T-cell–dependent bispecific antibodies (TDB) have been a major advancement in the treatment of cancer, allowing for improved targeting and efficacy for large molecule therapeutics. TDBs are comprised of one arm targeting a surface antigen on a cancer cell and another targeting an engaging surface antigen on a cytotoxic T cell. To impart this function, the antibody must be in a bispecific format as opposed to the more conventional bivalent format. Through in vitro and in vivo studies, we sought to determine the impact of changing antibody valency on solid tumor distribution and catabolism. A bivalent anti-HER2 antibody exhibited higher catabolism than its full-length monovalent binding counterpart in vivo by both invasive tissue harvesting and noninvasive single photon emission computed tomography/X-ray computed tomography imaging despite similar systemic exposures for the two molecules. To determine what molecular factors drove in vivo distribution and uptake, we developed a mechanistic model for binding and catabolism of monovalent and bivalent HER2 antibodies in KPL4 cells. This model suggests that observed differences in cellular uptake of monovalent and bivalent antibodies are caused by the change in apparent affinity conferred by avidity as well as differences in internalization and degradation rates of receptor bound antibodies. To our knowledge, this is the first study to directly compare the targeting abilities of monovalent and bivalent full-length antibodies. These findings may inform diverse antibody therapeutic modalities, including T-cell–redirecting therapies and drug delivery strategies relying upon receptor internalization.

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