ABL001, a Bispecific Antibody Targeting VEGF and DLL4, with Chemotherapy, Synergistically Inhibits Tumor Progression in Xenograft Models

Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Dec 29;22(1):241. doi: 10.3390/ijms22010241.


Delta-like-ligand 4 (DLL4) is a promising target to augment the effects of VEGF inhibitors. A simultaneous blockade of VEGF/VEGFR and DLL4/Notch signaling pathways leads to more potent anti-cancer effects by synergistic anti-angiogenic mechanisms in xenograft models. A bispecific antibody targeting VEGF and DLL4 (ABL001/NOV1501/TR009) demonstrates more potent in vitro and in vivo biological activity compared to VEGF or DLL4 targeting monoclonal antibodies alone and is currently being evaluated in a phase 1 clinical study of heavy chemotherapy or targeted therapy pre-treated cancer patients (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03292783). However, the effects of a combination of ABL001 and chemotherapy on tumor vessels and tumors are not known. Hence, the effects of ABL001, with or without paclitaxel and irinotecan were evaluated in human gastric or colon cancer xenograft models. The combination treatment synergistically inhibited tumor progression compared to each monotherapy. More tumor vessel regression and apoptotic tumor cell induction were observed in tumors treated with the combination therapy, which might be due to tumor vessel normalization. Overall, these findings suggest that the combination therapy of ABL001 with paclitaxel or irinotecan would be a better clinical strategy for the treatment of cancer patients.

Keywords: VEGF; anti-angiogenesis; delta-like ligand; irinotecan; paclitaxel; therapeutic antibody.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bispecific / pharmacology*
  • Antibodies, Bispecific / therapeutic use
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Synergism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / drug therapy
  • Niacinamide / analogs & derivatives*
  • Niacinamide / pharmacology
  • Niacinamide / therapeutic use
  • Pyrazoles / pharmacology*
  • Pyrazoles / therapeutic use
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Antibodies, Bispecific
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • DLL4 protein, human
  • Pyrazoles
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • asciminib
  • Niacinamide

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03292783