Loncastuximab tesirine, an anti-CD19 antibody-drug conjugate, in relapsed/refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Blood Adv. 2020 Feb 11;4(3):449-457. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2019000767.


Relapsed or refractory (R/R) B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) remains a therapeutic challenge. Loncastuximab tesirine is an antibody-drug conjugate against CD19, an antigen expressed in many B-cell malignancies. This open-label, single-arm, dose-escalation, dose-expansion study assessed the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics (PKs), immunogenicity, and preliminary clinical activity of loncastuximab tesirine in adults with R/R B-ALL. A total of 35 patients were enrolled, with a median age of 55 years (range, 20-80) and a median of 3 prior therapies (range, 1-15). All patients received at least 1 IV infusion of loncastuximab tesirine at 15 to 150 μg/kg once every 3 weeks (Q3W; n = 30) or 50 μg/kg IV weekly (n = 5). Common treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) were nausea (42.9%), febrile neutropenia (37.1%), and reversible liver test abnormalities. Grade ≥3 TEAEs were reported in 85.7% patients, most commonly febrile neutropenia and other hematologic abnormalities and reversible liver test abnormalities. There were no treatment-related deaths. Four patients (11.4%) had grade 2 infusion-related reactions, and 1 patient (150 μg/kg Q3W) had a dose-limiting toxicity of hyperbilirubinemia that resolved within 6 days without further action. The maximum tolerated dose was not reached. Three patients achieved complete responses, 1 each at 30, 120, and 150 μg/kg Q3W. PK studies showed marked interpatient variability, with target-mediated drug disposition seeming to contribute to time- and dose-dependent disposition. No clinically relevant anti-drug-antibody formation occurred. The trial was terminated in the dose-escalation phase because of slow accrual. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02669264.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antigens, CD19
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Humans
  • Immunoconjugates*
  • Middle Aged
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma*
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antigens, CD19
  • Immunoconjugates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • loncastuximab tesirine

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02669264