Background HER3 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 3) is a member of HER family, and overexpressed in breast cancer, NSCLC, melanoma, gastric cancer and pancreatic cancer patients` tissues. U3-1402a is an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) comprised of a fully human anti-HER3 monoclonal immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) antibody (U3-1287) covalently conjugated via a cleavable peptide linker to exatecan derivative (DXd). The DXd is released after internalization of U3-1402a and leads to apoptosis of the target tumor cells by the inhibition of topoisomerase I. This ADC achieves a high drug-to-antibody-ratio (DAR 7 to 8) with homogeneous conjugation with the topoisomerase I inhibitor. The aim of this study was to preclinically evaluate the efficacy of U3-1402a in breast cancer models.

Materials and methods In order to evaluate the pharmacological potential of U3-1402a, in vitro and in vivo studies were performed. In vitro growth inhibition assay evaluated the sensitivity of U3-1402a in HER3-positive human breast cancer cell line (HCC1569) and HER3-negative human cervical carcinoma cell line (C33A). Cells were treated with U3-1402a or MAAA-1181 (payload of U3-1402a) depending on its concentration (U3-1402a: 0.153 to 10 000 ng/mL, MAAA-1181: 2.44 to 160,000 pg/mL). In vivo growth inhibition study evaluated the dose-dependent sensitivity of U3-1402a in HER3-positive breast cancer xenograft model, MDA-MB-453. In addition, several xenograft models with different HER3 expression were tested with its sensitivity to U3-1402a. These models were HCC1569 (human breast cancer cell line, HER3 IHC score 3+), MDA-MB-453 (human breast cancer cell line, HER3 IHC score 2+), NIBIO-G016 (human gastric cancer patient-derived xenograft, HER3 IHC score 1+) and MDA-MB-231 (human breast cancer cell line, HER3 IHC score 0). R

esults In vitro study, U3-1402a exhibited anti-tumor killing activity in HER3-positive human breast cancer cell line, HCC1569. C-33A human cervical carcinoma cell line was not sensitive to U3-1402a even MAAA-1181 itself exhibited anti-tumor killing activity to this cell line. In vivo study, U3-1402a showed dose-dependent anti-tumor killing activity in a HER3-positive breast cancer MDA-MB-453 xenograft model. Finally, in vivo tumor regression was only observed in HER3 2+ and 3+ models.

Conclusions U3-1402a preclinically exhibited its efficacy in breast cancer model in vitro and in vivo. In vivo efficacy was correlated with HER3 expression. These studies suggest that U3-1402a, a novel HER3-targeting ADC, would be efficacious in a broader patient population with HER3 expression like breast cancer, melanoma, NSCLC, gastric cancer and pancreatic cancer.

Citation Format: Suguru Ueno, Kenji Hirotani, Reimar Abraham, Sabine Blum, Birgit Frankenberger, Mauricio Redondo-Muller, Johannes Bange, Yusuke Ogitani, Akiko Zembutsu, Koji Morita, Takashi Nakada, Shuji Majima, Yuki Abe, Toshinori Agatsuma. U3-1402a, a novel HER3-targeting ADC with a novel DNA topoisomerase I inhibitor, demonstrates a potent antitumor efficacy [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2017; 2017 Apr 1-5; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2017;77(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 3092. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2017-3092