Building upon previous research in which the BCMA-targeted immunotoxin LMB-70 (an anti-BCMA Fab fused to a bacterial exotoxin) induced incomplete tumor regression in mice bearing subcutaneous human H929 multiple myeloma (MM), Shancer et al. developed a more clinically relevant MM model in which H929 or MM.1S MM cells infiltrate and reside in the bone marrow. Treatment with LMB-70 or LMB-75 (a disulfide-Fv version of LMB70) led to complete, durable regressions with no toxicity (although tumor lysis syndrome was observed when treating larger tumors). Due to its longer half-life, LMB-70 will be further developed for clinical trials.
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a B cell malignancy for which new treatments are urgently needed. The B cell maturation antigen (BCMA) is a lineage-restricted differentiation protein highly expressed on myeloma. Recombinant immunotoxins (RITs) are proteins composed of the Fv or Fab portion of an antibody fused to a bacterial toxin. We previously treated H929 myeloma s.c. tumors with anti-BCMA immunotoxins, very active on killing cultured cells, and observed tumor growth inhibition but not complete tumor responses. To determine if immunotoxins were more active against cells growing in the bone marrow (BM), the normal location of myeloma cells, we developed a BM mouse model that is more relevant to human disease. H929 cells were transfected with luciferase and GFP, enriched by flow, recycled through the BM of a mouse, and injected IV into nonobese diabetic scid gamma mice (NSG) mice. A second myeloma mouse model used the MM.1S-GFP-luc cell line. Mice were treated IV with immunotoxins, and the tumor burden was assessed using bioluminescence imaging. We achieved complete durable remissions when treating mice with H929-GFP-luc cells with anti-BCMA RITs both leptomycin B-75 (LMB-75) [anti-BCMA-disulfide-stabilized (ds)-Fv-PE24] (where PE represents Pseudomonas exotoxin A) or LMB-70 (anti-BCMA-Fab-PE24) given every other day for 5-d (QODx5) doses beginning on day 4 or day 8. Mice were disease free at 3 months; untreated mice became moribund around day 40. We also achieved long-term responses using the MM.1S-GFP-luc myeloma cell line. Treatment with an 1.5 mg/kg LMB-75 QODx5 anti-BCMA RIT beginning on day 4 caused the complete disappearance of tumors for 80 days. To summarize, LMB-75 and LMB-70, our anti-BCMA RITs, induced complete durable responses in two myeloma models.