Obinutuzumab (GA101) is a novel glycoengineered type II, anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody induces a high level of direct cell death. As a result of glycoengineering, GA101 has increased affinity for FcgRIIIa on effector cells resulting in enhanced direct cell death and ADCC induction. GA101 is currently in pivotal clinical trials in CLL, indolent NHL and DLCBL. ABT-199 (GDC-0199) is a novel, orally bioavailable, selective Bcl-2 inhibitor that induces robust apoptosis in preclinical models of hematological malignancies and is currently in clinical trials for CLL, NHL and MM. Based on their complementary mechanisms of action involving increased apoptosis (GDC-0199) or direct cell death (GA101) the combination of anti-CD20 therapy with a Bcl-2 inhibitor has the potential for greater efficacy in treating B lymphoid malignancies.

Experimental Methods

The combination of GA101 or rituximab with GDC-0199 was studied in vitro utilizing assays that measure direct cell death induction/apoptosis (AxV/Pi positivity) on WSU-DLCL2, SU-DHL4 DLBCL and Z138 MCL cells by FACS and the impact of Bcl-2 inhibition on ADCC induction. In vivo efficacy of the combination of GA101 or rituximab and GDC-0199 was evaluated in SU-DHL4 and Z138 xenograft models.


GA101 and rituximab enhanced cell death induction when combined with GDC-0199 in SU-DHL4, WSU-DLCL2 and Z138 cell lines. When combined at optimal doses an additive effect of the two drugs was observed. GDC-0199 did not negatively impact the capability of GA101 or rituximab to induce NK-cell mediated ADCC. Combination of GDC-0199 and GA101 induced a greater than additive anti-tumor effects in the SU-DHL4 and Z138 xenograft models resulting in tumor regressions and delay in tumor regrowth when compared to monotherapy. Moreover, continued single-agent treatment with GDC-0199 after combination with GA101 resulted in sustained in vivo efficacy in the SU-DHL4 model.


Our data demonstrate that the combination of GA101 with GDC-0199 results in enhanced cell death and robust anti-tumor efficacy in xenograft models representing NHL sub-types that is comparable to the combination of rituximab with GDC-0199. In addition, single-agent treatment with GDC-0199 following combination with GA101 sustains efficacy in vivo suggesting a potential benefit in continued maintenance therapy with GDC-0199. Collectively the preclinical data presented here supports clinical investigation of GA101 and GDC-0199 combination therapy, which is currently in a phase Ib clinical trial (clinical identifier NCT01685892).


Sampath:Genentech: Employment, Equity Ownership. Herter:Roche: Employment. Herting:Roche: Employment. Ingalla:Genentech: Employment. Nannini:Genentech: Employment. Bacac:Roche: Employment. Fairbrother:Genentech: Employment, Equity Ownership. Klein:Roche Glycart AG: Employment.

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