Research Article: A Translational Quantitative Systems Pharmacology Model for CD3 Bispecific Molecules: Application to Quantify T Cell-Mediated Tumor Cell Killing by P-Cadherin LP DART®

Date Published: May 22, 2019

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

Author(s): Alison Betts, Nahor Haddish-Berhane, Dhaval K. Shah, Piet H. van der Graaf, Frank Barletta, Lindsay King, Tracey Clark, Cris Kamperschroer, Adam Root, Andrea Hooper, Xiaoying Chen.


CD3 bispecific antibody constructs recruit cytolytic T cells to kill tumor cells, offering a potent approach to treat cancer. T cell activation is driven by the formation of a trimolecular complex (trimer) between drugs, T cells, and tumor cells, mimicking an immune synapse. A translational quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP) model is proposed for CD3 bispecific molecules capable of predicting trimer concentration and linking it to tumor cell killing. The model was used to quantify the pharmacokinetic (PK)/pharmacodynamic (PD) relationship of a CD3 bispecific targeting P-cadherin (PF-06671008). It describes the disposition of PF-06671008 in the central compartment and tumor in mouse xenograft models, including binding to target and T cells in the tumor to form the trimer. The model incorporates T cell distribution to the tumor, proliferation, and contraction. PK/PD parameters were estimated for PF-06671008 and a tumor stasis concentration (TSC) was calculated as an estimate of minimum efficacious trimer concentration. TSC values ranged from 0.0092 to 0.064 pM across mouse tumor models. The model was translated to the clinic and used to predict the disposition of PF-06671008 in patients, including the impact of binding to soluble P-cadherin. The predicted terminal half-life of PF-06671008 in the clinic was approximately 1 day, and P-cadherin expression and number of T cells in the tumor were shown to be sensitive parameters impacting clinical efficacy. A translational QSP model is presented for CD3 bispecific molecules, which integrates in silico, in vitro and in vivo data in a mechanistic framework, to quantify and predict efficacy across species.

Partial Text

Immunotherapy, which recruits a patient’s own immune system to kill cancer cells, has begun to revolutionize cancer treatment (1). Within the class of immune-oncology therapies are the bispecific immune cell re-targeting molecules (2). These are typically recombinant bispecific antibodies, or antibody fragments, with one binding domain targeting a specific tumor antigen of choice and the other domain targeting CD3 on T cells. Because CD3 serves as the signaling component of the T cell receptor (TCR) complex, these CD3 bispecific molecules enable T cells to circumvent the need for the interaction between the TCR and antigen presented by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules. This expands the repertoire of T cells able to recognize the tumor and stimulate them to act as effector cells (3). Similar to the standard immune synapse formation, once a threshold of bispecific-mediated molecular interactions has been reached, CD3 signals the T cell to initiate a cytotoxic response toward the adjacent tumor cell expressing the specific antigen. Cytotoxicity is mediated by the release of cytotoxic granules containing perforin and granzymes by the T cell. Perforin is a pore-forming protein enabling entry of granzymes, and the granzymes trigger a caspase cascade that leads to apoptosis. Activation of T cells leads to the transient release of cytokines and T cell proliferation, recruitment, and infiltration into the tumor environment, which drives serial killing of tumor cells.

The mechanistic PK/PD model and translational framework described for CD3 bispecific molecules provide a holistic solution for quantitative decision-making throughout the drug discovery and development process. In this manuscript, the use of the model to characterize the in vivo PK/PD relationship of a P-cadherin/CD3 bispecific construct (PF-06671008) across mouse efficacy models is described. The model can also be translated to the clinic for human PK/PD predictions and sensitivity analysis to determine important parameters driving efficacy. The model can be applied at early stages to aid in the design of CD3 bispecific constructs and to select molecules with optimal properties.




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