Background Immune checkpoint therapies targeting CTLA-4, alone, or in combination with anti-PD-1 have shown durable responses in cancer patients. However, responses are limited to a small subset of patients in the most common immunogenic cancers. Here we describe, a novel anti-CTLA-4 antibody, AGEN1181, with enhanced FcyR-dependent functionality that harnesses a novel mechanism of action to promote superior T cell activation and anti-cancer immunity. Concordant with preclinical findings, we report preliminary safety, pharmacodynamic and efficacy data from a phase 1 study of AGEN1181 (NCT03860272), alone or in combination with balstilimab (anti-PD-1 antibody) in a range of immunogenic and non-immunogenic tumors.
Methods The functional activity of AGEN1181 or AGEN1181-like mouse surrogate were assessed in primary cell-based assays or in PD-1 refractory syngeneic tumor-bearing mouse models (B16F10 or KPC pancreatic tumor). Efficacy was evaluated as monotherapy, or in combination with anti-PD-1, focal radiation or chemotherapy. In an ongoing phase I study, AGEN1181 is administered intravenously once every 3- or 6-weeks as monotherapy (0.1–4 mg/kg), or every 6-weeks (1–4 mg/kg) in combination with balstilimab (3 mg/kg) dosed every 2 weeks. Dose-limiting toxicities were evaluated in the first 28 days of treatment. Neoantigen burden was assessed from pre-treatment tumor biopsy, as available, by next-generation sequencing. Fcγ receptor genotyping was assessed by real-time PCR. Immunophenotyping of peripheral blood mononuclear cells collected pre- and post-treatment were analyzed by flow cytometry.
Results Preclinically, AGEN1181 demonstrated superior T cell activation than a standard IgG1 anti-CTLA-4 analogue in donors expressing either the low or high affinity FcγRIIIA. In poorly immunogenic tumor-bearing mouse models, AGEN1181-like surrogate demonstrated robust tumor control in combination with anti-PD-1 and focal radiation or chemotherapy. As of August 25th, 2020, we observed a clinical benefit rate of 63–53% at 6 and 12 weeks respectively among evaluable treated patients. We observed two durable responses in patients with endometrial cancer that were BRCA-, microsatellite stable and PD-L1 negative. These patients progressed on prior PD-1 therapy or chemoradiation respectively. Notably, responders expressed either the low or high affinity FcγRIIIA. AGEN1181 showed potent dose-dependent increases in peripheral CD4+Ki67+, CD4+ICOS+ and CD4+HLA-DR+ T-cells. Treatment was well tolerated through the highest dose tested. Grade 3 or greater immune-related adverse events occurred in 28.5% patients and were consistent with CTLA-4 therapies.
Conclusions AGEN1181 is designed to expand the benefit of anti-CTLA-4 therapy to a broader patient population. AGEN1181, alone or in combination with balstilimab, demonstrates clinical activity in heavily pretreated patients.
Trial Registration NCT03860272
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