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Mol Ther. 2016 Dec;24(12):2078-2089. doi: 10.1038/mt.2016.175. Epub 2016 Oct 12.

Targeted Delivery of an Anti-inflammatory PDE4 Inhibitor to Immune Cells via an Antibody-drug Conjugate.

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California Institute for Biomedical Research, La Jolla, California, USA.
Department of Chemistry and the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, USA.


Phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitors are approved for the treatment of some moderate to severe inflammatory conditions. However, dose-limiting side effects in the central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract, including nausea, emesis, headache, and diarrhea, have impeded the broader therapeutic application of PDE4 inhibitors. We sought to exploit the wealth of validation surrounding PDE4 inhibition by improving the therapeutic index through generation of an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) that selectively targets immune cells through the CD11a antigen. The resulting ADC consisted of a human αCD11a antibody (based on efalizumab clone hu1124) conjugated to an analog of the highly potent PDE4 inhibitor GSK256066. Both the human αCD11a ADC and a mouse surrogate αCD11a ADC (based on the M17 clone) rapidly internalized into immune cells and suppressed lipololysaccharide (LPS)-induced TNFα secretion in primary human monocytes and mouse peritoneal cells, respectively. In a carrageenan-induced air pouch inflammation mouse model, treatment with the ADC significantly reduced inflammatory cytokine production in the air pouch exudate. Overall, these results provide compelling evidence for the feasibility of delivering drugs with anti-inflammatory activity selectively to the immune compartment via CD11a and the development of tissue-targeted PDE4 inhibitors as a promising therapeutic modality for treating inflammatory diseases.

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