Abstract

Abstract 3931

Background:

CD37 is a 50–55 kDa heavily glycosylated member of the tetraspanin superfamily of molecules. This cell surface protein is expressed on normal and transformed B-cells, and has been implicated in diverse processes including cellular activation and proliferation, cell motility, and cell-cell adhesion. TRU-016 is a novel humanized anti-CD37 SMIP™ protein. Pre-clinical studies have demonstrated that anti-CD37 SMIP™ protein mediates caspase-independent direct killing of normal and malignant B-cells, a mechanism of action that appears to be different than CD20 therapies. In addition, TRU-016 results in indirect killing through NK cell mediated SMIP-protein directed cellular cytotoxicity (SDCC). The therapeutic potential of TRU-016 against several subsets of B-cell malignancies is currently being investigated in the clinic.

Methods:

The ability of TRU-016 to interact and increase cell killing with established therapeutics rituximab (anti-CD20 antibody), bendamustine (bi-functional alkylating agent/nucleoside analog), LY294002 (PI3K inhibitor) and temsirolimus (mTOR inhibitor) was investigated in vitro using the Rec-1 (mantle cell lymphoma) and SU-DHL-6 (diffuse large B cell lymphoma) cell lines. Individual drugs were tested in combination with TRU-016 as well as in a multiple drug cocktail. Combination index analyses were performed for drug combinations over the 20–90% effect levels. To determine whether in vitro synergy could be recapitulated in vivo, DoHH-2 (follicular lymphoma) xenografts were treated with TRU-016, bendamustine, and the combination of TRU-016 and bendamustine with or without rituximab. Furthermore, the effect of the dosing schedule with the combination of TRU-016 and rituximab was explored by comparing the treatment over a short time period to an extended (maintenance) dosing regimen. CD37 expression on the tumor xenografts was evaluated post different treatment by immunohistochemistry.

Results:

Combination index analyses determined that the killing effects of TRU-016 was synergistic with rituximab, bendamustine and temsirolimus in NHL models. Furthermore, TRU-016 provided additional efficacy when added to the combination of rituximab and bendamustine. In vivo results demonstrated that the in vitro synergy results were applicable to a more complex in vivo disease model. The combination of TRU-016 with bendamustine or rituximab resulted in increased tumor growth delay compared to that attained with the individual drugs. The addition of TRU-016 to the combination of bendamustine and rituximab resulted in increased tumor growth delay compared to the two drugs alone. The observed efficacy of the combination of TRU-016 and rituximab could be extended with repeated (maintenance) dosing with tumor free survival being observed beyond the 35 days of dosing. The combination of TRU-016 with temsirolimus also resulted in a reduction of tumor growth compared to either molecule alone. CD37 target expression was detected in the xenograft tumors post-treatment with all drugs tested.

Conclusions:

TRU-016 in combination with rituximab, bendamustine or temsirolimus increased cell killing of NHL cells in vitro over that observed for each agent alone. Furthermore, the triple combination of TRU-016 with rituximab, bendamustine or temsirolimus displayed greater anti-tumor activity in vivo than each of the agents alone against a follicular lymphoma tumor model. The addition of TRU-016 to a combination of rituximab and bendamustine resulted in increased killing in vitro and in vivo. The combinatorial activity of TRU-016 and rituximab in vivo was increased when the drugs were administered over a longer period. These results provide preclinical rationale for the potential different combinations of TRU-016 with several established therapeutics for the treatment of NHL and related B-cell malignancies.

Disclosures:

Algate:Trubion Pharmaceuticals: Employment. Wiens:Trubion Pharmaceuticals: Employment. Nilsson:Trubion Pharmaceuticals: Employment. Sho:Facet/Abbott: Employment. Chao:Facet/Abbott: Employment. Starling:Facet/Abbott: Employment. Gordon:Trubion Pharmaceuticals: Employment.

Author notes

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Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.