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Redirected optimized cell killing (ROCK®): A highly versatile multispecific fit-for-purpose antibody platform for engaging innate immunity.

Authors
  • Ellwanger, Kristina1
  • Reusch, Uwe1
  • Fucek, Ivica1
  • Wingert, Susanne1
  • Ross, Thorsten1
  • Müller, Thomas1
  • Schniegler-Mattox, Ute1
  • Haneke, Torsten1
  • Rajkovic, Erich1
  • Koch, Joachim1
  • Treder, Martin1
  • Tesar, Michael1
  • 1 a Affimed GmbH, Research Department , Heidelberg , Germany. , (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
mAbs
Publisher
Landes Bioscience
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2019
Volume
11
Issue
5
Pages
899–918
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/19420862.2019.1616506
PMID: 31172847
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Redirection of immune cells to efficiently eliminate tumor cells holds great promise. Natural killer cells (NK), macrophages, or T cells are specifically engaged with target cells expressing markers after infection or neoplastic transformation, resulting in their activation and subsequent killing of those targets. Multiple strategies to redirect immunity have been developed in the past two decades, but they have technical hurdles or cause undesirable side-effects, as exemplified by the T cell-based chimeric antigen receptor approaches (CAR-T therapies) or bispecific T cell engager platforms. Our first-in-class bispecific antibody redirecting innate immune cells to tumors (AFM13, a CD30/CD16A-specific innate immune cell engager) has shown signs of clinical efficacy in CD30-positive lymphomas and the potential to be safely administered, indicating a wider therapeutic window compared to T cell engaging therapies. AFM13 is the most advanced candidate from our fit-for-purpose redirected optimized cell killing (ROCK®) antibody platform, which comprises a plethora of CD16A-binding innate immune cell engagers with unique properties. Here, we discuss aspects of this modular platform, including the advantages of innate immune cell engagement over classical monoclonal antibodies and other engager concepts. We also present details on its potential to engineer a fit-for-purpose innate immune cell engager format that can be equipped with unique CD16A domains, modules that influence pharmacokinetic properties and molecular architectures that influence the activation of immune effectors, as well as tumor targeting. The ROCK® platform is aimed at the activation of innate immunity for the effective lysis of tumor cells and holds the promise of overcoming limitations of other approaches that redirect immune cells by widening the therapeutic window.

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