• CD20/CD3 bispecific antibody enhances efficacy of CD19 directed CAR T-cells

  • Combination treatment improves survival in Eµ-TCL-1 mouse model

Anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor T-cells (CD19-CAR) represent an effective treatment for relapsed/refractory B-cell malignancies but incomplete responses often result in early disease progression. We here assessed potential benefits of co-administering CD20-targeting bispecific antibodies (CD20-BsAb) with CD19-CAR, aiming to enhance immunotherapeutic efficacy. Addition of CD20-BsAb to co-cultures of CD19-CAR and primary samples of B-cell malignancies, comprising malignant B- and endogenous T-cells, significantly improved killing of malignant cells alongside enhanced expansion of both endogenous T-cells and CD19-CAR. CD20-BsAb induced an increase in proliferation and activation of endogenous T-cells and CD19-CAR. In an immunocompetent mouse model of CLL, relapse after initial treatment response frequently occurred after CD19-CAR monotherapy. Combination with injections of CD20-BsAb significantly enhanced treatment response and resulted in improved eradication of malignant cells. Higher efficacy was accompanied by improved T-cell expansion upon CD20-BsAb administration and resulted in longer survival, with 80% of mice being cured with no detectable malignant cell population within eight weeks of therapy initiation. Collectively, our in-vitro and in-vivo data demonstrate enhanced therapeutic efficacy of CD19-CAR when combined with CD20-BsAb in B-cell malignancies. Activation and proliferation of both infused CAR T-cells as well as endogenous T-cells may contribute to improved disease control.-

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