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Evaluating the therapeutic potential of a dimeric HER3-binding affibody construct in comparison with a monoclonal antibody, seribantumab.
KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Protein Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1598-8894
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A number of monoclonal antibodies targeting HER3 are currently under clinical investigation as potential cancer therapeutics. We have earlier generated high affinity (low picomolar) affibody molecules targeting HER3. These are small, 58 amino acid, non-immunoglobulin based scaffold proteins that have proved suitable for tumor targeting applications, previously primarily for molecular imaging purposes. Our high affinity HER3-binding affibody molecule has demonstrated to have anti-proliferative capacity on HER3-positive tumor cells. When formatted as a bivalent construct, in which the two affibody moieties are flanking a small albumin-binding domain (ABD), we have recently demonstrated that tumor growth could be delayed in mice for HER3-positive xenografts. In this study, we have modified the construct further and reduced the size. In a comparative study, we evaluated safety, the capacity to delay tumor growth in mice with BxPC-3 xenografts, and mouse survival. Our novel construct was compared to the HER3-specific monoclonal antibody seribantumab (MM-121), presently in clinical development. They were found to be equally potent in their therapeutic effects and in their safety profile. We conclude that this format of bivalent HER3-binding affibody molecules seems promising for further evaluation as candidate therapeutics for treatment of HER3-overexpressing tumors.

Keywords [en]
Affibody, Cancer, ErbB3, HER3, Protein Engineering
National Category
Other Medical Biotechnology
Research subject
Biotechnology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-204613OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-204613DiVA, id: diva2:1085611
Note

QC 20170330

Available from: 2017-03-29 Created: 2017-03-29 Last updated: 2017-03-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Affibody molecules targeting HER3 for cancer therapy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Affibody molecules targeting HER3 for cancer therapy
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The development of targeted therapy has contributed tremendously to the treatment of patients with cancer. The use of highly specific affinity proteins to target cancer cells has become a standard in treatment strategies for several different cancers. In light of this, many cancer cell markers are investigated for their potential use in diagnostics and therapy. One such marker is the human epidermal growth factor receptor 3, HER3. It has been established as an important contributor to many cancer types. The function of HER3 is to relay cell growth signals from outside of the cell to the inside. Interfering with- and inhibit- ing the function of HER3 has emerged as an interesting strategy for cancer therapeutics. The studies presented in this thesis aim to target HER3 with small, engineered affinity domain proteins for therapeutic purposes. Monomeric affibody molecules have previously been engineered to bind and inhibit HER3 in vitro. Due to the relatively low expression of HER3, an increase in valency appears promising to strengthen the therapeutic potential. Affibody molecules targeting the receptor were thus linked to form bivalent and bispecific constructs and evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. In the first study of this thesis affibody molecules specific for HER3 and HER2 were fused to an albumin binding domain to form bivalent and bispecific construct. The constructs inhibited ligand-induced receptor phos- phorylation of both HER2 and HER3 more efficiently than monomeric affibody molecules. A second approach to enhance the potential of affibody molecules in tumor targeting is described in the second study, where monomeric HER3-binding affibody molecules were engineered to increase their affinity for HER3. The resulting variants showed a 20-fold in- creased affinity and higher capacity to inhibit cancer cell growth. Combining the findings of the first two studies, the third study describes the evaluation of a HER3-targeting bivalent affibody construct for potential application as a therapeutic. Here, the bivalent construct inhibited cancer cell growth in vitro and was found to slow down tumor growth in mice, while being well tolerated and showing no visible toxicity. The fourth study built upon these findings and compares a very similar bivalent construct to the clinically-investigated HER3-specific monoclonal antibody seribantumab. The affibody construct showed very comparable efficacy with the antibody in terms of decreasing tumor growth rate and ex- tending mouse survival. Collectively, these works describe for the first time the use of alternative affinity protein constructs with therapeutic potential targeting HER3.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. p. 87
Keywords
Affibody molecule, cancer therapy, epidermal growth factor receptors, ErbB3, HER3, protein engineering
National Category
Other Medical Biotechnology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-204593 (URN)
Public defence
2017-05-12, FR4, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20170330

Available from: 2017-03-30 Created: 2017-03-29 Last updated: 2017-03-30Bibliographically approved

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