In the tumor microenvironment, multiple inhibitory checkpoint receptors can suppress T-cell function, thereby enabling tumor immune evasion. Blockade of one of these checkpoint receptors, PD-1, with therapeutic antibodies has produced positive clinical responses in various cancers; however, the efficacy of this approach can be further improved. Simultaneously targeting multiple inhibitory checkpoint receptors has emerged as a promising therapeutic strategy. Here, we report the development and characterization of REGN3767, a fully human IgG4 antibody targeting LAG-3, another inhibitory receptor on T cells. REGN3767 binds human and monkey LAG-3 with high affinity and specificity and blocks the interaction of LAG-3 with its ligand, MHC class II. In an engineered T-cell/antigen-presenting cell bioassay, REGN3767 alone, or in combination with cemiplimab (REGN2810, human anti-PD-1 antibody), blocked inhibitory signaling to T cells mediated by hLAG-3/MHCII in the presence of PD-1/PD-L1. To test the in vivo activity of REGN3767 alone or in combination with cemiplimab, we generated human PD-1xLAG-3 knockin mice, in which the extracellular domains of mouse Pdcd1 and Lag3 were replaced with their human counterparts. In these humanized mice, treatment with cemiplimab and REGN3767 showed increased efficacy in a mouse tumor model and enhanced the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines by tumor-specific T cells. The favorable pharmacokinetics and toxicology of REGN3767 in nonhuman primates, together with enhancement of antitumor efficacy of anti-PD-1 antibody in preclinical tumor models, support its clinical development.
©2019 American Association for Cancer Research.