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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2019;180(2):91-102. doi: 10.1159/000501637. Epub 2019 Aug 9.

AK002, a Humanized Sialic Acid-Binding Immunoglobulin-Like Lectin-8 Antibody that Induces Antibody-Dependent Cell-Mediated Cytotoxicity against Human Eosinophils and Inhibits Mast Cell-Mediated Anaphylaxis in Mice.

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Allakos, Inc., Redwood City, California, USA,
Allakos, Inc., Redwood City, California, USA.
Division of Allergy-Immunology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine, USA.
Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.



Pathologic accumulation and activation of mast cells and eosinophils are implicated in allergic and inflammatory diseases. Sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectin (Siglec)-8 is an inhibitory receptor selectively expressed on mast cells, eosinophils and, at a lower extent, basophils. When engaged with an antibody, Siglec-8 can induce apoptosis of activated eosinophils and inhibit mast cell activation. AK002 is a humanized, non-fucosylated IgG1 anti-Siglec-8 antibody undergoing clinical investigation for treatment of allergic, inflammatory, and proliferative diseases. Here we examine the human tissue selectivity of AK002 and evaluate the in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo activity of AK002 on eosinophils and mast cells.


The affinity of AK002 for Siglec-8 and CD16 was determined by biolayer interferometry. Ex vivo activity of AK002 on human eosinophils from blood and dissociated human tissue was tested in apoptosis and antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) assays. The in vivo activity of a murine precursor of AK002 (mAK002) was tested in a passive systemic anaphylaxis (PSA) humanized mouse model.


AK002 bound selectively to mast cells, eosinophils and, at a lower level, to basophils in human blood and tissue and not to other cell types examined. AK002 induced apoptosis of interleukin-5-activated blood eosinophils and demonstrated potent ADCC activity against blood eosinophils in the presence of natural killer cells. AK002 also significantly reduced eosinophils in dissociated human lung tissue. Furthermore, mAK002 prevented PSA in humanized mice through mast cell inhibition.


AK002 selectively evokes potent apoptotic and ADCC activity against eosinophils and prevents systemic anaphylaxis through mast cell inhibition.


AK002; Anaphylaxis; Antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity; Eosinophils; Mast cells; Sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectin-8

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