Background: Activation of the classical and lectin pathway of complement may contribute to tissue damage and organ dysfunction of antibody-mediated diseases and ischemia-reperfusion conditions. Complement factors are being considered as targets for therapeutic intervention.
Objective: We sought to characterize ARGX-117, a humanized inhibitory monoclonal antibody against complement C2.
Methods: The mode-of-action and binding characteristics of ARGX-117 were investigated in detail. Furthermore, its efficacy was analyzed in in vitro complement cytotoxicity assays. Finally, a pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic study was conducted in cynomolgus monkeys.
Results: Through binding to the Sushi-2 domain of C2, ARGX-117 prevents the formation of the C3 proconvertase and inhibits classical and lectin pathway activation upstream of C3 activation. As ARGX-117 does not inhibit the alternative pathway, it is expected not to affect the antimicrobial activity of this complement pathway. ARGX-117 prevents complement-mediated cytotoxicity in in vitro models for autoimmune hemolytic anemia and antibody-mediated rejection of organ transplants. ARGX-117 exhibits pH- and calcium-dependent target binding and is Fc-engineered to increase affinity at acidic pH to the neonatal Fc receptor, and to reduce effector functions. In cynomolgus monkeys, ARGX-117 dose-dependently reduces free C2 levels and classical pathway activity. A 2-dose regimen of 80 and 20 mg/kg separated by a week, resulted in profound reduction of classical pathway activity lasting for at least 7 weeks.
Conclusions: ARGX-117 is a promising new complement inhibitor that is uniquely positioned to target both the classical and lectin pathways while leaving the alternative pathway intact.
Keywords: C2; Complement system; complement inhibitor; monoclonal antibody.
Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.