HPN328, a Trispecific T Cell-activating Protein Construct Targeting DLL3-Expressing Solid Tumors

Mol Cancer Ther. 2024 Apr 27. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-23-0524. Online ahead of print.


Delta-like ligand 3 (DLL3) is expressed in more than 70% of small cell lung cancers (SCLCs) and other neuroendocrine-derived tumor types. SCLC is highly aggressive and limited therapeutic options lead to poor prognosis for patients. HPN328 is a tri-specific T cell activating construct (TriTAC) consisting of three binding domains: a CD3 binder for T cell engagement, an albumin binder for half-life extension, and a DLL3 binder for tumor cell engagement. In vitro assays, rodent models and non-human primates were used to assess the activity of HPN328. HPN328 induces potent dose-dependent killing of DLL3-expressing SCLC cell lines in vitro concomitant with T cell activation and cytokine release. In an NCI-H82 xenograft model with established tumors, HPN328 treatment led to T cell recruitment and anti-tumor activity. In an immunocompetent mouse model expressing a human CD3ε epitope, mice previously treated with HPN328 withstood tumor rechallenge, demonstrating long-term anti-tumor immunity. When repeat doses were administered to cynomolgus monkeys, HPN328 was well tolerated up to 10 mg/kg. Pharmacodynamic changes, such as transient cytokine elevation, were observed, consistent with the expected mechanism of action of T cell engagers. HPN328 exhibited linear pharmacokinetic in the given dose range with a serum half-life of 78 to 187 hours, supporting weekly or less frequent administration of HPN328 in humans. Preclinical and nonclinical characterization suggests that HPN328 is a highly efficacious, safe, and novel therapeutic candidate. A phase 1/2 clinical trial is currently underway testing safety and efficacy in patients with DLL3 expressing malignancies.