Besides strong efforts in research and development, OBI continues to collaborate with renown experts in the field to contribute to the field of science.
The first synthesis of Globo-H was accomplished through the use of glycal chemistry; this approach delivered sufficient material for evaluation in phase I human trials. The development of a programmable one-pot synthesis method rendered the synthesis more practical and enabled the midstage proof-of-concept phase II trial and late-stage phase III trial. Finally, enzymatic synthesis of Globo-H coupled with cofactor regeneration was used for the late-stage multicenter trials and manufacture of the product. Along this path of development, it was discovered that the vaccine induced antibodies to target not only Globo-H, but also SSEA3 and SSEA4. Moreover, these three glycolipids were found to be uniquely expressed not only on the cell surface of breast cancer but on 15 additional cancer types, suggesting the broad application of this vaccine in cancer treatment and perhaps cancer prevention. In addition, a new glycolipid adjuvant was designed to target the CD1d receptor on dendritic cells and B cells for presentation to and activation of T cells to modulate the immune response and induce a class switch from IgM to IgG, thereby overcoming the common problem of carbohydrate-based vaccines that often induce mainly IgM antibodies.
As demonstrated in this vaccine development, the chemical approach to the synthesis and conjugation of carbohydrate-based immunogens provides the flexibility for access to various structures and linkers to identify optimal compositions for development. The enzymatic method was then introduced to enable the practical synthesis of the vaccine candidate for clinical development and commercialization. Overall, this Account illustrates the path of development of a cancer vaccine, from selection of a unique glycan marker on breast cancer cells and the cancer stem cells as target to the use of chemistry in combination with immunology and cancer biology to enable the design and development of the Globo-H vaccine to target three specific glycan markers exclusively expressed on the cell surface of a number of different types of cancer.
Experimental design: We assessed AKR1C3 expression by RNA-Seq and immunoblotting, and evaluated the in vitro cytotoxicity of OBI-3424. We investigated the pharmacokinetics of OBI-3424 in mice and nonhuman primates, and assessed the in vivo efficacy of OBI-3424 against a large panel of patient-derived xenografts (PDX).
Results: AKR1C3 mRNA expression was significantly higher in primary T-lineage ALL (T-ALL; n = 264) than B-lineage ALL (B-ALL; n = 1,740; P < 0.0001), and OBI-3424 exerted potent cytotoxicity against T-ALL cell lines and PDXs. In vivo, OBI-3424 significantly prolonged the event-free survival (EFS) of nine of nine ALL PDXs by 17.1-77.8 days (treated/control values 2.5-14.0), and disease regression was observed in eight of nine PDXs. A significant reduction (P < 0.0001) in bone marrow infiltration at day 28 was observed in four of six evaluable T-ALL PDXs. The importance of AKR1C3 in the in vivo response to OBI-3424 was verified using a B-ALL PDX that had been lentivirally transduced to stably overexpress AKR1C3. OBI-3424 combined with nelarabine resulted in prolongation of mouse EFS compared with each single agent alone in two T-ALL PDXs.
Conclusions: OBI-3424 exerted profound in vivo efficacy against T-ALL PDXs derived predominantly from aggressive and fatal disease, and therefore may represent a novel treatment for aggressive and chemoresistant T-ALL in an AKR1C3 biomarker-driven clinical trial.
Methods: At 40 sites in Taiwan, USA, Korea, India, and Hong Kong, patients with MBC of any molecular subtype and ≤2 prior progressive disease events with stable/responding disease after the last anticancer regimen were randomized (2:1) to adagloxad simolenin (AS/OBI-821) or placebo, subcutaneously for nine doses with low-dose cyclophosphamide. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Secondary endpoints included overall survival, correlation of clinical outcome with humoral immune response and Globo H expression, and safety.
Results: Of 349 patients randomized, 348 received study drug. Patients with the following breast cancer subtypes were included: hormone receptor-positive (HR+)/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2-) (70.4%), triple negative (12.9%), and HER2+ (16.7%), similarly distributed between treatment arms. Median PFS was 7.6 months (95% CI: 6.5-10.9) with AS/OBI-821 (n=224) and 9.2 months (95% CI: 7.3-11.3) with placebo (n=124) (HR=0.96; 95% CI: 0.74-1.25; p=0.77), with no difference by breast cancer subtype. AS/OBI-821 recipients with anti-Globo H IgG titer ≥1:160 had significantly longer median PFS (11.1 months (95% CI: 9.3-17.6)) versus those with titers <1:160 (5.5 months (95% CI: 3.7-5.6); HR=0.52; p<0.0001) and placebo recipients (HR=0.71; p=0.03). Anti-KLH immune responses were similar at week 40 between AS/OBI-821 recipients with anti-Globo IgG titer ≥1:160 and those with anti-Globo IgG titer <1:160. The most common adverse events with AS/OBI-821 were grade 1 or 2 injection site reactions (56.7%; placebo, 8.9%) and fever (20.1%; placebo, 6.5%).
Conclusion: AS/OBI-821 did not improve PFS in patients with previously treated MBC. However, humoral immune response to Globo H correlated with improved PFS in AS/OBI-821 recipients, leading the way to further marker-driven studies. Treatment was well tolerated.NCT01516307.