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Clin Cancer Res. 2004 Apr 15;10(8):2868-78.

Characterization of a new humanized anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, IMMU-106, and Its use in combination with the humanized anti-CD22 antibody, epratuzumab, for the therapy of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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Garden State Cancer Center, Center for Molecular Medicine and Immunology, Belleville, New Jersey 07109, USA.



A new humanized anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (MAb), IMMU-106, was evaluated to elucidate its action as an antilymphoma therapeutic, as a single agent, and in combination with the anti-CD22 MAb, epratuzumab.


Antiproliferative effects, apoptotic effects, and the ability of IMMU-106 to mediate complement-mediated cytotoxicity and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity on a panel of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) cell lines were compared with the chimeric anti-CD20 MAb, rituximab, and evaluated in light of the various levels of antigen expression by the cell lines. In vivo therapy studies were performed in SCID mice bearing disseminated Raji lymphoma.


The mechanisms of cytotoxicity of IMMU-106 were found to be similar to rituximab, and include direct apoptosis, antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, and complement-mediated cytotoxicity. IMMU-106 was also found to be very similar to rituximab in terms of antigen-binding specificity, binding avidity, and dissociation constant. Treatment of Raji-bearing SCID mice with IMMU-106 yielded median survival increases of up to 4.2-fold compared with control mice. Survival in mice treated with IMMU-106 plus epratuzumab was compared with IMMU-106 treatment alone. Although the combined treatment did not improve median survival, an increased proportion of long-term survivors was observed. An enhanced antiproliferative effect was also observed in vitro in SU-DHL-6 cells when IMMU-106 was combined with epratuzumab. These findings are consistent with the up-regulation of CD22 expression observed after pretreatment of NHL cells in vitro with CD20 MAb (IMMU-106).


It is expected that in humans IMMU-106 should be at least as effective as rituximab and, due to its human framework construction, it may exhibit different pharmacokinetic, toxicity, and therapy profiles. In addition, it may be possible to enhance efficacy by combination therapy comprised of anti-CD20 and other B-cell lineage targeting MAbs, such as epratuzumab. The current results emphasize that in vitro as well as in vivo studies with many of the NHL cell lines were generally predictive of the known activity of anti-CD20 MAbs in NHL patients, as well as the enhanced efficacy of epratuzumab combined with rituximab observed in early clinical trials.

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