Cetuximab produced from a goat mammary gland expression system is equally efficacious as innovator cetuximab in animal cancer models

Biotechnol Rep (Amst). 2020 Sep 22:28:e00533. doi: 10.1016/j.btre.2020.e00533. eCollection 2020 Dec.


There is increasing demand for improved production and purification systems for biosimilar or biobetter humanised monoclonal antibodies and animal production systems offer one such possibile option. Cetuximab, also known as 'Erbitux', is a humanised monoclonal antibody widely used in cancer therapy. We have previously reported on a genetically engineered goat system to produce cetuximab (gCetuximab) in milk. Herein we report that gCetuximab has similar bioactivity and pharamacokinetic properties compared with the commercial product produced in mammalian cell culture. In particular both forms have very similar efficacy in a HT29 colorectal cancer xenograft model alone or when conjugated to the toxin MMAE. This also demonstrates that the gCetuximab will be a viable vehicle for antibody drug conjugate based therapies. Taken together, this shows that the goat milk monoclonal antibody production system is an effective way of producing a biosimilar form of cetuximab.

Keywords: Antibody-drug conjugates; Cetuximab; Humanised monoclonal antibodies; Recombinant protein production.