Despite the impressive impact of CTLA4 and PD-1/L1 cancer immunotherapy, a large proportion of patients with many tumor types fail to respond. Lymphocyte activation gene 3 (LAG3) is the third checkpoint receptor that plays an important role in the pathogenesis of cancer. We have previously described a novel methodology in the identification of therapeutic antibodies (US Patent #9810694). Here we report the discovery of first-in-class, naturally occurring LAG3 checkpoint inhibitor in cancer patients.
Anti-LAG3 antibody presence was evaluated in 35 individuals: 11 healthy donors (controls) and 24 cancer patients in 3 different laboratories blinded to clinical information. Surface plasmon resonance analysis was done using the optical biosensor Biacore T200 where LAG3 protein was covalently immobilized on the optical chip and biosensor signals from human serum samples were analyzed. Western Blotting used recombinant LAG3 loaded on a 10% SDS PAGE followed by blotting with plasma samples followed by biotinylated anti-human Ig and IrDye 800 streptavidin. Plasma anti-LAG3 IP utilized recombinant LAG3 crosslinked to MagResyn Carboxyl beads followed by incubation with plasma, followed by a biotinylated anti-human Ig and IrDye streptavidin. Affinity purification protocol with elution of antigen-specific antibody with pH gradient was developed. REmAb™ Protein Sequencing with WILD™ analysis (Rapid Novor) is performed.
No anti-LAG3 antibodies were detected in the control group. Among three assays there was a complete correlation for presence of anti-LAG3 antibody in 5 patients. Three of these patients had sufficient plasma quantity and anti-LAG3 concentration (21 – 33 µg/ml) to allow for the antibody purification. Immunoglobulin isotypes were IgG and IgM. The ELISA results of purified antibody samples showed a high quantity of LAG3-specific antibody (0.22 mg, 0.52 mg, 0.3 mg in each sample, respectively). The results of the characterization of novel LAG3 checkpoint inhibitor will be presented at the congress.
To our knowledge, this is the first report of checkpoint antibody presence in humans. Further study with cloning and evaluation of therapeutic properties of novel anti-LAG3 antibody in xenograft models will be performed.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
I. Tsimafeyeu: Research grant / Funding (self), Shareholder / Stockholder / Stock options, Full / Part-time employment: ILGEN Inc. G. Bratslavsky: Shareholder / Stockholder / Stock options, Officer / Board of Directors: ILGEN Inc.