Purpose: Targeted thorium-227 conjugates (TTC) represent a new class of molecules for targeted alpha therapy (TAT). Covalent attachment of a 3,2-HOPO chelator to an antibody enables specific complexation and delivery of the alpha particle emitter thorium-227 to tumor cells. Because of the high energy and short penetration range, TAT efficiently induces double-strand DNA breaks (DSB) preferentially in the tumor cell with limited damage to the surrounding tissue. We present herein the preclinical evaluation of a mesothelin (MSLN)-targeted thorium-227 conjugate, BAY 2287411. MSLN is a GPI-anchored membrane glycoprotein overexpressed in mesothelioma, ovarian, pancreatic, lung, and breast cancers with limited expression in healthy tissue.
Experimental design: The binding activity and radiostability of BAY 2287411 were confirmed bioanalytically. The mode-of-action and antitumor potency of BAY 2287411 were investigated in vitro and in vivo in cell line and patient-derived xenograft models of breast, colorectal, lung, ovarian, and pancreatic cancer.
Results: BAY 2287411 induced DSBs, apoptotic markers, and oxidative stress, leading to reduced cellular viability. Furthermore, upregulation of immunogenic cell death markers was observed. BAY 2287411 was well-tolerated and demonstrated significant antitumor efficacy when administered via single or multiple dosing regimens in vivo. In addition, significant survival benefit was observed in a disseminated lung cancer model. Biodistribution studies showed specific uptake and retention of BAY 2287411 in tumors and enabled the development of a mechanistic pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic model to describe the preclinical data.
Conclusions: These promising preclinical results supported the transition of BAY 2287411 into a clinical phase I program in mesothelioma and ovarian cancer patients (NCT03507452).
©2019 American Association for Cancer Research.