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Cancer Immunol Res. 2020 Feb;8(2):230-245. doi: 10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-19-0493. Epub 2019 Dec 18.

CD40 Enhances Type I Interferon Responses Downstream of CD47 Blockade, Bridging Innate and Adaptive Immunity.

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Shattuck Labs, Inc., Durham, North Carolina.
Shattuck Labs, Inc., Durham, North Carolina.
Contributed equally


Disrupting the binding of CD47 to SIRPα has emerged as a promising immunotherapeutic strategy for advanced cancers by potentiating antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP) of targeted antibodies. Preclinically, CD47/SIRPα blockade induces antitumor activity by increasing the phagocytosis of tumor cells by macrophages and enhancing the cross-presentation of tumor antigens to CD8+ T cells by dendritic cells; both of these processes are potentiated by CD40 signaling. Here we generated a novel, two-sided fusion protein incorporating the extracellular domains of SIRPα and CD40L, adjoined by a central Fc domain, termed SIRPα-Fc-CD40L. SIRPα-Fc-CD40L bound CD47 and CD40 with high affinity and activated CD40 signaling in the absence of Fc receptor cross-linking. No evidence of hemolysis, hemagglutination, or thrombocytopenia was observed in vitro or in cynomolgus macaques. Murine SIRPα-Fc-CD40L outperformed CD47 blocking and CD40 agonist antibodies in murine CT26 tumor models and synergized with immune checkpoint blockade of PD-1 and CTLA4. SIRPα-Fc-CD40L activated a type I interferon response in macrophages and potentiated the activity of ADCP-competent targeted antibodies both in vitro and in vivo These data illustrated that whereas CD47/SIRPα inhibition could potentiate tumor cell phagocytosis, CD40-mediated activation of a type I interferon response provided a bridge between macrophage- and T-cell-mediated immunity that significantly enhanced durable tumor control and rejection.

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