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237 In vitro potency assays for immune checkpoint blockade using human primary cells, murine huGEMM immune cells and patient-derived tumor organoids
  1. Xuefei Yan,
  2. Hongjuan Zhang,
  3. Jun Zhou,
  4. Jia Zheng,
  5. Shuang Zhu,
  6. Rui Zhang,
  7. Mingfa Zang,
  8. Annie Xiaoyu An,
  9. Xiaoxi Xu,
  10. Shuzong Wang,
  11. Kevin Qijin Xu,
  12. Davy Xuesong Ouang,
  13. Henry Li and
  14. Yujun Huang
  1. Crown Bioscience, San Diego, CA, USA


Background The demand of evaluating potency of immune checkpoint modulators is steadily growing for immune-oncology drug development.

Methods We aimed to establish a platform to assess the effects of immune checkpoint blockade using human primary immune cells, humanized murine primary immune cells, and co-cultures of tumor cells or patient-derived tumor organoids with immune cells.

Results First, we validated the potency of immune checkpoint blockade, such as anti-PD-1 antibodies, using mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) assay and T cell activation assay by in vitro stimulation. Secondly, we introduced tumor cell lines into co-culture system with immune cells and validate the potency assay by measuring cytokine production and tumor cell killing by allogenic T cells. Thirdly we used huGEMM mouse-derived immune cells to replace human primary immune cells in potency assays. HuGEMM mice express engineered human immune checkpoint targets on immune cells and they can serve as an excellent resource of primary immune cells to test the drug candidates targeting human checkpoints in vitro. Last, we developed a patient-derived tumor organoid co-culture system with immune cells. We profiled the expression of immune inhibitory molecules on the tumor organoids and assessed the potency of immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Conclusions In summary, we have established an extensive in vitro platform to evaluate the potency of the next generation of immune checkpoint inhibitors.

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See:

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