Trop-2 is a novel target for ADC therapy because of its high expression by many solid cancers. The rational development of IMMU-132 represents a paradigm shift as an ADC that binds a well-known moderately-cytotoxic drug, SN-38, to the anti-Trop-2 antibody. In vitro and in vivo studies show enhanced efficacy, while there is a gradual release of SN-38 that contributes to the overall effect. IMMU-132 is most efficacious at a high drug:antibody ratio (DAR) of 7.6:1, which does not affect binding and pharmacokinetics. It targets up to 136-fold more SN-38 to a human cancer xenograft than irinotecan, SN-38's prodrug. IMMU-132 delivers SN-38 in its most active, non-glucuronidated form, which may explain the lower frequency of severe diarrhea than with irinotecan. Thus, this ADC, carrying a moderately-toxic drug targeting Trop-2 represents a novel cancer therapeutic that is showing promising activity in patients with several metastatic cancer types, including triple-negative breast cancer, non-small-cell and small-cell lung cancers.
Keywords: SN-38; Trop-2; antibody-drug conjugate; solid cancers; triple-negative breast cancer.