B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA), a member of the tumor necrosis factor family of receptors, is predominantly expressed on the surface of terminally differentiated B cells. BCMA is highly expressed on plasmablasts and plasma cells from multiple myeloma (MM) patient samples. We developed a BCMAxCD3 bispecific antibody (teclistamab [JNJ-64007957]) to recruit and activate T cells to kill BCMA-expressing MM cells. Teclistamab induced cytotoxicity of BCMA+ MM cell lines in vitro (H929 cells, 50% effective concentration [EC50] = 0.15 nM; MM.1R cells, EC50 = 0.06 nM; RPMI 8226 cells, EC50 = 0.45 nM) with concomitant T-cell activation (H929 cells, EC50 = 0.21 nM; MM.1R cells, EC50 = 0.1 nM; RPMI 8226 cells, EC50 = 0.28 nM) and cytokine release. This activity was further increased in the presence of a γ-secretase inhibitor (LY-411575). Teclistamab also depleted BCMA+ cells in bone marrow samples from MM patients in an ex vivo assay with an average EC50 value of 1.7 nM. Under more physiological conditions using healthy human whole blood, teclistamab mediated dose-dependent lysis of H929 cells and activation of T cells. Antitumor activity of teclistamab was also observed in 2 BCMA+ MM murine xenograft models inoculated with human T cells (tumor inhibition with H929 model and tumor regression with the RPMI 8226 model) compared with vehicle and antibody controls. The specific and potent activity of teclistamab against BCMA-expressing cells from MM cell lines, patient samples, and MM xenograft models warrant further evaluation of this bispecific antibody for the treatment of MM. Phase 1 clinical trials (monotherapy, #NCT03145181; combination therapy, #NCT04108195) are ongoing for patients with relapsed/refractory MM.
© 2020 by The American Society of Hematology.