We identified B cell maturation antigen (BCMA) as a potential therapeutic target in 778 newly diagnosed and relapsed myeloma patients. We constructed an IgG-based BCMA-T cell bispecific antibody (EM801) and showed that it increased CD3+ T cell/myeloma cell crosslinking, followed by CD4+/CD8+ T cell activation, and secretion of interferon-γ, granzyme B, and perforin. This effect is CD4 and CD8 T cell mediated. EM801 induced, at nanomolar concentrations, myeloma cell death by autologous T cells in 34 of 43 bone marrow aspirates, including those from high-risk patients and patients after multiple lines of treatment, tumor regression in six of nine mice in a myeloma xenograft model, and depletion of BCMA+ cells in cynomolgus monkeys. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics indicate weekly intravenous/subcutaneous administration.
Keywords: BCMA; T cell bispecific antibody; immunotherapy; multiple myeloma; redirected cell killing.
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