Purpose: Activation of the receptor tyrosine kinase MET is associated with poor clinical outcome in certain cancers. To target MET more effectively, we developed an antagonistic antibody mixture, Sym015, consisting of two humanized mAbs directed against nonoverlapping epitopes of MET.Experimental Design/Results: We screened a large panel of well-annotated human cancer cell lines and identified a subset with highly elevated MET expression. In particular, cell lines of lung cancer and gastric cancer origin demonstrated high MET expression and activation, and Sym015 triggered degradation of MET and significantly inhibited growth of these cell lines. Next, we tested Sym015 in patient- and cell line-derived xenograft models with high MET expression and/or MET exon 14 skipping alterations, and in models harboring MET amplification as a mechanism of resistance to EGFR-targeting agents. Sym015 effectively inhibited tumor growth in all these models and was superior to an analogue of emibetuzumab, a monoclonal IgG4 antibody against MET currently in clinical development. Sym015 also induced antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) in vitro, suggesting that secondary effector functions contribute to the efficacy of Sym015.Retrospectively, all responsive, high MET-expressing models were scored as highly MET-amplified by in situ hybridization, pointing to MET amplification as a predictive biomarker for efficacy. Preclinical toxicology studies in monkeys showed that Sym015 was well tolerated, with a pharmacokinetic profile supporting administration of Sym015 every second or third week in humans.Conclusions: The preclinical efficacy and safety data provide a clear rationale for the ongoing clinical studies of Sym015 in patients with MET-amplified tumors. Clin Cancer Res; 23(19); 5923-35. ©2017 AACR.
©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.