Implementation of a three-tiered approach to identify and characterize anti-drug antibodies raised against HIV-specific broadly neutralizing antibodies

J Immunol Methods. 2020 Apr:479:112764. doi: 10.1016/j.jim.2020.112764. Epub 2020 Feb 15.


The ability to detect, quantify, and interrogate the properties of immune responses raised against biological therapeutics is not only important to our understanding of these molecules, but also to their success in the clinic. A tiered assay approach to identify the presence, specificity, and titer of anti-drug antibody (ADA) responses has been adopted as a gold standard by industry leaders, the FDA, and the EMA. In order to support pre-clinical and clinical trials, these assays must be standardized, and their performance sufficiently characterized to ensure the accuracy and reproducibility of results under relevant testing conditions. Here we present implementation of electrochemiluminiscence assays that fit into the tiered paradigm of ADA testing for five HIV broadly neutralizing antibodies (3BNC117, 3BNC117-LS, 10-1074, PGT121, and PGDM1400) in compliance with Good Clinical Laboratory practices. Assay sensitivities and matrix effects were evaluated and used to inform the development of positivity cut points. Once cut points were established, assay precision, specificity, free-drug tolerance, and robustness were defined. In all cases, assay characteristics met or surpassed recommendations set forth by the FDA. To further evaluate the performance of these assays and the tiered approach, samples from non-human primates that had received a subset of the five therapeutics were evaluated. In sum, this study reports qualification of a set of ADA assays available to the scientific community as pre-clinical and clinical trials of broadly HIV-neutralizing antibodies proceed, and a framework that is easily adapted as new drug products are advanced in the clinic.

Keywords: Anti-drug antibody; Broadly neutralizing antibody; HIV; Safety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / blood*
  • Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies / immunology*
  • Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies / therapeutic use
  • Electrochemical Techniques
  • HIV Antibodies / immunology*
  • HIV Antibodies / therapeutic use
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / therapy*
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Luminescent Measurements / methods*
  • Reference Standards
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies
  • HIV Antibodies