HER3 is overexpressed in several cancers, including colorectal cancer. Although therapies with anti-HER3 antibodies have been investigated, significant clinical benefits have not been reported. U3-1402 is a novel HER3-antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) composed of the HER3 antibody patritumab and a novel topoisomerase I inhibitor, DX-8951 derivative (DXd). The sensitivity of DXd was evaluated by a growth inhibition assay. The antitumor activity of U3-1402 was evaluated in a murine xenograft model in which its effects on cells, with a range of HER3 expression levels, were compared with those of patritumab alone, irinotecan, control-ADC, and saline. In the growth inhibition assay, all colorectal cancer cell lines were sensitive to DXd. In the tumor xenograft model, significant tumor regression with U3-1402 was observed both in the DiFi cell line (high HER3 expression; KRAS wild type) and in SW620 (high HER3 expression; KRAS mutation), but no treatment effect was observed in Colo320DM (low HER3 expression). Notably, SW620 tumor growth was significantly suppressed with U3-1402 compared with the saline-treated group (P < 0.001) and showed greater activity compared with the irinotecan group. By contrast, patritumab alone, control-ADC, and saline did not significantly differ in tumor growth inhibition. The antitumor activity of U3-1402 was dependent on HER3 expression level, but not on KRAS mutation status. These results support further investigation of development strategies for U3-1402 in patients with HER3-expressing colorectal cancer.
©2019 American Association for Cancer Research.