M. Compte et al. (NOV 2018)
Nature communications 9 1 4809
A tumor-targeted trimeric 4-1BB-agonistic antibody induces potent anti-tumor immunity without systemic toxicity.
The costimulation of immune cells using first-generation anti-4-1BB monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) has demonstrated anti-tumor activity in human trials. Further clinical development, however, is restricted by significant off-tumor toxicities associated with Fc$\gamma$R interactions. Here, we have designed an Fc-free tumor-targeted 4-1BB-agonistic trimerbody, 1D8N/CEGa1, consisting of three anti-4-1BB single-chain variable fragments and three anti-EGFR single-domain antibodies positioned in an extended hexagonal conformation around the collagen XVIII homotrimerization domain. The1D8N/CEGa1 trimerbody demonstrated high-avidity binding to 4-1BB and EGFR and a potent in vitro costimulatory capacity in the presence of EGFR. The trimerbody rapidly accumulates in EGFR-positive tumors and exhibits anti-tumor activity similar to IgG-based 4-1BB-agonistic mAbs. Importantly, treatment with 1D8N/CEGa1 does not induce systemic inflammatory cytokine production or hepatotoxicity associated with IgG-based 4-1BB agonists. These results implicate Fc$\gamma$R interactions in the 4-1BB-agonist-associated immune abnormalities, and promote the use of the non-canonical antibody presented in this work for safe and effective costimulatory strategies in cancer immunotherapy.