Background: CD16-chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) T cells recognise the Fc-portion of therapeutic antibodies, which can enable the selective targeting of different antigens. Limited evidence exists as to which CD16-CAR design and antibody partner might be most effective. We have hypothesised that the use of high-affinity CD16 variants, with increased Fc-terminus antibody affinity, combined with Fc-engineered antibodies, would provide superior CD16-CAR T cell efficacy.
Methods: CD16-CAR T (wild-type or variants) cells were co-cultured with Panc-1 pancreatic cancer, Raji lymphoma or A375 melanoma cells in the presence or absence of anti-CD20, anti-MCSP, wild-type or the glycoengineered antibody variants. The endpoints were proliferation, activation, and cytotoxicity in vitro.
Results: The CD16 158 V variant of CD16-CAR T cells showed increased cytotoxic activity against all the tested cancer cells in the presence of the wild-type antibody directed against MCSP or CD20. Glycoengineered antibodies enhanced CD16-CAR T cell activity irrespective of CD16 polymorphisms as compared with the wild-type antibody. The combination of the glycoengineered antibodies with the CD16-CAR 158 V variant synergised as seen by the increase in all endpoints.
Conclusion: These results indicate that CD16-CAR with the high-affinity CD16 variant 158 V, combined with Fc-engineered antibodies, have high anti-tumour efficacy.