The growing use of immunotherapy to treat advanced cancers has brought about a revolution in techniques to mobilize the immune system to antitumor effect. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells targeting CD19 constitute the first modified T-cell products to garner FDA approval for clinical use. However, CAR technologies can only targeT-cell surface antigens, representing approximately one quarter of potential targets. In contrast, T-cell receptor (TCR) therapies can target peptides presented by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), including those derived from intracellular antigens. Hitherto, such receptors have generally been identified through low-throughput techniques using cancer patients’ blood, followed by affinity-maturation of TCRs, a step that can decrease safety. Here, we demonstrate a novel pipeline for the identification of potential therapeutic TCRs from the naïve repertoire of healthy individuals. Using a technique called Multiplexed Identification of T-cell Receptor Antigen specificity (MIRA), we input hundreds of antigens of interest, including tumor-associated antigens, viral antigens and neoantigens, and identify thousands of TCRs to these antigens. These TCRs then undergo evaluation for affinity, avidity, cytokine release, cytotoxicity and safety. Cytotoxicity is demonstrated using both peptide-loaded and endogenously presented peptides. Safety is evaluated using alanine-glycine scans; evaluation of reactivity of TCRs againsT-cell lines and primary cells is planned. We have fully characterized several TCRs targeting clinically relevant targets, which demonstrated improved avidity and cytolysis relative to a benchmark TCR, and a promising preliminary safety profile. In the recent year, cancer neoantigens as targets for natural and therapeutic antitumor responses have also gained momentum given their attractive product profile. Hereto, we also show data for TCRs against shared neoantigens.
Citation Format: Mark Klinger, Peter Ebert, Edward Osborne, Ruth Taniguchi, Joyce Hu, Tim Hayes, Sharon Benzeno, Adria Carbo, Melanie Laur, Erica Eggers, Harlan Robins. High-throughput identification of naturally occurring T-cell receptors with therapeutic potential against tumor-associated, viral and neoantigens [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Fourth CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference: Translating Science into Survival; Sept 30-Oct 3, 2018; New York, NY. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Immunol Res 2019;7(2 Suppl):Abstract nr A034.