The application of biodegradable, polyacetal polymers to antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) design can provide numerous advantages, including significantly higher capacity for drug payload (∼20 drugs per antibody), the use of payloads with low potency that are not suitable for direct conjugation, the improvement of physicochemical properties for ADC, especially with highly hydrophobic payloads and the use of protein recognition scaffolds beyond the commonly used IgGs. The basis of this novel polyacetal polymer-based conjugation system is a hydrophilic, fully biodegradable polyacetal carrier (PHF or poly(1-hydroxymethylethylene hydroxymethylformal, or Fleximer®) modified with chemically orthogonal linkers. One linker is used to covalently attach a targeting moiety (mAb or alternative), while a second, chemically distinct linker is used to attach a drug payload and to control the mechanism and rate of drug release. Previously, we have reported potent anti-tumor activity with trastuzumab-s-Dolaflexin™, an anti-HER2 ADC composed of trastuzumab and a proprietary dolastatin derivative coupled to a Fleximer scaffold (Dolaflexin™). In that example, Dolaflexin was conjugated to the antibody through interchain cysteine residues via a hindered disulfide linkage (AACR Annual Meeting 2013 Abstract #4331). Unlike direct drug-cysteine linked ADCs that can result in destabilization of antibody by disruption of interchain disulfide bridges, we have shown that Dolaflexin conjugation via cysteines in the antibody hinge region stabilizes the resulting ADCs through the formation of inter-chain bridge structures. Trastuzumab-s-Dolaflexin ADC exhibited a prolonged plasma half-life, tumor-specific accumulation, and potent anti-tumor activity in vivo. Here, we report a novel trastuzumab-m-Dolaflexin ADC using a maleimide linker that further enhances the pharmacokinetics of the ADC and demonstrates complete regressions of established HER2+ BT-474 xenograft tumors in SCID mice even at a single dose of 2.5 mg/kg.

Citation Information: Mol Cancer Ther 2013;12(11 Suppl):C238.

Citation Format: Joshua Thomas, Alex Yurkovetskiy, Natalya Bodyak, Mao Yin, Patrick Conlon, Cheri Stevenson, Alex Uttard, Liu Qin, Dmitry Gumerov, Elena Ter-Ovaneysan, Michael DeVit, Laura L. Poling, Peter U. Park, Timothy B. Lowinger. Polyacetal polymer-based anti-HER2 antibody-drug conjugate employing cysteine bioconjugation through thioether linkage allows a high drug loading of dolastatin-derived payload with excellent pharmacokinetics and potent anti-tumor activity. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference: Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics; 2013 Oct 19-23; Boston, MA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Mol Cancer Ther 2013;12(11 Suppl):Abstract nr C238.