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794 Long-term anti-tumor preclinical efficacy of an optimized anti PD-1/IL-7 bifunctional antibody sustaining activation of progenitor stem-like CD8 TILs and disarming Treg suppressive activity
  1. Aurore morello,
  2. Margaux Seite,
  3. Justine Durand,
  4. Geraldine Teppaz,
  5. Virginie Thepenier,
  6. caroline Mary,
  7. Isabelle Girault,
  8. Emmanuelle Wilhem and
  9. Nicolas Poirier
  1. OSE Immunotherapeutics, Nantes, France


Background Despite the PD-(L)1 therapy success, a majority of patients remain resistant. PD-1+IL7R+ progenitors CD8 TILs is a key T-cell subset associated with durable PD-(L)1 therapy response. However, this subset may rapidly undergo apoptosis and/or being fully exhausted after PD-(L)1 blockade. Some cytokines have the potential to strengthen PD-(L)1 therapy by promoting T cell survival, however, their clinical developments are limited by a shortened half-life and systemic toxicity. To redirect immunotherapy to tumor-specific T cells, expressing PD1, we propose to selectively deliver the pro-survival IL-7 to PD-1+ T cells using a bifunctional anti-PD1/IL-7 mutein antibody. We previously described that the anti-PD1/IL-7v abrogated suppressive activity of human Treg. Here we evaluated its preclinical anti-tumor efficacy and how it promotes the response of PD1+IL7R+ tumor-specific T cells.

Methods Proliferation, IFN-γ, IL-7R signaling, and NFAT assays were tested to determine the mechanism of this antibody. For the suppressive assay, CD4 Treg and autologous CD8 Teff were co-cultured. In vivo experiments were performed in hPD-1 KI immunocompetent or humanized immunodeficient mice.

Results The anti-PD1/IL-7v antibody design has been optimized with a monovalent approach to enhance its biological activity: (1) preserved PD-1 antagonist activity, (2) improved pSTAT5 IL7R signaling, and (3) enhanced in vivo drug exposure and antitumor efficacy. An IL7 mutein has been designed to improve activity on PD1+ T cells while sparing PD1neg T cells.Using a chronic antigen stimulation model, anti-PD1/IL-7v restores the proliferation & survival of both early and fully exhausted CD8+ or CD4+ T cells. Similarly, anti-PD1/IL-7v, but not anti-PD1 alone, reactivates exhausted TILs isolated from human resected tumors. Gene expression analysis by Nanostring showed increase cytotoxicity, antigen presentation, and chemokines signatures. In vivo, anti-PD1/IL-7v demonstrated high monotherapy efficacy (90%) in a PD-1 sensitive orthotopic immunocompetent mouse tumor model as well as in a PD-1 refractory tumor model with 70% of CR vs 15% for anti-PD-1 alone. A selective higher expansion of stem-like/progenitors CD8 TILs was observed after therapy with anti-PD1/IL-7v compared to anti-PD1. Memory immune response was demonstrated in 100% of cured mice after tumor rechallenge in the absence of new treatment in 3 different tumor models. Finally, using two different humanized mouse models implanted with human tumors (A549 or MDA-MB231), we confirmed significant preclinical monotherapy efficacy of the anti-PD-1/IL7v.

Conclusions These data highlight the potential of anti-PD1/IL-7 bifunctional drug to overcome immunotherapy resistance and to promote durable anti-tumor efficacy by preferentially reinvigorating PD-1+IL7R+ stem-like progenitors CD8 T cells.

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