibition of sclerostin represents a promising new therapeutic approach for the anabolic treatment of bone-related disorders, such as postmenopausal osteoporosis.
    Journal of bone and mineral research: the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 01/2009; 24(4):578-88. · 6.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: c-Met is a well-characterized receptor tyrosine kinase for hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). Compelling evidence from studies in human tumors and both cellular and animal tumor models indicates that signaling through the HGF/c-Met pathway mediates a plethora of normal cellular activities, including proliferation, survival, migration, and invasion, that are at the root of cancer cell dysregulation, tumorigenesis, and tumor metastasis. Inhibiting HGF-mediated signaling may provide a novel therapeutic approach for treating patients with a broad spectrum of human tumors. Toward this goal, we generated and characterized five different fully human monoclonal antibodies that bound to and neutralized human HGF. Antibodies with subnanomolar affinities for HGF blocked binding of human HGF to c-Met and inhibited HGF-mediated c-Met phosphorylation, cell proliferation, survival, and invasion. Using a series of human-mouse chimeric HGF proteins, we showed that the neutralizing antibodies bind to a unique epitope in the beta-chain of human HGF. Importantly, these antibodies inhibited HGF-dependent autocrine-driven tumor growth and caused significant regression of established U-87 MG tumor xenografts. Treatment with anti-HGF antibody rapidly inhibited tumor cell proliferation and significantly increased the proportion of apoptotic U-87 MG tumor cells in vivo. These results suggest that an antibody to an epitope in the beta-chain of HGF has potential as a novel therapeutic agent for treating patients with HGF-dependent tumors.
    Cancer Research 03/2006; 66(3):1721-9. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Angiopoietin-2 (Ang2) exhibits broad expression in the remodeling vasculature of human tumors but very limited expression in normal tissues, making it an attractive candidate target for antiangiogenic cancer therapy. To investigate the functional consequences of blocking Ang2 activity, we generated antibodies and peptide-Fc fusion proteins that potently and selectively neutralize the interaction between Ang2 and its receptor, Tie2. Systemic treatment of tumor-bearing mice with these Ang2-blocking agents resulted in tumor stasis, followed by elimination of all measurable tumor in a subset of animals. These effects were accompanied by reduced endothelial cell proliferation, consistent with an antiangiogenic therapeutic mechanism. Anti-Ang2 therapy also prevented VEGF-stimulated neovascularization in a rat corneal model of angiogenesis. These results imply that specific Ang2 inhibition may represent an effective antiangiogenic strategy for treating patients with solid tumors.
    Cancer Cell 12/2004; 6(5):507-16. · 24.76 Impact Factor