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      Editor’s Highlight: Subvisible Aggregates of Immunogenic Proteins Promote a Th1-Type Response

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          Protein aggregation is associated with enhanced immunogenicity of biotherapeutics. As a result, regulatory guidelines recommend screening for aggregation during bioprocessing. However, the mechanisms underlying the enhanced immunogenicity of aggregates are poorly understood. In the investigations described herein, the immunogenicity in mice of a humanized single chain variable antibody fragment (scFv) purified after expression in Escherichia coli has been examined. Reproducible scFv aggregates were obtained within the subvisible particle size range (mean diameter 2 µm) using thermal and mechanical stresses. Intraperitoneal immunization of BALB/c strain mice with 1 mg/ml of aggregated or monomeric scFv induced similar IgG and IgG1 antibody responses. In contrast, aggregate preparations stimulated significantly higher levels of anti-scFv IgG2a antibody than did the monomer. In comparative studies, aggregates of ovalbumin (OVA) within the subvisible particle size range were prepared by stir stress, and their immunogenicity compared with that of monomeric OVA in mice. Aggregated and monomeric OVA induced similar anti-OVA IgG and IgG1 antibody responses, whereas IgG2a antibody levels were significantly higher in aggregate-immunized mice. Furthermore, cytokine profiles in supernatants taken from splenocyte-dendritic cell co-cultures were consistent with aggregated preparations inducing a T helper (Th) 1-type response. Aggregated proteins within the subvisible range were therefore shown to induce a preferential Th1 type response, whereas monomeric proteins elicited a selective Th2 response. These data indicate that protein aggregation can impact on both the vigor and quality of immune responses.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Development of antidrug antibodies against adalimumab and association with disease activity and treatment failure during long-term follow-up.

          Short-term data on the immunogenicity of monoclonal antibodies showed associations between the development of antidrug antibodies and diminished serum drug levels, and a diminished treatment response. Little is known about the clinical relevance of antidrug antibodies against these drugs during long-term follow-up. To examine the course of antidrug antibody formation against fully human monoclonal antibody adalimumab and its clinical relevance during long-term (3-year) follow-up of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Prospective cohort study February 2004-September 2008; end of follow-up was September 2010. All 272 patients were diagnosed with RA and started treatment with adalimumab in an outpatient clinic. Disease activity was monitored and trough serum samples were obtained at baseline and 8 time points to 156 weeks. Serum adalimumab concentrations and antiadalimumab antibody titers were determined after follow-up. Treatment discontinuation, minimal disease activity, and clinical remission were compared for patients with and without antiadalimumab antibodies. After 3 years, 76 of 272 patients (28%) developed antiadalimumab antibodies--51 of these (67%) during the first 28 weeks of treatment. Patients without antiadalimumab antibodies had much higher adalimumab concentrations (median, 12 mg/L; IQR, 9-16 mg/L) compared with patients with antibody titers from 13 to 100 AU/mL (median, 5 mg/L; IQR, 3-9 mg/L; regression coefficient, -4.5; 95% CI, -6.0 to -2.9; P < .001) and also those greater than 100 AU/mL (median, 0 mg/L; IQR, 0-3 mg/L; regression coefficient, -7.1; 95% CI, -8.4 to -5.8; P < .001). Patients with antiadalimumab antibodies more often discontinued participation due to treatment failure (n = 29 [38%]; hazard ratio [HR], 3.0; 95% CI, 1.6-5.5; P < .001) compared with antiadalimumab antibody-negative ones (n = 28 [14%]). Ninety-five of 196 patients (48%) without antiadalimumab antibodies had minimal disease activity vs 10 of 76 patients (13%) with antiadalimumab antibodies; patients with antiadalimumab antibodies less often had sustained minimal disease activity score in 28 joints (DAS28) (< 3.2; HR, 3.6; 95% CI, 1.8-7.2; P < .001) compared with antiadalimumab antibody-negative ones. Three of 76 patients (4%) with antiadalimumab antibodies achieved sustained remission compared with 67 of 196 (34%) antiadalimumab antibody-negative ones; patients with antiadalimumab antibodies less often achieved remission (DAS28 < 2.6; HR, 7.1; 95% CI, 2.1-23.4; P < .001) compared with antiadalimumab antibody-negative ones. Among outpatients with RA in whom adalimumab was started over 3 years, the development of antidrug antibodies was associated with lower adalimumab concentration and lower likelihood of minimal disease activity or clinical remission.
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            Development of ranibizumab, an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor antigen binding fragment, as therapy for neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

            Angiogenesis is a key aspect of the wet form of age-related neovascular (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in the elderly population. Substantial evidence indicated that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A is a major mediator of angiogenesis and vascular leakage in wet AMD. VEGF-A is the prototype member of a gene family that includes also PlGF, VEGF-B, VEGF-C, VEGF-D and the orf virus-encoded VEGF-E. Several isoforms of VEGF-A can be generated due to alternative mRNA splicing. Various VEGF inhibitors have been clinically developed. Among these, ranibizumab is a high affinity recombinant Fab that neutralizes all isoforms of VEGF-A. The article briefly reviews the biology of VEGF and then focuses on the path that led to clinical development of ranibizumab. The safety and efficacy of ranibizumab in the treatment of neovascular AMD have been evaluated in two large phase III, multicenter, randomized, double-masked, controlled pivotal trials in different neovascular AMD patient populations. Combined, the trial results indicate that ranibizumab results not only in a slowing down of vision loss but also in a significant proportion of patients experiencing a clinically meaningful vision gain. The visual acuity benefit over control was observed regardless of CNV lesion type. Furthermore, the benefit was associated with a low rate of serious adverse events. Ranibizumab represents a novel therapy that, for the first time, appears to have the potential to enable many AMD patients to obtain a meaningful and sustained gain of vision. On June 30 2006, ranibizumab was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of wet AMD.
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              Protein drug stability: a formulation challenge.

              The increasing use of recombinantly expressed therapeutic proteins in the pharmaceutical industry has highlighted issues such as their stability during long-term storage and means of efficacious delivery that avoid adverse immunogenic side effects. Controlled chemical modifications, such as substitutions, acylation and PEGylation, have fulfilled some but not all of their promises, while hydrogels and lipid-based formulations could well be developed into generic delivery systems. Strategies to curb the aggregation and misfolding of proteins during storage are likely to benefit from the recent surge of interest in protein fibrillation. This might in turn lead to generally accepted guidelines and tests to avoid unforeseen adverse effects in drug delivery.

                Author and article information

                Toxicol Sci
                Toxicol. Sci
                Toxicological Sciences
                Oxford University Press
                October 2016
                30 June 2016
                30 June 2016
                : 153
                : 2
                : 258-270
                *Faculty of Life Sciences, The University of Manchester, C1256, Michael Smith Building, Dover St, Manchester M13 9PT, UK;
                National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire EN6 3QG
                Author notes
                1To whom correspondence should be addressed at Faculty of Life Sciences, The University of Manchester, C1256, Michael Smith Building, Dover St, Manchester, M13 9PT, UK. E-mail: jeremy.derrick@ 123456manchester.ac.uk .
                © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Pages: 13
                T Helper 1-Type Response Induced by Subvisible Aggregates of Immunogenic Proteins

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine

                immunogenicity, biotherapeutic, protein aggregation, scfv, ova.


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