A first-in-human, phase 1, dose-escalation study of ABBV-176, an antibody-drug conjugate targeting the prolactin receptor, in patients with advanced solid tumors

Invest New Drugs. 2020 Dec;38(6):1815-1825. doi: 10.1007/s10637-020-00960-z. Epub 2020 Jun 10.


ABBV-176 is an antibody-drug conjugate composed of the humanized antibody h16f (PR-1594804) conjugated to a highly potent, cytotoxic cross-linking pyrrolobenzodiazepine dimer (PBD; SGD-1882) targeting the prolactin receptor (PRLR), which is overexpressed in several solid tumor types. This phase 1, dose-escalation study (NCT03145909) evaluated the safety, pharmacokinetics, and preliminary activity of ABBV-176 in patients with advanced solid tumors likely to exhibit elevated levels of PRLR. Patients received ABBV-176 once every 3 weeks. Dose escalation was by an exposure-adjusted, continual reassessment method. Dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) were assessed from the first day of dosing until the next dose of ABBV-176 to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D). Nineteen patients received ABBV-176 at doses from 2.7-109.35 μg/kg. Patients enrolled had colorectal cancer (n = 11), breast cancer (n = 6), or adrenocortical carcinoma (n = 2). DLTs occurred in 4 patients and included thrombocytopenia (n = 2; both at 99.9-μg/kg dose level), neutropenia (n = 2; 78.3-μg/kg and 99.9-μg/kg dose levels), and pancytopenia (n = 1; 109.35-μg/kg dose level). The most common treatment-emergent adverse events related to ABBV-176 were thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, increased aspartate aminotransferase, nausea, fatigue, and pleural effusions. Effusions and edema were common, and timing of onset suggested possible cumulative ABBV-176 toxicity. Tumor expression of PRLR varied among patients enrolled and analyzed. No patient had an objective response. MTD was not formally determined, as identification of a tolerable dose was confounded by late-onset toxicities. ABBV-176 was associated with significant toxicity in this phase 1, dose-escalation study. Although cytopenias were often dose limiting, effusions and edema were also common and had late onset that suggested cumulative toxicity. No responses were observed, although data were available from a small number of patients with variable tumor PRLR expression. This study was terminated after the dosing of 19 patients.

Keywords: Antibody-drug conjugate; Phase 1; Prolactin receptor; Pyrrolobenzodiazepine; Solid tumor.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoconjugates / administration & dosage*
  • Immunoconjugates / adverse effects
  • Immunoconjugates / pharmacokinetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Receptors, Prolactin / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptors, Prolactin / metabolism
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Immunoconjugates
  • Receptors, Prolactin

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03145909