Development of a chimeric anti-CD40 monoclonal antibody that synergizes with LEA29Y to prolong islet allograft survival.

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

PubMedID: 15611281

Adams AB, Shirasugi N, Jones TR, Durham MM, Strobert EA, Cowan S, Rees P, Hendrix R, Price K, Kenyon NS, Hagerty D, Townsend R, Hollenbaugh D, Pearson TC, Larsen CP. Development of a chimeric anti-CD40 monoclonal antibody that synergizes with LEA29Y to prolong islet allograft survival. J Immunol. 2005;174(1):542-50.
In recent years, reagents have been developed that specifically target signals critical for effective T cell activation and function. Manipulation of the CD28/CD80/86 and CD40/CD154 pathways has exhibited extraordinary efficacy, particularly when the pathways are blocked simultaneously. Despite the reported efficacy of anti-CD154 in rodents and higher models, its future clinical use is uncertain due to reported thromboembolic events in clinical trials. To circumvent this potential complication, we developed and evaluated a chimeric Ab targeting CD40 (Chi220, BMS-224819) as an alternative to CD154. Although Chi220 blocks CD154 binding, it also possesses partial agonist properties and weak stimulatory potential. The anti-CD40 was tested alone and in combination with a rationally designed, high affinity variant of CTLA4-Ig, LEA29Y (belatacept), in a nonhuman primate model of islet transplantation. Although either agent alone only modestly prolonged islet survival (Chi220 alone: 14, 16, and 84 days; LEA29Y alone: 58 and 60 days), their combination (LEA29Y and Chi220) dramatically facilitated long term survival (237, 237, 220, >185, and 172 days). We found that the effects of Chi220 treatment were not mediated solely through deletion of CD20-bearing cells and that the combined therapy did not significantly impair established antiviral immunity.