Targeted Thorium-227 Conjugates (TTCs) represent a new class of targeted alpha therapy. In this compound family a 3,2-HOPO chelator, which binds thorium-227 with high affinity, is covalently attached to an antibody. This enables the specific delivery of the alpha particle emitter thorium-227 to tumor cells. Thorium-227 has a half-life of 18.7 days and decays via emission of an alpha particle to radium-223 (half-life of 11.4 days), a calcium-mimetic used in the treatment of CRPC [Henriksen et al. J Nucl Med, 2003]. The high linear energy transfer from the alpha-emitter thorium-227 induces clustered DNA double-strand breaks. Its short penetration range of 2-10 cell diameters limits the damage to the normal tissue surrounding the tumor. We present the preclinical evaluation of a mesothelin targeted thorium-227 conjugate (MSLN-TTC), the first TTC that will enter clinical development in MSLN-positive solid tumor indications, based on the fully human anti-MSLN monoclonal antibody anetumab. MSLN is a 40 kDa membrane-anchored glycoprotein with prominent overexpression in mesothelioma, ovarian, pancreatic, lung and breast cancer. In normal tissue, MSLN is confined mainly to the mesothelial cells of pleura, peritoneum and pericardium. In vitro, the mode of action of MSLN-TTC in cellular assays was demonstrated to induce DNA double strand breaks, leading to cell cycle arrest and subsequent reduced cell viability. In vivo, MSLN-TTC demonstrated potent tumor growth inhibition administered as a single-dose in cell- and patient-derived xenograft tumor models. Similar anti-tumor activity to single dose application was observed when the MSLN-TTC was applied at fractionated doses. A trend for dependence of anti-tumor activity on MSLN expression levels in preclinical tumor models was observed. Biodistribution studies evaluated the tumor accumulation of MSLN-TTC in xenograft models. These studies served to develop a mechanistic PK/PD model, which was used to predict the efficacious dose in humans. The initiation of clinical investigation of the MSLN-TTC in mesothelin positive cancers' is planned for 2018.

Citation Format: Urs B. Hagemann, Alexander Kristian, Christine Ellingsen, Katrine Wickstroem, Anne Mobergslien, Jenny Karlsson, Roger M. Bjerke, Christoph Schatz, Christoph Kneip, Joachim Schuhmacher, Liv-Ingrid Oedegaardstuen, Hartwig Hennekes, Anna Tafuri, Dominik Mumberg, Hanno Wild, Karl Ziegelbauer, Alan S. Cuthbertson. Mesothelin targeted thorium-227 conjugate (MSLN-TTC): Preclinical evaluation of a new targeted alpha therapeutic in mesothelin-positive cancers [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2018; 2018 Apr 14-18; Chicago, IL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2018;78(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 850.