The immunocytokine cergutuzumab amunaleukin (CEA-IL2v) showed manageable safety and favorable pharmacodynamics in phase I/Ib trials in patients with advanced/metastatic carcinoembryonic antigen-positive (CEA+) solid tumors, but this was accompanied by a high incidence of anti-drug antibodies (ADA). We examined B-cell depletion with obinutuzumab as a potential mitigation strategy.

Experimental Design:

Preclinical data comparing B-cell depletion with rituximab versus obinutuzumab are summarized. Substudies of phase I/Ib trials investigated the effect of obinutuzumab pretreatment on ADA development, safety, pharmacodynamics, and antitumor activity of CEA-IL2v ± atezolizumab in patients with advanced/metastatic or unresectable CEA+ solid tumors who had progressed on standard of care.


Preclinical data showed superior B-cell depletion with obinutuzumab versus rituximab. In clinical studies, patients received CEA-IL2v monotherapy with (n = 16) or without (n = 6) obinutuzumab pretreatment (monotherapy study), or CEA-IL2v + atezolizumab + obinutuzumab pretreatment (n = 5; combination study). In the monotherapy study, after four cycles (every 2 weeks treatment), 0/15 evaluable patients administered obinutuzumab pretreatment had ADAs versus 4/6 patients without obinutuzumab. Obinutuzumab pretreatment with CEA-IL2v monotherapy showed no new safety signals and pharmacodynamic data suggested minimal impact on T cells and natural killer cells. Conversely, increased liver toxicity was observed in the combination study (CEA-IL2v + atezolizumab + obinutuzumab pretreatment).


These preliminary findings suggest that obinutuzumab pretreatment before CEA-IL2v administration in patients with CEA+ solid tumors may be a feasible and potent ADA mitigation strategy, with an acceptable safety profile, supporting broader investigation of obinutuzumab pretreatment for ADA mitigation in other settings.

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