The biodistribution and clearance of AlbudAb, a novel biopharmaceutical medicine platform, assessed via PET imaging in humans

EJNMMI Res. 2019 May 21;9(1):45. doi: 10.1186/s13550-019-0514-9.


Conjugation or fusion to AlbudAbs™ (albumin-binding domain antibodies) is a novel approach to extend the half-life and alter the tissue distribution of biological and small molecule therapeutics. To understand extravasation kinetics and extravascular organ concentrations of AlbudAbs in humans, we studied tissue distribution and elimination of a non-conjugated 89Zr-labeled AlbudAb in healthy volunteers using positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT).

Methods: A non-conjugated AlbudAb (GSK3128349) was radiolabeled with 89Zr and a single 1 mg (~ 15 MBq) dose intravenously administered to eight healthy males. 89Zr-AlbudAb tissue distribution was followed for up to 7 days with four whole-body PET/CT scans. 89Zr-AlbudAb tissue concentrations were quantified in organs of therapeutic significance, measuring standardized uptake value and tissue/plasma ratios. Plasma pharmacokinetics were assessed by gamma counting and LC-MS/MS of blood samples.

Results: 89Zr-AlbudAb administration and PET/CT procedures were well tolerated, with no drug-related immunogenicity or adverse events. 89Zr-AlbudAb rapidly distributed throughout the vasculature, with tissue/plasma ratios in the liver, lungs, and heart relatively stable over 7 days post-dose, ranging between 0.1 and 0.5. The brain tissue/plasma ratio of 0.025 suggested minimal AlbudAb blood-brain barrier penetration. Slowly increasing ratios in muscle, testis, pancreas, and spleen reflected either slow AlbudAb penetration and/or 89Zr residualization in these organs. Across all tissues evaluated, the kidney tissue/plasma ratio was highest (0.5-1.5 range) with highest concentration in the renal cortex. The terminal half-life of the 89Zr-AlbudAb was 18 days.

Conclusion: Evaluating the biodistribution of 89Zr-AlbudAb in healthy volunteers using a low radioactivity dose was successful (total subject exposure ~ 10 mSv). Results indicated rapid formation of reversible, but stable, complexes between AlbudAb and albumin upon dosing. 89Zr-AlbudAb demonstrated albumin-like pharmacokinetics, including limited renal elimination. This novel organ-specific distribution data for AlbudAbs in humans will facilitate a better selection of drug targets to prosecute using the AlbudAb platform and significantly contribute to modeling work optimizing dosing of therapeutic AlbudAbs in the clinic.

Keywords: 89Zr; AlbudAb; Albumin; Biodistribution; Domain antibody; PET/CT.