Introduction: CC-92480 is a novel cereblon E3 ligase modulator (CELMoD) with enhanced autonomous cell-killing and immunomodulatory activity against multiple myeloma (MM) cells. CC-92480 is currently in phase 1 development in a late-line myeloma patient population (NCT03374085). Here, we sought to characterize the antitumor activity of CC-92480 in combination with dexamethasone (DEX), bortezomib (BORT), or daratumumab (DARA) in MM cell lines in vitro and xenograft mouse models in vivo.

Methods: CC-92480 activity in combination with DEX was evaluated in MM cell lines. Apoptosis was measured by quantification of caspase-3 activation. The effect of BORT on CC-92480-induced Ikaros and Aiolos degradation was determined by concurrent treatment of MM cells with BORT and CC-92480. β5-site proteasome activity was also determined in the same experiment. The in vitro activity of CC-92480 in combination with BORT was characterized using washout experiments to more faithfully model the short in vivo exposure but more prolonged, gradually diminishing proteasome inhibitory activity of BORT. Apoptosis and cell viability of CC-92480 with BORT were analyzed by flow cytometry. The effect of CC-92480 on CD38 expression was also evaluated across a panel of MM cell lines. The effect of CC-92480 in combination with DARA was characterized with antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) and antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP) assays.

CC-92480 in combination with DEX or BORT was tested in a lenalidomide-resistant (H929-1051) xenograft mouse model. Female SCID mice were inoculated with H929-1051 cells in the right hind leg. For the DEX combination, groups of tumor-bearing mice (n = 9-10) were dosed with vehicle, DEX, or CC-92480 once daily (QD), or CC-92480 in combination with DEX throughout the study, starting when the tumor volumes reached approximately 115 mm3. For combination with BORT, mice (n = 9-10/group) were dosed with vehicle, CC-92480, or BORT, or the CC-92480 and BORT combination starting when the tumor volumes reached approximately 500 mm3. CC-92480 was administered orally QD for 3 days and BORT as a single intravenous dose. Tumor volumes were measured twice a week for the duration of the studies.

Results: CC-92480 synergized with DEX in reducing cell viability and potentiated DEX-induced apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner in MM cell lines. Of note, the combination showed activity at concentrations of both DEX and CC-92480 that had minimal activity as single agents. In the xenograft model with H929-1051 cells, the combination of CC-92480 and DEX significantly inhibited tumor growth (−84%) when compared with either agent alone (−34% and −20% for CC-92480 and DEX, respectively) and was classified as a synergistic effect using the fractional product method.

Although proteasome activity is required for CC-92480-induced degradation of Ikaros and Aiolos, CC-92480 nevertheless maintained its ability to efficiently degrade Ikaros and Aiolos in the presence of doses of BORT that cause clinically relevant levels of proteasome inhibition. The in vitro combination of CC-92480 with BORT resulted in greater cytotoxic activity on MM cells than either single agent alone. The in vivo efficacy of CC-92480 and BORT, administered concurrently, showed a strongly synergistic effect with a near complete or complete tumor regression in every animal, and 6 of 9 animals remained tumor-free through an observation period extending 157 days after the control group was terminated.

Anti-CD38 therapies, including DARA and isatuxumab, target CD38-expressing MM cells for killing by immune cells through cytotoxic and phagocytic mechanisms. In a panel of MM cell lines, CC-92480 treatment caused increased cell surface expression of CD38 (2-3 times that of control). Pretreatment of MM cells with CC-92480 resulted in increased DARA-mediated ADCC and ADCP compared with DMSO-treated controls.

Conclusions: The strong preclinical synergy in MM cell killing exhibited by CC-92480 in combination with DEX, BORT, and with an anti-CD38 antibody (DARA), highlights its potential to bring clinical benefit to patients with MM in combination with these agents and supports the rationale for testing these combinations in clinical studies.


Wong:Celgene Corporation: Employment, Equity Ownership. Narla:Celgene Corporation: Employment, Equity Ownership. Leisten:Celgene Corporation: Employment. Bauer:Celgene Corporation: Employment, Equity Ownership. Groza:Celgene Corporation: Employment, Equity Ownership. Gaffney:Celgene: Employment. Havens:Celgene: Equity Ownership; Pfizer: Employment, Equity Ownership. Choi:AnaptysBio Inc: Employment, Equity Ownership; Celgene Corporation: Equity Ownership, Other: Formerly Employed. Lopez-Girona:Celgene Corporation: Employment. Hansen:Celgene Corporation: Employment. Cathers:Celgene Corporation: Equity Ownership; Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT): Employment. Carmichael:Celgene plc: Employment, Equity Ownership. Pierce:Celgene Corporation: Employment, Equity Ownership.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

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