Whole-Molecule Antibody Engineering: Generation of a High-Affinity Anti-IL-6 Antibody with Extended Pharmacokinetics
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The differentiation of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies in an increasingly competitive landscape requires optimization of clinical efficacy combined with increased patient convenience. We describe here the generation of MEDI5117, a human anti-interleukin (IL)-6 antibody generated by variable domain engineering, to achieve subpicomolar affinity for IL-6, combined with Fc (fragment crystallizable) engineering to enhance pharmacokinetic half-life. MEDI5117 was shown to be highly potent in disease-relevant cellular assays. The pharmacokinetics of MEDI5117 were evaluated and compared to those of its progenitor, CAT6001, in a single-dose study in cynomolgus monkeys. The antibodies were administered, either subcutaneously or intravenously, as a single dose of 5 mg/kg. The half-life of MEDI5117 was extended by approximately 3-fold, and clearance was reduced by approximately 4-fold when compared to CAT6001. MEDI5117 therefore represents a potential 'next-generation' antibody; future studies are planned to determine the potential for affinity-driven efficacy and/or less frequent administration.
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