Antibody-exatecan conjugates with a novel self-immolative moiety overcome resistance in colon and lung cancer

Cancer Discov. 2023 Jan 24;CD-22-1368. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-22-1368. Online ahead of print.


Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) using DNA Topoisomerase I inhibitor DXd/SN-38 have transformed cancer treatment, yet more effective ADCs are needed for overcoming resistance. We have designed an ADC class using a novel self-immolative T moiety for traceless conjugation and release of exatecan, a more potent Topoisomerase I inhibitor with less sensitivity to multidrug (MDR) resistance. Characterized by enhanced therapeutic indices, higher stability and improved intra-tumoral pharmacodynamic response, antibody-T moiety-exatecan conjugates targeting HER2, HER3, TROP2 overcome intrinsic or treatment-resistance of equivalent DXd/SN-38 ADCs in low-target expression, large-size and MDR+ tumors. T moiety-exatecan ADCs display durable antitumor activity in PDX and organoid models representative of unmet clinical needs including EGFR-del19/T790M/C797S triple mutation lung cancer and BRAF/KRAS-TP53 double-mutant colon cancer, and show synergy with PARP/ATR inhibitor and anti-PD-1 treatment. High tolerability of T moiety-exatecan ADC class in non-human primate supports its potential to expand responding patient population and tumor types beyond current ADCs.