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Title:
ANTIBODY-BASED CONSTRUCTS DIRECTED AGAINST TYROSINE KINASE RECEPTORS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2012/024659
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
The present invention features antibody-based constructs that include a combination of two or more of a tetrameric antibody, a single chain antibody, a diabody, a triabody, another immunoglobulin-based moiety, as described herein, or biologically active variants thereof.

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Inventors:
WITTRUP, Karl, Dane (48 Woodlawn Drive, Chestnut Hill, MA, 02457, US)
SPANGLER, Jamie, B. (235 Hawthorne Avenue, Palo Alto, CA, 94301, US)
EPSTEIN, Benjamin, E. (7507 Wyndale Road, Chevy Chase, MD, 20815, US)
ROSS, Brian, L. (450 Beacon Street, Boston, MA, 02115, US)
Application Number:
US2011/048529
Publication Date:
February 23, 2012
Filing Date:
August 20, 2011
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 2, 021442, US)
WITTRUP, Karl, Dane (48 Woodlawn Drive, Chestnut Hill, MA, 02457, US)
SPANGLER, Jamie, B. (235 Hawthorne Avenue, Palo Alto, CA, 94301, US)
EPSTEIN, Benjamin, E. (7507 Wyndale Road, Chevy Chase, MD, 20815, US)
ROSS, Brian, L. (450 Beacon Street, Boston, MA, 02115, US)
International Classes:
C07K16/28; A61K39/395; A61P35/00; C07K16/46; C12N15/13
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CREWS, Lee et al. (Duane Morris LLP, 100 High Street Suite 240, Boston MA, 02110-1724, US)
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Claims:
Attorney's Docket No.: U21 66-01 076

Client's Reference No. : 14442

1. An antibody-based construct comprising a tetrameric immunoglobulin that

specifically binds a first epitope on a tyrosine kinase receptor and a single chain antibody (scFv) that specifically binds a second epitope on the tyrosine kinase receptor.

2. The antibody-based construct of claim 1, wherein the tetrameric immunoglobulin is an IgGl or IgG2.

3. The antibody-based construct of claim 1 , wherein the tetrameric immunoglobulin is a chimeric, human, or humanized immunoglobulin.

4. The antibody-based construct of claim 1, wherein the tyrosine kinase receptor is a receptor in the ErbB, insulin, PDGF, FGF, VEGF, HGF, Trk, Eph, AXL, LTK, TIE, ROR, DDR, RET, KLG, RYK, or MuSK receptor family.

5. The antibody-based construct of claim 4, wherein the receptor is in the ErbB receptor family.

6. The antibody-based construct of claim 5, wherein the receptor is an EGFR or HER2/neu.

7. The antibody-based construct of claim 5, wherein the tetrameric immunoglobulin is cetuximab, panitumumab, trastuzumab, matuzumab, h-R3, or the monoclonal antibody 806.

8. The antibody-based construct of claim 5, wherein the scFv comprises a variable domain, or the complementarity determining regions (CDRs) thereof, of cetuximab, panitumumab, trastuzumab, matuzumab, h-R3, or the monoclonal antibody 806.

9. The antibody-based construct of claim 5, wherein the tetrameric immunoglobulin is cetuximab, panitumumab, trastuzumab, matuzumab, or h-R3 and the scFv comprises a variable domain, or the CDRs thereof, of the monoclonal antibody 806. Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442

10. The antibody-based construct of any of claims 1-9, wherein the scFv is fused, directly or indirectly, to one or both of the heavy chains of the tetrameric immunoglobulin.

1 1. The antibody-based construct of claim 10, wherein the scFv is fused, directly or indirectly, to the amino terminus of one or both of the heavy chains.

12. The antibody-based construct of any of claims 1-9, wherein the scFv is fused, directly or indirectly, to one or both of the the light chains of the tetrameric immunoglobulin.

13. The antibody-based construct of claim 12, wherein the scFv is fused, directly or indirectly, to the carboxy terminus of one or both of the light chains.

14. The antibody-based construct of any of claims 1-13, wherein the tetrameric

immunoglobulin or the scFv recognizes a cryptic epitope on the target receptor that is not exposed under native folding conditions.

15. The antibody-based construct of any of claims 1 -13, wherein the construct comprises a tetrameric immunoglobulin and two, four, six, eight, or ten scFvs.

16. The antibody-based construct of claim 1, wherein the first epitope and the second epitope are non-overlapping and/or located on two different molecular targets.

17. The antibody-based construct of claim 1, further comprising an accessory protein.

18. The antibody-based construct of claim 17, wherein the accessory protein comprises an amino acid sequence that: prolongs the circulating half-life of the construct; facilitates isolation or purification of the construct; serves as a linlcer between one part of the construct and another or between the construct and another moiety; is detectable and thereby serves as a label, marker, or tag; or is cytotoxic. Attorney's Docket No. : U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442

19. The antibody-based construct of claim 18, wherein the moiety is a therapeutic compound.

20. A nucleic acid comprising a sequence encoding the antibody-based construct of claim 1 , the tetrameric immunoglobulin thereof, or the scFv thereof.

21. A vector comprising the nucleic acid sequence of claim 20.

22. The vector of claim 21 , wherein the vector is a plasmid or a cosmid or other viral vector.

23. A cell ex vivo comprising the vector of claim 21.

24. A pharmaceutically acceptable composition comprising the antibody-based construct of any of claims 1-19.

25. A method of treating a patient who has cancer, the method comprising identifying a patient in need of treatment and administering to the patient a therapeutically effective amount of the pharmaceutically acceptable composition of claim 24, wherein the antibody-based construct specifically binds at least one epitope on a receptor tyrosine kinase whose expression or activity is associated with the cancer.

26. The method of claim 25, wherein the receptor tyrosine kinase is a member of the ErbB family.

27. The method of claim 26, wherein the receptor tyrosine kinase is an EGFR or HER2/neu.

28. The method of claim 25, wherein the cancer is breast cancer, bladder cancer, non- small-cell lung cancer, colorectal cancer, squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, esophageal cancer, a glioblastoma, or pancreatic cancer.

Description:
Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442

ANTIBODY-BASED CONSTRUCTS DIRECTED AGAINST

TYROSINE KINASE RECEPTORS

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of the filing date of U.S. Application No. 61/375,765, which was filed August 20, 2010. For the purpose of any U.S. application that may claim the benefit of U.S. Application No. 61/375,765, the contents of that earlier filed application are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.

GOVERNMENT RIGHTS STATEMENT

This invention was made with government support awarded by the National Institutes of Health under Grant No. CA 96504. The U.S. government has certain rights in this invention.

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates to antibody-based constructs and, more particularly, to constructs that include, for example, at least one tetrameric immunoglobulin and at least one single chain antibody (scFv). The antibodies can specifically bind a receptor tyrosine kinase, such as an EGF receptor (EGFR), and thereby affect cellular physiology (e.g., receptor clustering, cellular proliferation, differentiation, and/or migration). The compositions described herein have various diagnostic and therapeutic uses, particularly with respect to cancer.

BACKGROUND

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR, also ErbBl) is a single-pass transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) whose signaling is essential for key physiological processes, including cellular growth, migration, adhesion, and apoptosis (Yarden, Nat, Rev. Mol. Cell. Biol, 2: 127-137, 2001). As is true for most RTKs, the activation of EGFR is tightly regulated by the availability of ligand, often epidermal growth factor (EGF) or transforming growth factor- (TGF-a). Consequently, the dysregulation of EGFR expression and signaling has been implicated in numerous forms of cancer and is correlated with poor clinical outcome. Over the last 25 years, a great deal of research has been focused on targeting EGFR and attenuating its activity. One class of targeted therapeutics against EGFR is that of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), which specifically recognize EGFR and obstruct its activation. The first antibody-based Attorney's Docket No. : U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442

EGFR therapeutic to be clinically approved was cetuximab, the chimeric human immunoglobulin Gl (IgGl) form of the murine mAb 225 (Martinelli et al, Clin. Exp. Immunol, 158: 1 -9, 2009). With a 100-fold greater affinity for EGFR than the native EGF ligand, mAb 225 directly competes with ligand binding to domain III, blocking dimerization and, consequently, receptor activation (Grunwald et al., J. Natl. Cancer Inst., 95:851 -867, 2003; Le et al, Cancer Cell, 7:301-31 1 , 2005). Cetuximab (Erbitux®) can also exert effects via alternative mechanisms, including antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (de Bono et al., Br. Med. Bull , 64:227-254, 2002), induction of receptor internalization and degradation (Ennis et al, Cancer Invest. , 9:553- 562, 1991), induction of Gl-phase cell-cycle arrest, enhanced apoptosis (Prewett et al, Clin. Cancer Res., 8 :994-1003, 2002; Ciardiello et al, Clin. Cancer Res. , 5:909-916, 1999), and inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), although these effects vary between cell lines. Other monoclonal antibodies targeting the EGFR ligand-binding domain include the FDA- approved panitumumab and several compounds undergoing clinical trials, including matuzumab and hR-3 (Mateo et al, Immunotechnology, 3:71-81 , 1997; Sebastian et al, Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1766: 120-139, 2006).

Unfortunately, the approved mAbs have not lived up to their promise in the clinic. The monotherapy objective response rates of cetuximab and panitumumab are just 1 1% and 8%, respectively, in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (Cunningham et al, N. Engl.

J. Med. , 351 :337-345, 2004; Cohenuram, Anticancer Drugs, ]_8:7-15, 2007; Van Cutsem, et al, J. Clin. Oncol, 25: 1658-1664, 2007). These response rates approximately double when the drugs are used in combination with chemotherapeutics, but there is still much opportunity for the improvement of EGFR-targeted antibody therapeutics. The tepid clinical response of cetuximab and panitumumab can be attributed to delivery limitations, acquired resistance, and receptor mutation (Martinelli, Clin. Exp. Immunol , 158: 1-9, 2009). Specifically, antibody penetration into solid tumors is limited by transport and catabolism. Also, tumors may develop resistance to mAbs, often through genetic mutation of EGFR. Heterozygous somatic mutations including deletions, insertions, and point mutations have been observed in the EGFR kinase domain in some lung cancer patients (Lynch et al, N. Engl. J. Med. , 350:2129-2139, 2004; Paez et al, Science, 304: 1497-1500, 2004; Pao et al, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 101: 13306-1331 1 , 2004). These mutations strengthen receptor interactions with ATP, amplifying autophosphorylation and boosting cell survival (Tracy et al, Cancer Res., 64:7241 -7244, 2004; Sordella et al, Science, Attorney's Docket No. : U2166-01076

Client's Reference No. : 14442

305: 1 163-1167, 2004). Furthermore, rearrangements within the ErbBl gene such as large deletions, point mutants, and insertions are also common, particularly in gliomas (Ekstrand et al, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 89:4309-4313, 1992). As many as 20% of glioblastomas express EGFR variants (Ekstrand et al., Cancer Res., 51 :2164-2172, 1991 ; Liu et al, J. Mol. Med. , 83:917-926, 2005), the most common of which is EGFRvllI, a constituitively active truncation mutant that removes all of domain I and the majority of domain II of the EGFR extracellular domain to lock the receptor in the active conformation (Wong et al, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 89:2965-2969, 1992). Tumors may also exhibit antibody resistance through abnormal expression of the ligand, for instance through autocrine production or through increased spatial accessibility as a result of aberrant colocalization of the receptor and ligand (Tateishi et al, Cancer Res, 50:7077-7080, 1990; Hirai et al, Dis. Esophagus, ϋ:221-225, 1998). Due to their reliance on ligand competition for efficacy, the current clinically approved antibodies targeting EGFR are ineffective against mutants such as EGFRvllI and tumor cells that dysregulate EGFR ligands. Consequently, there is a dire need for effective EGFR-targeted mAbs that operate through complementary mechanisms to inhibit receptor signaling.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is based, in part, on our discovery of bispecific antibodies that include a tetrameric immunoglobulin and a single chain antibody (scFv). The tetrameric immunoglobuin can specifically bind a first epitope on a molecular target, such as a tyrosine kinase receptor, and the scFv can specifically bind a second epitope, which may be different from the first (e.g., a non-overlapping epitope), on the tyrosine kinase receptor. Because of the nature of the component parts of the present constructs (e.g. , tetrameric immunoglobulins and scFvs), we may refer to the compositions of the invention generally as "antibody-based constructs" or "immunoglobulin-based constructs."

We tend to illustrate the invention with constructs including tetrameric immunoglobulins and single chain antibodies, but the constructs can also include other immunoglobulin-based moieties that specifically bind a molecular target. Thus, the invention features antibody-based constructs that include a combination of two or more of a tetrameric antibody, a single chain antibody, a diabody, a triabody, or biologically active variants thereof. For the sake of added Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442 clarity, the compositions of the present invention are not conventional monoclonal antibodies, standard diabodies, or standard triabodies, but may include such moieties.

The tetrameric immunoglobulin included in the present constructs can be an IgG of any subtype (e.g. , an IgGl , IgG2, IgG3, or IgG4) and can be a chimeric, mammalian (e.g. , human or murine) or humanized immunoglobulin. The variable domains of the heavy and light chains in the scFvs or other immunoglobulin-based moieties (e.g. , the diabody or triabody) can also be those of a chimeric, mammalian (e.g. , human or murine) or humanized immunoglobulin. More specifically, the tetrameric immunoglobulin can be cetuximab, panitumumab, trastuzumab, matuzumab (formerly EMD7000), h-R3 (TheraCIM® hR3; J Clin. Oncol. , May 2004) or the monoclonal antibody 806. These and other tetrameric antibodies that specifically bind a molecular target as described herein can be incorporated essentially in their entirety. Similarly, the heavy and light chains of the scFvs, diabodies, and triabodies can be the heavy and light chains of these commercially developed antibodies or of any antibody that specifically binds a molecular target as described herein..

In other embodiments, one or more of the component parts of the present constructs (e.g. , a tetrameric antibody, scFv, diabody, and/or triabody) can be a biologically active fragment or other variant of a commercially developed antibody or any antibody that specifically binds a molecular target as described herein (e.g. , an EGFR). For example, the present constructs can include a tetrameric antibody that constitutes a significant fragment or other variant (e.g. , a substitution mutant) of a tetrameric, anti-EGFR antibody. Biologically active fragments and variants of an antibody are those having the ability to specifically bind the molecular target bound by the corresponding unmodified antibody. The affinity or precise binding kinetics may or may not be identical to that of the corresponding unmodified antibody and, in some instances, the affinity of the fragment or other variant may be better than that of the corresponding unmodified antibody.

In other embodiments, one or more of the component parts of the present constructs (e.g. , a tetrameric antibody, scFv, diabody, and/or triabody) can include one or more of the CDRs, framework regions, or paratopes of a commercially developed antibody or any antibody that specifically binds a molecular target as described herein. The other regions of the construct can vary so long as it retains the ability to bind the desired molecular target. For example, the present compositions can include a tetrameric antibody having (a) one or more (e.g. , 1 -6) of the Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442

CDRs of a tetrameric antibody that binds a receptor tyrosine kinase (e.g., EGFR); (b) one or more of the CDRs and the surrounding framework regions of such an antibody; or (c) the variable domains of the heavy and/or light chains of such an antibody. Thus, the compositions of the present invention encompass antibody-based constructs that have the same CDRs or the same paratopes as contained in cetuximab, panitumumab, trastuzumab, matuzumab, h-R3, or mAb 806.

In other embodiments, one or more of the component parts of the present constructs (e.g. , a tetrameric antibody, scFv, diabody, and/or triabody) can bind the same epitope as a

commercially developed antibody or any antibody that specifically binds a molecular target as described herein. For example, the compositions of the present invention encompass antibody- based constructs that bind to the same epitopes as cetuximab, panitumumab, trastuzumab, matuzumab, h-R3, or mAb 806. More generally, the antibody-based construct can bind one epitope that is present in one form of a receptor target and a second epitope that is present in another form of the same receptor (e.g., a truncated or otherwise mutant form of the receptor). For example, the tetrameric immunoglobulin can specifically bind an epitope of a full-length, wild-type EGFR, and the scFv, diabody, or triabody can specifically bind an epitope of a mutant (e.g. , a truncation mutant) of the EGFR (e.g. , EGFRvIII). The same is true for other receptor tyrosine kinases; the epitopes can differ by virtue of being present in a wild-type form of the molecular target and absent in a mutant form. Alternatively, the tetrameric immunoglobulin can specifically bind an epitope present in the truncation mutant (or other type mutant) and the scFv can specifically bind an epitope of the full-length, wild-type molecular target (e.g. , an EGFR). The tetrameric immunoglobulin and/or the scFv, diabody, or triabody can include a variable domain that recognizes and specifically binds a cryptic epitope on the target receptor that is not exposed under native folding conditions.

We may describe the epitope as an "alternative" epitope when it is exposed only in some circumstances (e.g. , only in the case of a mutant or activated receptor). For example, an antibody-based construct (e.g., a bi- or trispecific antibody) can bind to a cysteine loop at the end of the EGFR extracellular domain II, including to a conformational epitope that is exposed only when the receptor transitions into the open conformation upon dimerization.

As noted above, the present constructs can include a component part (e.g., a tetrameric immunoglobulin) that differs in its sequence from that of a commercially developed antibody Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client' s Reference No . : 14442

(e.g. , cetuximab) but retains the ability to specifically bind the same molecular target as the commercially developed antibody. The variability between any two sequences can be expressed as the percentage of one sequence that is identical to the other. For example, the amino acid sequence of a tetrameric immunoglobulin (or a heavy or light chain thereof) that is present within an antibody-based construct of the invention may be at least or about 70%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, or 98% identical to that of a previously developed immunoglobulin against a receptor tyrosine kinase (or a heavy or light chain thereof). Thus, fragments or other variants of currently available antibodies, including those listed above, can be incorporated into the antibody-based constructs of the present invention and are useful in the present methods so long as they retain biological activity (e.g. , sufficient and selective binding to the molecular target). Where a tetrameric immunoglobulin differs from a previously developed immunoglobulin, the differences may lie outside the CDRs and framework regions; in other words, the CDRs and framework regions in the variant immunoglobulin may be identical to those in the previously developed immunoglobulin or highly similar (e.g. , at least 95%, 96%, 97%, or 98% identical).

With respect to the configuration, the antibody-based constructs of the invention can be arranged such that an scFv, diabody, or triabody is fused, directly or indirectly (e.g. , via a linker), to one or both of the heavy chains of the tetrameric immunoglobulin. For example, an scFv, diabody, triabody, or any combination of such immunoglobulin-like moieties can be fused to the amino termini and/or the carboxy termini of the heavy chain(s) of the tetrameric

immunoglobulin. Alternatively, or in addition, the scFv, diabody, or triabody can be fused to the amino termini and/or the carboxy termini of the light chain(s) of the tetrameric immunoglobulin. For example, in one embodiment, the antibody-based constructs comprise a tetrameric immunoglobulin, scFvs fused to the amino termini of the heavy chains, and scFvs fused to the carboxy termini of the light chains. One, two, three, or four of these scFvs can be, instead, a diabody or triabody. At any position where an scFv can be included, one or more diabodies, triabodies, or other immunoglobulin-based binding moieties can be included. In other embodiments, the antibody-based constructs include a plurality of just one type of the

immunoglobuin-based binding moieties. For example, the antibody-based constructs can include two, three, four, or more tetrameric immunoglobulins fused to one another (with the provisio that the antibody-based construct is not a naturally occurring immunoglobulin, such as an Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442 immunoglobulin of the M class). Similarly, two, three, four or more diabodies or triabodies can be joined to one another (e.g. , via linkers).

In addition to the sequences described above that participate in receptor binding, the antibody-based constructs of the invention can further include one or more accessory proteins. The accessory proteins include an amino acid sequence that: prolongs the circulating half-life of the construct; facilitates isolation or purification of the construct; serves as a linker between one part of the construct and another or between the construct and another moiety (e.g., a therapeutic compound or imaging agent); is detectable and thereby serves as a label, marker, or tag; or is a cell disruption agent such as a toxin or a nucleic acid that mediates RNAi (e.g. , an siRNA or shRNA. By forming pools of clustered EGFR in the cytoplasm, tagged constructs can generate high local concentrations of toxic agents that selectively destroy transformed cells. Furthermore, by conjugating the antibody-based constructs to fusogenic peptides, one could achieve high concentrations of receptors within endosomes, which could facilitate disruption of the endosomal membrane and allow for diffusion of the toxic compound into the cytosol, enhancing therapeutic efficacy.

The molecular target can be a tyrosine kinase receptor, including a receptor in the ErbB, insulin, PDGF, FGF, VEGF, HGF, Trk, Eph, AXL, LTK, TIE, ROR, DDR, RET, KLG, RYK, or MuSK receptor family. For example, the receptor can be one in the ErbB family, such as an EGFR (also known as ErbBl) or HER2/neu (also known as ErbB2). The FGF receptor can be FGFR2, FGFR3, or FGFR4.

With respect to binding of the EGFR, the tetrameric immunoglobulin, the scFv or an antibody-based construct of which they are a part can compete with ligand binding to domain III, inhibit dimerization and, consequently, receptor activation. The same is true of antibody-based constructs that include a diabody or triabody (e.g. , constructs including a tetrameric antibody and one or more diabodies or triabodies). While the compositions of the invention are not limited to those that achieve their utility by any particular mechanism, we further note that the tetrameric immunoglobulin, the scFv, the diabody portion, the triabody portion, or the construct as a whole can be one that achieves one or more of the following outcomes: antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, induction of receptor internalization and degradation, induction of Gl -phase cell- cycle arrest, enhanced apoptosis, and modulation of receptor trafficking patterns, thus altering Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442 the steady state level of a tyrosine kinase receptor (e.g. , an EGFR) available for signal activation. The targeted receptor may be downregulated without activating downstream signaling pathways.

Also within the scope of the invention are nucleic acid molecules that include a nucleic acid sequence encoding an antibody-based construct as described herein or a portion thereof (e.g. , an scFv or a heavy or light chain of a tetrameric immunoglobulin). These nucleic acids can be incorporated into expression vectors known in the art using routine molecular biology techniques. For example, a sequence identified in Figures 10-13 (in whole or a demarcated part) can be incorporated into a plasmid, a cosmid, a viral vector, or other vector known in the art. The vectors can also include nucleic acid sequences that exhibit a certain degree of identity to those set out in Figures 10-13 (in whole or in a demarcated part). For example, vectors within the scope of the present invention can include nucleic acid sequences that are at least or about 70%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, or 98% identical to one or more of the sequences shown in Figures 10-13. The sequences can encode immunoglobulin sequences that selectively bind a molecular target as described herein.

The vectors can, in turn, be incorporated into a cell ex vivo, in which proteins useful in bispecific antibodies and other antibody-based constructs will be expressed and from which the proteins can be purified and assembled (as necessary). Such cells are within the scope of the present invention. In addition to ex vivo uses, the nucleic acids and vectors including them can be administered to patients in which they will be expressed.

The antibody-based constructs can be formulated as pharmaceutically acceptable compositions and used in therapeutic and diagnostic methods. Accordingly, the invention features methods of treating a patient who has cancer by administering to the patient a therapeutically effective amount of a pharmaceutically acceptable composition comprising an antibody-based construct as described herein. The antibody will be one that specifically binds at least one epitope on a receptor tyrosine kinase whose expression or activity is associated with the cancer. For example, the antibody can specifically bind an EGFR, including a truncated or other mutant form, or HER2/neu, and the cancer can be breast cancer, bladder cancer, non-small-cell lung cancer, colorectal cancer, squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, esophageal cancer, salivary gland cancer, a glioblastoma, or pancreatic cancer. Any of the therapeutic methods can include a step of identifying a patient in need of treatment. For example, one can use the antibodies described herein or others that recognize the desired target to Attorney's Docket No. : U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442 identify aberrant receptor expression in a biopsy sample. Alternatively or in addition, any of the therapeutic methods can include a step in which the patient is also treated with a conventional therapeutic agent (e.g. , a conventional small molecule chemotherapeutic agent).

In another aspect, the antibody-based constructs can be used in the treatment of autoimmune disease, including psoriasis. Accordingly, the invention features methods of treating a patient who has an autoimmune disease by administering to the patient a therapeutically effective amount of a pharmaceutically acceptable composition comprising an antibody-based construct as described herein. The antibody will be one that specifically binds at least one epitope on a receptor tyrosine kinase whose expression or activity is associated with the autoimmune disease.

In addition to their promise as therapeutic agents, the present antibody-based constructs can be used to deliver contrast agents or other moieties useful in imaging (e.g. , imaging a tumor before, during, or after treatment). Further, with sub-nanomolar affinity for a receptor tyrosine kinase, such as EGFR, the antibodies can selectively and tightly bind the receptor, providing accurate detection for tumor diagnosis applications.

The modular format of the constructs we have developed is advantageous because it allows for the insertion of any immunoglobulin-like moieties (e.g. , antibody variable domains) with engineered specificity for multiple non-overlapping sites on the antigen of interest. This provides a generalized scaffold for eliciting clustering of receptor tyrosine kinases, including those in the ErbB family and any other whose overexpression or aberrent expression is

associated with cancer, autoimmunity or another disease condition (e.g. , polycystic kidney disease). The size of immunoglobulins (e.g., an IgG backbone) allows for superior retention in the bloodstream and FcRn recycling, and we expect the molecular specificity of the variable domains to minimize off-target toxicity.

In summary, various aspects of the invention include the antibody-based constructs described herein, compositions containing them (e.g. , pharmaceutically acceptable preparations, stock solutions, kits, and the like), nucleic acids encoding them, and cells in which they are expressed (e.g. , cells in tissue culture). Methods of making and methods of isolating or purifying the antibodies are also within the scope of the present invention. For example, a vector described herein can be used to express an immunoglobulin as described herein in a biological cell using routine methods known in the art of protein production. The resulting protein can then be readily isolated, perhaps with the assistance of an encoded tag. We may refer to an antibody-based Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442 construct (or a portion thereof) as "isolated" or "purified" when it has been substantially separated from materials with which it was previously associated. For example, an antibody- based construct (or a portion thereof) can be isolated or purified following chemical synthesis or expression in cell culture as described above. Methods of using the antibody-based constructs to assess cells in vitro and to treat patients are also within the scope of the present invention.

Production, isolation, formulation, screening, diagnostic and treatment methods are discussed further below.

The method of treatment claims included herein may be expressed in terms of "use." For example, the present invention features the use of the antibody-based constructs described herein in the preparation of a medicament or in the manufacture of a medicament for the treatment of cancer, including the specific cancers described herein.

One of ordinary skill in the art can consult numerous publications concerning the commercially developed antibodies described herein, including U.S. Patent Nos. 4,943,533, 5,558,864, 6,165,464, 6,217,866, 6,235,883, and 7,767,792 and U.S. Patent Application

Publication 2009/0010840. These publications disclose immunoglobulin sequences useful in the present antibody-based constructs, and are hereby incorporated by reference in their entireties.

The details of one or more embodiments of the invention are set forth in the

accompanying drawings, the description below, and/or the claims. Other features, objects, and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the drawings, descriptions, and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figure 1 is a schematic illustrating the structure of bispecific antibodies within the present invention. A human IgGl isotype backbone is used as a scaffold for engineering BS28 constructs. In accordance with convention, the heavy chain is shown to include three constant domains (CHI, CH2, and CH3) and one variable domain (VH), whereas the light chain has one constant domain (CL) and one variable domain (VL). The amino (N) and carboxy (C) termini of the heavy and light chains are indicated. Antibodies are assembled in vitro in 2:2 complexes of heavy and light chain moieties, linked by three disulfide bonds. The 806 scFv is fused to the heavy or light chain at the N or C terminus with a flexible linker and the fusion constructs are named as indicated. Note that the variable domains are labeled according to the antibody with Attorney's Docket No.; U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442 which they are associated (2=225; 8=806). The full sequences of the four BS28 constructs that were designed are provided in Appendix A.

Figure 2 is a schematic of the extracellular, transmembrane, and intracellular domains of

EGFR.

Figure 3 is a pair of graphs illustrating BS28 binding kinetics. Due to avidity effects that emanate from the bispecificity of BS28 constructs, both BS28-HC and BS28-LC have a higher affinity for their target antigen, EGFR, than the unmodified 225 antibody. The unconjugated 225 antibody (closed symbols) and the BS28 constructs (open symbols) were titrated on the surface of A431 epidermoid carcinoma cells at pH 6.0 (gray) and pH 7.4 (black). Nonlinear least squares regression fits' are shown for 225 (solid lines) and BS28 constructs (dashed lines) at pH 6.0 (gray) and pH 7.4 (black). Using nonlinear least squares regression, the titration curves were fitted to binding isotherms (% bound = [L]/([L]+K d where [L] is antibody concentration and ¾ is the equilibrium dissociation constant) and the equilibrium dissociation constants were determined. Compared to unmodified 225 mAb, the bispecific constructs have four-to-six-fold tighter interactions with EGFR at pH 6.0 and greater than tenfold tighter interactions with EGFR at pH 7.4.

Figure 4 is a schematic representation of bispecific antibody-induced clustering. EGFR trafficking following incubation with a bispecific antibody is depicted with the relevant kinetic parameters labeled. Treatment with a bispecific antibody that binds two non-competitive epitopes of its target receptor may induce linear or circular chains of crosslinked receptor on the cell surface. This has been shown to inhibit receptor recycling, thus reducing the amount of surface receptor available for signal transduction.

Figure 5 is a schematic representation of combination antibody-induced clustering.

EGFR trafficking following incubation with two noncompetitive antibodies (shown in black and gray) is depicted with the relevant kinetic parameters labeled. Treatment with antibodies that bind to distinct epitopes on the target receptor may induce linear or circular chains of crosslinked receptor on the cell surface. This has been shown to inhibit receptor recycling, thus reducing the amount of surface receptor available for signal transduction.

Figure 6 is a bar graph illustrating relative binding of mAb 225 and mAb 806 as determined by flow cytometry in the seven EGFR-expressing cell lines tested for BS28-induced downregulation. Saturating concentrations (20 nM) were added of both mAbs. Note that 806 Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No. : 14442 binding is weak in all cell lines with the exception of the EGFR-transfected CHO-EG line (in which the EGFR may be differentially folded) and the EGFRvIII-transfected U87-SH cell line.

Figure 7 is a bar graph illustrating surface EGFR downregulation following BS28 treatment. The seven EGFR expressing cell lines listed (shown in increasing order of EGFR expression) were treated with the indicated antibodies (20 nM) for 13 hours at 37°C. They were then acid stripped, labeled with an anti-EGFR antibody and a fluorophore-conjugated secondary antibody, and analyzed via flow cytometry to quantify remaining surface receptor relative to that of untreated cells. Note that mAb 225, mAb 806, and the combination thereof do not significantly affect steady-state EGFR surface levels, whereas BS28-HC and BS28-LC (boxed) decrease surface EGFR expression by 60-80% in all tested cell lines.

Figure 8 is a bar graph illustrating surface EGFR downregulation in U87-derived cells following BS28 treatment. The six U87-derived cell lines listed (shown in increasing order of EGFR expression) were treated with the indicated antibodies (20 nM) for 13 hours at 37°C. They were then acid stripped, labeled with an anti-EGFR antibody and a fluorescent secondary antibody, and analyzed via flow cytometry to quantify remaining surface receptor relative to that of untreated cells. As shown, mAb 225, mAb 806, and the combination thereof do not significantly impact steady-state EGFR surface levels, whereas BS28-HC and BS28-LC (boxed) reduce surface EGFR expression by 60-80% in all examined cell lines.

Figure 9 is a line graph illustrating tumor inhibition in a U87-SH tumor xenograft model. Ncr nude mice were injected with 2x lQ 6 U87-SH glioblastoma cells. After one week of tumor growth, mice were treated via retro-orbital injection twice weekly with PBS (black), mAbs 225 and 806 (gray), or BS28-LC (light gray). Antibodies were dosed at a total of 5 mg/kg with the exception of the initial dose, which was 10 mg/kg.

Figure 10 is a representation of the sequence of gWiz BS28-HN. Vector sequences beginning at TCGCGC... and ending with the Pstl restriction site CTGCAG are represented by SEQ ID NO:2. The Kozak Sequence GCCGCCACC is represented by SEQ ID NO:3. The leader sequence beginning with A TGGGT... and ending with ...GTTGCT is represented by SEQ ID NO:4. The Ndel restriction site CATATG is represented by SEQ ID NO:5. The Nhel restriction site GCTAGC is represented by SEQ ID NO:6. The 806 VH sequence beginning with CAGCTT... and ending with ...TCTGCA is represented by SEQ ID NO:7. The (Gly4Ser) 3 linker sequence beginning with GGAGGC... and ending with ...GGATCT is represented by SEQ ID Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

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NO:8. The 806 VL sequence beginning with GACATC .. and ending with ... AAACGT is represented by SEQ ID NO:9. The BamHI restriction site GGATCC is represented by SEQ ID NO: 10. The (Gly 4 Ser) 2 linker sequence beginning with GGAGGT... and ending with

...GGTTCT is represented by SEQ ID NO: 11. The Mlul restriction site ACGCGT is represented by SEQ ID NO:12. The 225 HC sequence beginning with CAGGTA... and ending with ...TCCGCT is represented by SEQ ID NO: 13. The Nhel restriction site GCTAGC is represented by SEQ ID NO:6. The CH 1,2,3 sequence beginning with ACCAAG... and ending with ...GGTAAA is represented by SEQ ID NO: 14. The stop sequence TGATAA is represented by SEQ ID NO: 15. The Sail sequence GTCGAC is represented by SEQ ID NO: 16. Vector sequences beginning at ACGTGT... and ending with ...TTCGTC are represented by SEQ ID NO: 17.

Figure 1 1 is a representation of the sequence of gWiz BS28-HC, Vector sequences beginning at TCGCGC... and ending with the Pstl restriction site CTGCAG are represented by SEQ ID NO:2. The Kozak Sequence GCCGCCACC is represented by SEP ID NO:3. The leader sequence beginning with ATGGGT... and ending with ...GTTGCT is represented by SEQ ID NO:4. The Mlul restriction site ACGCGT is represented by SEQ ID NO: 12. The 225 HC sequence beginning with CAGGTA... and ending with ...TCCGCT is represented by SEQ ID NO: 13. The Nhel restriction site GCTAGC is represented by SEQ ID NO: 6. The CH 1 ,2,3 sequence beginning with ACCAAG... and ending with ...GGTAAA is represented by SEQ ID NO: 14. The (Gly 4 Ser) 2 linker sequences beginning with GGAGGT... and ending with

... GGTTCT is represented by the SEQ ID NO: 1 1. The 806 VH sequence beginning with CAGCTT... and ending with ...TCTGCA is represented by SEQ ID NO: 7. The (Gly4Ser) 3 linker sequence beginning with GGAGGC... and ending with ...GGATCT is represented by SEQ ID NO:8. The 806 VL sequence beginning with GACATC... and ending with . . .AAACGT is represented by SEQ ID NO:9. The stop sequence TGATAA is represented by SEQ ID NO: 15. The Sail sequence GTCGAC is represented by SEQ ID NO: 16. Vector sequences beginning at ACGTGT... and ending with ...TTCGTC are represented by SEQ ID NO:17.

Figure 12 is a representation of the sequence of gWiz BS28-LN. Vector sequence beginning at TCGCGC... and ending with the Pstl restriction site CTGCAG is represented by SEQ ID NO:2. The Kozak Sequence GCCGCCACC is represented by SEQ ID NO:3. The leader sequence beginning wit ATGAGG... and ending with ...GGTGCA is represented by SEQ Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client' s Reference No. : 14442

ID NO: 18. The Ndel restriction site CATATG is represented by SEQ ID NO:5. The Nhel restriction site GCTAGC is represented by SEQ ID NO:6. The 806 VH sequence beginning with CAGCTT... and ending with ...TCTGCA is represented by SEQ ID NO:7. The (Gly4Ser) 3 linker sequence beginning with GGAGGC... and ending with ...GGATCT is represented by SEQ ID NO:8. The 806 VL sequence beginning with GACATC... and ending with ...AAACGT is represented by SEQ ID NO:9. The BamHI restriction site GGATCC is represented by SEQ ID NO: 10. The (Gly 4 Ser) 2 linker sequence beginning with GGAGGT... and ending with

...GGTTCT is represented by SEQ ID NO: 1 1. The Dralll restriction site CACGATGT is represented by SEQ ID NO: 19. The 225 LC sequence beginning with GACATC... and ending with ...CTCAAA is represented by SEQ ID NO:20. The BsiWI restriction site CGTACG is represented by SEQ ID NO:21. The Ckappa sequence beginning with GTGGCT... and ending with ...GAGTGT is represented by SEQ ID NO: 22. The stop sequence TAATAG is represented by SEQ ID NO:23. The Sail sequence GTCGAC is represented by SEQ ID NO: 16. Vector sequence beginning at ACGTGT... and ending with ...TTCGTC are represented by SEQ ID NO: 17.

Figure 13 is a representation of the sequence of gWiz BS28-LC. Vector sequences beginning at TCGCGC... and ending with the Pstl restriction site CTGCAG are represented by SEQ ID NO:2. The Kozak Sequence GCCGCCACC is represented by SEP ID NO:3. The leader sequence beginning with ATGAGG... and ending with ...GGTGCA is represented by SEQ ID NO: 18. The Dralll restriction site CACGATGT is represented by SEQ ID NO: 19. The 225 LC sequence beginning with GACATC, and ending with ...CTCAAA is represented by SEQ ID NO:20. The BsiWI restriction site CGTACG is represented by SEQ ID NO:21. The Ckappa sequence beginning with GTGGCT... and ending with ...GAGTGT is represented by SEQ ID NO:22. The (Gly 4 Ser) 2 linker sequence beginning with GGAGGT... and ending with

... GGTTCT is represented by SEQ ID NO: 11. The 806 VH sequence beginning with

CAGCTT... and ending with ...TCTGCA is represented by SEQ ID NO:7. The (Gly4Ser) 3 linker sequence beginning with GGAGGC... and ending with ...GGATCT is represented by SEQ ID NO:8. The 806 VL sequence beginning with GACATC... and ending with ... AAACGT is represented by SEQ ID NO: 9. The GS spacer restriction site GGATCA is represented by SEQ ID NO: 24. The Cmyc Epitope Tag sequence beginning with GAACAA... and ending with ...GACTTG is represented by SEQ ID NO:25. The stop sequence TAATAG is represented by Attorney's Docket No. : U2166-01076

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SEQ ID NO:23. The Sail sequence GTCGAC is represented by SEQ ID NO: 16. Vector sequences beginning at ACGTGT... and ending with ...TTCGTC are represented by SEQ ID NO: 17.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In an effort to attain and potentially enhance mAb-induced downregulation and enhance targeting of mutant or activated molecular targets, including tyrosine kinsase receptors, we have created immunoglobulin-based constructs that incorporate multiple variable domains (e.g. , one or more (e.g. , 2-8 copies) of the variable domains of either or both of the monoclonal antibodies 225 and 806). In addition to promoting crosslinking to complement endogenous mAb effects, the polyspecific (e.g. , bi- or trispecific) format could enhance clustering by bringing two or more binding sites (e.g. , two EGFR epitopes) into proximity with one another and other receptors, increasing the local concentration of any antibody-based construct(s) bound thereto and augmenting the likelihood of epitope presentation. This enhanced clustering capacity renders polyspecific constructs superior to existing therapeutic compounds or mAbs that are simply combined. Additionally, where a variable region such as that of the mAb 806 is present, it renders the treatment effective on both wild-type and mutant versions of the receptor.

We are using the modular structure and design of antibodies, whether in the form of a naturally produced immunoglobulin or an engineered binder such as an scFv, diabody, or triabody as the basis for a new generation of antibody-based therapeutics against EGFR and other receptor tyrosine kinases. As described further below, the present compositions can also be used as antibody-based diagnostics (e.g. , they may be tagged with an imaging agent). While the compositions and methods of the invention are not limited to those that function by any particular mechanism, our studies to date indicate that the compositions described herein operate through a distinct receptor clustering mechanism. Preliminary work has shown significant and reproducible receptor downregulation by compositions over a panel of eleven cell lines expressing both wild-type and mutant EGFR. This in vitro downregulation has also translated into in vivo tumor growth inhibition in an A431 human epidermoid carcinoma mouse xenograft model.

Recently, a monoclonal antibody that specifically targets the truncation mutant

EGFRvIII, mAb 806, was developed (Johns et al. nt. J. Cancer, 98:398-408, 2002; see also Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442

U.S. Patent No. 7,767,792), mAb 806 binds to a cysteine loop at the end of EGFR extracellular domain II, a conformational epitope that is exposed only when the receptor transitions into the open conformation upon dimerization. Since this antibody is not competitive with compounds targeting the ligand-binding domain, it is undergoing clinical testing both as a monotherapy and as a combination therapy with cetuximab or chemotherapeutics. A recent phase I clinical trial of mAb 806 demonstrated specific targeting of the mutant receptor and no significant toxicity.

Antibody-based Constructs: As noted, we may refer to the compositions of the invention that include high molecular weight proteins that specifically bind to molecular targets,as

"antibody-based constructs" or "immunoglobulin-based constructs." The binding is "specific" or "selective" when the antibody-based construct or a portion thereof binds an epitope on a molecular target to the substantial exclusion of other molecular targets or other epitopes within the same target. We may refer to the antibody-based constructs described herein as "including" certain sequences. For example, we describe antibody-based constructs including various combinations of a tetrameric immunoglobulin, an scFv, a diabody, and a triabody. Further, an accessory sequence may be included. In all events, however, the antibody-based constructs of the invention can include, consist of, or consist essentially of the recited sequences or component parts.

The antibody-based constructs can differ with respect to the total number of binding sites they include (their valency), the number of different epitopes they bind (their specificity), and the number of different paratopes they include. A conventional monoclonal antibody is bivalent, monospecific, and monoparatopic. All of the constructs of the invention are multivalent. When the present constructs include two binding sites, they are bivalent; when they include four binding sites, they are tetravalent; when they include six binding sites, they are hexavalent; when they include eight binding sites, they are octavalent, and so forth. With respect to the bindable epitope(s), constructs that will bind a single epitope are "monospecific"; those that specifically bind two epitopes are "bispecific"; those that bind three epitopes are "trispecific"; those that bind four epitopes are "tetraspecific"; and so forth. Constructs that include one paratope are

"monoparatopic"; constructs having two paratopes are "biparatopic"; constructs having three paratopes are "triparatopic"; and so forth. For example, a construct that consists of a tetrameric antibody that binds epitope "a" and two scFvs that bind epitope "b" is tetravalent, bispecific, and biparatopic. A construct that consists of a tetrameric antibody that binds epitope "a", and four Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442 scFvs that bind epitope "b" is hexavalent, bispecific, and biparatopic. A construct that consists of a tetrameric antibody that binds epitope "a", two scFvs that bind epitope "b", and two scFvs that bind epitope "c" is hexavalent, trispecific, and triparatopic. The invention encompasses but is not limited to constructs having these attributes.

Antibody-based constructs commonly include an even number of binding sites, but the constructs of the invention are not so limited; they may be bivalent, trivalent, tetravalent, pentavalent, hexavalent, septavalent, octavalent, nonavalent, or decavalent, or they may have even more binding sites (e.g. , 12 binding sites).

Where two or more epitopes are bound, the epitopes may be within the same molecular target (e.g. , they may both be located in a wild-type EGFR) or they may be located in different molecular targets (e.g. , one may be located in a wild-type EGFR and one may be located in a mutant EGFR).

While the bispecific antibodies can contain naturally occurring amino acid residues (and may consist of only naturally occurring amino acid residues), the invention is not so limited. The constructs can also include non-naturally occurring residues (e.g. , selenocysteine or norleucine). Any of the antibody-based constructs may also vary (e.g., from a wild-type protein from which they were derived) due to post-translational modification(s). For example, the glycosylation pattern may vary or there may be differences in amidation or phosphorylation.

It is to be understood that the antibody-based constructs of the present invention are not naturally occurring proteins in their entirety, but may include sequences or component parts that are naturally occurring (e.g. , that are naturally produced by biological cells). Accordingly, we may refer to the constructs generally or to a portion thereof (e.g. , the scFv, diabody, or triabody) as "genetically modified" to indicate that the protein is non-naturally occurring (e.g. , having a configuration that is not found in nature or comprising a mutant of a wild-type sequence).

As noted above, the compositions of the present invention encompass antibody-based constructs that bind to the same epitopes as commercially developed antibodies or the constructs exemplified herein. The compositions of the present invention also encompass antibody-based constructs that have one or more of the same paratopes as a commercially developed antibody, including one or more of the same paratopes of a construct exemplified herein. Residues important in defining various paratopes and epitopes are known in the art, and methods known in the art can be used to make these determinations where the sites are not already defined. For Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442 example, in cetuximab, the variable domain interacting residues are W52, D58, Y101 , Y102, Y104, and D103 of the heavy chain and Q27, Y50, and W94 of the light chain (see Li et al , Cancer Cell 7:301-31 1 , 2005). Accordingly, the constructs of the present invention include those having the same interacting residues as those defined for cetuximab,

Another way the antibody-based constructs of the present invention can be characterized is by their affinity for the molecular target they were designed to specifically bind. For example, an antibody-based construct (or a component part thereof) may bind a molecular target with an affinity in the pM to nM range (e.g., an affinity of less than or about 1 pM, 10 pM, 25 pM, 50 pM, 100 pM, 250 pM, 500 pM, 1 nM, 5 nM, 10 nM, 15 nM, 20 nM, 25 nM, 30 nM, 40 nM or 50 nM).

In addition to these characteristics, any given antibody-based construct can be

characterized in terms of its ability to modify cell behavior (e.g. , cellular proliferation or migration) or to positively impact a symptom of a disease, disorder, condition, syndrome, or the like, associated with the expression or activity of the molecular target. In vitro assays for assessing binding to a molecular target, cellular proliferation, and cellular migration are known in the art. For example, where the molecular target is an EGFR, binding, proliferation, and migration assays can be carried out using A431 epidermoid carcinoma cells, HeLa cervical carcinoma cells, and/or HT29 colorectal carcinoma cells. Other useful cells and cell lines will be known to those of ordinary skill in the art. For example, an antibody-based construct can be analyzed using U87 glioblastoma cells, hMEC cells (human mammary epithelial cells), or Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. The molecular target can be expressed as a fluorescently tagged protein to facilitate analysis of an engineered protein's effect on the target. For example, the assays of the present invention can be carried out using a cell type as described above transfected with a construct expressing an EGFR-green fluorescent protein fusion. An antibody- based construct may inhibit cellular proliferation or migration by at least or about 30% (e.g. , by at least or about 30%, 40%, 50%, 65%, 75%, 85%, 90%, 95% or more) relative to a control (e.g. , relative to proliferation or migration in the absence of the antibody or a scrambled engineered protein).

The affinity of an antibody-based construct for its target may be greater than the affinity of either the tetrameric immunoglobulin or the scFv therein. For example, the affinity of an antibody-based construct for its molecular target may be at least or about an order of magnitude Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442 greater than the affinity of the tetrameric immunoglobulin alone at either endosomal pH (6.0), physiological pH (7.4), or both.

One can also subject an immunoglobulin, scFv, diabody, or triabody (whether currently known or newly discovered) to directed evolution in order to generate a modified variant with improved specificity and affinity for a given molecular target.

In addition to, or in place of, one or more of the components described above, the antibody-based constructs can include one or more of: (i) an Fab fragment, a monovalent fragment consisting of the VLC, VHC, CL and CHI domains; (ii) a F(ab') 2 fragment, a bivalent fragment comprising two Fab fragments linked by a disulfide bridge at the hinge region; (iii) a Fd fragment consisting of the VHC and CHI domains; (iv) a Fv fragment consisting of the VLC and VHC domains of a single arm of an antibody, (v) a dAb fragment (Ward et al, Nature

341 :544-546, 1989), which consists of a VHC domain; and (vi) an isolated complementarity determining region (CDR) having sufficient framework to specifically bind, e.g. , an antigen binding portion of a variable region. An antigen-binding portion of a light chain variable region and an antigen binding portion of a heavy chain variable region, e.g. , the two domains of the Fv fragment, VLC and VHC, can be joined, using recombinant methods, by a synthetic linker that enables them to be made as a single protein chain in which the VLC and VHC regions pair to form monovalent molecules (known as single chain Fv (scFv); see e.g. , Bird et al, Science 242:423-426, 1988; and Huston et al, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 85:5879-5883, 1988). Such single chain antibodies are also intended to be encompassed within the term "antigen-binding portion" of an antibody or as "a variant" of an antibody.

As is recognized in the art, diabodies are bivalent or bispecific molecules generated by dimerization of two VH-VL fragments. Dimerization is driven by a limited length linker joining the VH and the VL domains (e.g., GGGGS); the linkers are too short to allow intrachain assembly of the VH and VL domains. Thus, two fragments assemble into a dimeric molecule. Further reduction of the linker length to 0-2 amino acids results in the generation of trimeric triabodies or tetrameric tetrabodies. Bispecific diabodies can be formed by expressing two fragments of the structure VHA-VLB and VHB-VLA in the same cells. This leads to formation of heterodimers with two different binding sites. Methods for constructing bispecific diabodies are described in Kontermann et al. "Enzyme immunoassays using bispecific diabodies", Attorney's Docket No. : U2166-01076

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Immunotechnology 3 : 137-144, 1997). If necessary, one of ordinary skill in the art could also consult U.S. Patent No. 7,122,646.

The component part of the present antibody-based constructs can be obtained using conventional techniques known to those of ordinary skill in the art, and the portions can be screened for utility in the same manner as are intact antibodies. For example, an Fab fragment can result from cleavage of a tetrameric antibody with papain; Fab' and F(ab')2 fragments can be generated by cleavage with pepsin.

The present constructs can include sequences or component parts from a single species or more than one species. As noted, one or more of the immunoglobulin sequences within the present constructs can be human or murine. The proteins can also be porcine, ovine, bovine, equine, feline, canine, or of a non-human primate. As noted, the invention encompasses biologically active variants of antibody-based constructs, and these variants can be derived from any mammal, including those listed here.

The various components of the antibody-based constructs can be joined together chemically by conventional techniques, can be expressed and allowed to dimerize, and/or can be prepared as contiguous polypeptides using genetic engineering techniques. For example, nucleic acids encoding a chimeric or humanized chain can be expressed to produce a contiguous polypeptide. See, e.g. , Cabilly et ah, U.S. Patent No. 4,816,567; Cabilly et ah, European Patent No. 0,125,023 Bl ; Boss et ah, U.S. Patent No. 4,816,397; Boss et ah, European Patent No. 0,120,694 Bl ; Neuberger, M. S. et ah, WO 86/01533; Neuberger, M. S. et ah, European Patent No. 0,194,276 Bl ; Winter, U.S. Patent No. 5,225,539; and Winter, European Patent No.

0,239,400 Bl . See also, Newman et ah, BioTechnology, 10: 1455-1460,1992, regarding CDR- graft antibody, and Ladner et ah, U.S. Patent No. 4,946,778 and Bird, R. E. et ah, Science

242:423-426,1988 regarding single chain antibodies.

An advantage of the present invention is that the antibody-based constructs can include known tetrameric antibodies and/or biologically active variants thereof. The configuration of the present constructs, including those comprising tetrameric immunoglobulins, can vary as described above. For example, any combination of an scFv, diabody, or triabody can be fused or conjugated, directly or indirectly (e.g. , via a linker), to one or both of the heavy chains of the tetrameric immunoglobulin, an Fab fragment, or an F(ab')2 fragment. For example, an scFv, diabody, triabody, or any combination of such immunoglobulin-like moieties can be fused to the Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442 amino termini of the heavy chain(s) of a tetrameric immunoglobulin, an Fab fragment, or an F(ab')2 fragment. Alternatively, or in addition, the scFv, diabody, or triabody can be fused to the carboxy termini of the light chain(s) of the tetrameric immunoglobulin, Fab fragment, or F(ab')2 fragment. For example, in one embodiment, the antibody-based constructs comprise a tetrameric immunoglobulin, scFvs fused to the amino termini of the heavy chains, and scFvs fused to the carboxy termini of the light chains. One, two, three, or four of these scFvs can be, instead, a diabody or triabody. For example, the antibody-based construct can include a tetrameric immunoglobulin, diabodies fused to the amino termini of the heavy chains, and diabodies fused to the carboxy termini of the light chains. For example, the antibody-based construct can include a tetrameric immunoglobulin, triabodies fused to the amino termini of the heavy chains, and triabodies fused to the carboxy termini of the light chains. Instead of a tetrameric immunoglobulin, the present constructs can include a diabody or triabody as the "backbone" of the construct, to which two or more scFvs can be been linked. As noted, while different types of immunoglobulin-like moieties can be used, the present constructs can also include a plurality of just one type of immunoglobuin-based moiety. For example, the antibody- based constructs can include two, three, four, or more tetrameric immunoglobulins fused to one another (or conjugated) (with the provisio that the antibody-based construct is not a naturally occurring immunoglobulin, such as an immunoglobulin of the M class). Similarly, two, three, four or more diabodies or triabodies can be joined to one another (e.g. , via linkers) or conjugated.

As noted, immunoglobulin sequences incorporated into the present compositions include those of the G class of immunoglobulins, and all subtypes, including IgGl , IgG2, IgG3, and IgG4, can be used. The compositions of the invention can also include immunoglobulin sequences constituting an IgM, IgA, IgD, or IgE or a subtype thereof (e.g. , IgAl or IgA2).

Fragments of these immunoglobulins or other variants thereof that are biologically active in the context of the present compositions can also be used.

The accessory sequence can be one that prolongs the circulating half-life of the antibody- based construct, a polypeptide that facilitates isolation or purification of the engineered protein, an amino acid sequence that facilitates the bond (e.g., fusion or conjugation) between one part of the antibody-based construct and another or between the antibody-based construct and another moiety (e.g. , a therapeutic compound) , an amino acid sequence that serves as a label, marker, or tag (including imaging agents), or an amino acid sequence that is toxic. Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

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The amino acid sequence that increases the circulating half-life can be an Fc region of an immunoglobulin, including an immunoglobulin that has a reduced binding affinity for an Fc receptor (such as those described in U.S. Patent Application No. 20090088561 , the content of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety). As the antibody-based constructs of the present invention can include tetrameric immunoglobulins, and as the Fc regions of tetrameric immunoglobulins can increase circulating half-life, where the constructs include a tetrameric immunoglobulin, the Fc region of the immunoglobulin can also serve to increase the construct' s circulating half- life; the accessory sequence can be a part of the heterologous amino acid sequence.

Half-life can also be increased by the inclusion of an albumin (or a portion or other variant thereof that is large enough to have a desired effect on half-life). The albumin can be a serum albumin, such as a human or bovine serum albumin.

The antibody-based constructs or a portion thereof can also be "pegylated" using standard procedures with poly(ethylene glycol). Constructs that are pegylated may have an improved circulating half-life.

Where the antibody-based constructs include an accessory protein that facilitates isolation or purification, that protein can be a tag sequence designed to facilitate subsequent manipulations of the expressed nucleic acid sequence (e.g., purification or localization). Tag sequences, such as green fluorescent protein (GFP), glutathione S-transferase (GST), c-myc, hemagglutinin, β galactosidase, or Flag™ tag (Kodak) sequences are typically expressed as a fusion with the polypeptide encoded by the nucleic acid sequence. Such tags can be inserted in a nucleic acid sequence such that they are expressed anywhere along an encoded polypeptide including, for example, at either the carboxyl or amino termini. The type and combination of regulatory and tag sequences can vary with each particular host, cloning or expression system, and desired outcome.

As noted, the antibody-based constructs can include linkers at various positions (e.g. , between the tetrameric immunoglobulin and an scFv). As is recognized in the art, the linker typically included between the immunoglobulin chains in an scFv (typically about 15 amino acids long) is longer than the linker used to configure diabodies or triabodies (which is typically about 5 amino acids long). The linker can be an amino acid sequence that is joined by standard peptide bonds to the engineered protein. The length of the linker can vary including an Attorney's Docket No. : U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442 essentially absent linker in which the proteins are directly fused and, where it is an amino acid sequence, can be at least three and up to about 300 amino acids long (e.g., about 4, 8, 12, 15, 20, 25, 50, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100, 125, 150, 175, 200, 250 or 300 amino acids long). Moreover, a non-peptide linker such as polyethylene glycol or an alternative polymer could be used. As with all other domains in the antibody-based constructs, the amino acid residues of the linker may be naturally occurring or non-naturally occurring. We have used a polypeptide linker having the sequence GSGGGSGGGKGGGGT (SEQ ID NO: l), and linkers comprising this sequence or functional variants thereof can be used to join tetrameric antibodies to scFvs or another immunoglobulin-like moiety. The linkers can be glycine-rich (e.g. , more than 50% of the residues in the linker can be glycine residues).

The amino acid sequence that serves as a label, marker, or tag can be essentially any detectable protein. It may be detectable by virtue of an intrinsic property, such as fluorescence, or because it mediates an enzymatic reaction that gives rise to a detectable product. The detectable protein may be one that is recognized by an antibody or other binding protein.

The antibody-based constructs can also be configured to carry imaging or contrast agents, many of which are known in the art and can be connected to a construct using standard techniques.

Once identified, whether through phage display, mRNA display, yeast surface display, or by any other mechanism, a protein can be incorporated into the antibody-based constructs described herein using standard recombinant techniques. These techniques are well known in the art.

Molecular Targets: A wide variety of molecular targets can be specifically bound and these include molecules expressed on the cell surface, such as receptors for growth factors, neurotransmitters, and the like. The receptor can be a tyrosine kinase receptor, and much of the work with the constructs described in the Examples has focused on the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR). This receptor is a receptor tyrosine kinase in the ErbB family that comprises three regions: an extracellular region, a transmembrane domain, and an intracellular region that includes a juxtamembrane domain, kinase domain, and a C-terminal tail containing phosphorylation sites. These domains and sites are understood in the art. The extracellular region consists of four domains of which domains I and III are leucine rich repeat folds and domains II and IV are cysteine-rich domains. The receptor is predominantly present in a tethered Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442 conformation on the cell surface. Binding of ligand, including epidermal growth factor, transforming growth factor a, epiregulin, amphiregulin, β-cellulin, and heparin-binding epidermal growth factor, stabilizes an open conformation of the receptor. Resultant dimerization enables kinase activation and phosphorylation of the intracellular domain. Phosphorylation sites enable docking of adaptor proteins that initiate signaling cascades such as the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway activated by Ras and She, the Akt pathway activated by

phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase, and the protein kinase C pathway activated by phospholipase Cy. These pathways form a complex signaling network that impacts multiple cellular processes including differentiation, migration, and growth (Yarden and Sliwkowski, Nat. Rev. Mol Cell. Biol, 2: 127-137, 2001). Activated EGFR is endocytosed within several minutes and a fraction undergoes fast recycling from the early endosome. The alternate fraction persists to the late endosome resulting in slower recycling or degradation (Sorkin and Goh, Experimental Cell Research, 315 :683-696, 2009).

Dysregulation of EGFR-mediated signalling is observed in breast, bladder, head and neck, and non-small cell lung cancers (Yarden and Sliwkowski, Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell. Biol, 2: 127- 137, 2001). Accordingly, the present antibody-based constructs, including bi- and trispecific antibodies that target the EGFR, can be used to treat these cancers.

An analysis of 15 years of published literature on EGFR expression and cancer prognosis revealed that receptor overexpression is associated with reduced survival in 70% of head and neck, ovarian, cervical, bladder, and esophageal cancers (Nicholson et al, Eur. J. Cancer, 37 Suppl. 4, S9-15, 2001). Autocrine production of transforming growth factor a and epidermal growth factor (EGF) correlate with reduced survival in lung cancer (Tateishi et al, Cancer Research, 50:7077-7080, 1990). Receptor mutation is also implicated in cancer. EGFRvIII, which lacks amino acids 6-273, is observed in glioblastoma, non-small cell lung cancer, and cancers of the breast and ovary (Pedersen et al, Ann. Oncol, 12:745-760, 2001). This mutant is unable to bind ligand yet is constitutively active, posing a unique therapeutic challenge, particularly for ligand blocking agents. Ectodomain point mutants in glioblastoma yield tumorigenicity (Lee et al, PLoS. Med., 3:e485, 2006). Kinase domain mutations observed in non-small cell lung cancer hyperactivate kinase (Sharma et al, Nat. Rev. Cancer, 7: 169- 181 , 2007). Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442

As a result of the involvement of EGFR in cancer, there has been substantial effort spent developing receptor inhibitors as therapeutics. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved two monoclonal antibodies and two tyrosine kinase inhibitors targeting EGFR.

Cetuximab (Erbitux®, Bristol-Myers Squibb), approved for colorectal and head and neck cancer, and panitumumab (Vectibix®, Amgen), approved for colorectal cancer, are antibodies that compete with EOF for receptor binding. However, the relative impact of ligand competition, receptor downregulation, and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity is unknown (note that panitumumab is an immunoglobulin G (IgG) 2a molecule and thus incapable of triggering cellular cytotoxicity). Both antibodies exhibit modest efficacy. In treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer refractory to irinotecan tyrosine kinase inhibitor, only 11 % of patients respond to cetuximab alone and only 23% respond to cetuximab and irinotecan in combination

(Cunningham et ah, N. Engl. J. Med., 351:337-345, 2004). In the treatment of head and neck cancer, the addition of cetuximab to radiation extends median survival from 29 to 49 months yet only increases responsiveness from 45% to 55% and improvement is only evident for

oropharyngeal cancer but not hypopharyngeal or laryngeal cancers. Moreover, metastases were present at comparable amounts with and without antibody (Bonner et ah, N. Engl. J. Med.,

354:567-578, 2006). In metastatic colorectal cancer, panitumumab extends progression-free survival from 64 days to 90 days; yet the overall response rate was only 8% and there was no improvement in overall survival (Messersmith and Hidalgo, Clinical Cancer Research, 13:664- 4666, 2007).

While this efficacy validates EGFR as a useful therapeutic target, it begs the search for improved understanding of receptor biology and the development of improved therapy. Potential causes of the modest efficacy include inability to effectively compete with ligand, especially in the presence of autocrine signaling; insufficient downregulation of receptor; lack of inhibition of constitutively active EGFRvIII; and mutational escape. Thus, novel binders capable of downregulation and/or inhibition via different modes of action would be beneficial. Small, monovalent binders would enable improved biophysical studies via specific inhibition or Forster resonance energy transfer. Such small binders could also be useful for in vivo imaging to study receptor localization and trafficking. Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

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In addition to the EGFR (e.g., a human EGFR) and HER2/neu as cancer targets, the antibody-based constructs can be directed to A33 (e.g., human A33 or mouse A33), and mouse CD276.

Other cancer-specific or receptor tyrosine kinases as molecular targets: Other targets include receptors of the ErbB, insulin, PDGF, FGF, VEGF, HGF, Trk, Eph, AXL, LTK, TIE, ROR, DDR, RET, KLG, RYK, and MuSK receptor families. For example, the antibody-based constructs described herein that target a VEGF receptor (e.g. , VEGF-R2) can be used in the treatment of multiple myeloma. As is known in the art, receptor tyrosine kinases are also associated with psoriasis and hyperimmune responses and can therefore be targeted and treated with the present bispecific antibodies.

Nucleic acids: Nucleic acid (e.g., DNA) sequences coding for any of the polypeptides within the present antibody-based constructs are also within the scope of the present invention as are methods of making the constructs. For example, variable regions can be constructed using PCR mutagenesis methods to alter DNA sequences encoding an immunoglobulin chain, e.g., using methods employed to generate humanized immunoglobulins (see e.g., Kanunan, et al, Nucl. Acids Res. 17:5404,1989; Sato, et al., Cancer Research 53 :851-856, 1993; Daugheity, et al., Nucleic Acids Res. 19(9) : 2471 -2476, 1991 ; and Lewis and Crowe, Gene 101:297-302, 1991). Using these or other suitable methods, variants can also be readily produced. In one

embodiment, cloned variable regions can be mutagenized, and sequences encoding variants with the desired specificity can be selected (e.g., from a phage library; see e.g., Krebber et al, U.S. Patent No. 5,514,548; Hoogenboom et al, WO 93/06213, published April 1, 1993)).

The methods of generating antibody-based constructs can be carried out using standard techniques known in the art. For example, one can use standard methods of protein expression (e.g. , expression in cell culture with recombinant vectors) followed by purification from the expression system. In some circumstances (e.g. , to produce a given domain, linker, or tag), chemical synthesis can also be used. These methods can be used alone or in combination to produce constructs having one or more of the sequences described in detail herein (e.g. , one or more of the functional sequences delineated in the constructs of Figures 10-13) as well as constructs including sequences that differ from those proteins but that retain one or more functions (e.g. , the ability to specifically bind a molecular target such as a tyrosine kinase receptor). Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

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More specifically, to produce a heavy or light chain of a tetrameric immunoglobulin or an scFv, an accessory sequence, a linker, or any other component of the constructs described herein, nucleic acid sequences encoding the desired polypeptide can be ligated into an expression vector and used to transform a prokaryotic cell (e.g., bacteria) or transfect a eukaryotic (e.g., insect, yeast, or mammal) host cell. In general, nucleic acid constructs can include a regulatory sequence operably linked to a nucleic acid encoding the immunoglobulin chains or a portion thereof. Regulatory sequences (e.g., promoters, enhancers, polyadenylation signals, or terminators) can be included as needed or desired to affect the expression of a nucleic acid sequence. The transformed or transfected cells can then be used, for example, for large or small scale production of the engineered protein by methods well known in the art. In essence, such methods involve culturing the cells under conditions suitable for production of the engineered protein and isolating the protein from the cells or from the culture medium. Additional guidance can be obtained from the Examples presented below.

The antibody-based constructs described herein can be administered directly to a mammal. Generally, the constructs can be suspended in a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier (e.g. , physiological saline or a buffered saline solution) to facilitate their delivery. Encapsulation of the polypeptides in a suitable delivery vehicle (e.g., polymeric microparticles or implantable devices) may increase the efficiency of delivery. Compositions can be made by combining any of the antibody-based constructs provided herein with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier. Such carriers can include, without limitation, sterile aqueous or non-aqueous solutions, suspensions, and emulsions. Examples of non-aqueous solvents include mineral oil, propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, vegetable oils, and injectable organic esters. Aqueous carriers include, without limitation, water, alcohol, saline, and buffered solutions. Preservatives, flavorings, and other additives such as, for example, antimicrobials, anti-oxidants (e.g. , propyl gallate), chelating agents, inert gases, and the like may also be present. It will be appreciated that any material described herein that is to be administered to a mammal can contain one or more pharmaceutically acceptable carriers. In particular embodiments, the antibody-based constructs of the invention are formulated in the same manner as a commercially developed antibody, including cetuximab and others described above.

The pharmaceutical formulations described herein can be administered to any part of the host's body for subsequent delivery to a target cell. A composition can be delivered to, without Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No. : 14442 limitation, the brain, the cerebrospinal fluid, joints, nasal mucosa, blood, lungs, intestines, muscle tissues, skin, or the peritoneal cavity of a mammal. In terms of routes of delivery, a composition can be administered by intravenous, intracranial, intraperitoneal, intramuscular, subcutaneous, intramuscular, intrarectal, intravaginal, intrathecal, intratracheal, intradermal, or transdermal injection, by oral or nasal administration, or by gradual perfusion over time. In a further example, an aerosol preparation of a composition can be given to a host by inhalation.

The dosage required will depend on the route of administration, the nature of the formulation, the nature of the patient's illness, the patient's size, weight, surface area, age, and sex, other drugs being administered, and the judgment of the attending clinician. Suitable dosages are in the range of 0.01 -1 ,000 μg kg. Wide variations in the needed dosage are to be expected in view of the variety of cellular targets and the differing efficiencies of various routes of administration. Variations in these dosage levels can be adjusted using standard empirical routines for optimization, as is well understood in the art. Administrations can be single or multiple (e.g. , 2- or 3-, 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, 20-, 50-, 100-, 150-, or more fold). Encapsulation of the antibody-based constructs in a suitable delivery vehicle (e.g., polymeric microparticles or implantable devices) may increase the efficiency of delivery.

As is known in the art, dosage may vary based on the condition to be treated. One of ordinary skill in the art wishing to use an antibody-based construct (e.g., a bi- or trispecific antibody) of the present invention can obtain information and guidance regarding dosage from currently available antibody therapeutics. For example, cetuxamab, when used for the treatment of colorectal cancer in adults is delivered IV at 400 mg/m 2 as an initial loading dose

administered as a 120-min infusion (max rate of infusion, 10 mg/min). The weekly maintenance dose is 250 mg/m 2 infused over 60 min (max rate of infusion, 10 mg/min) until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. For treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, in adults, the recommended delivery for cetuxamab is IV in combination with radiation therapy. The recommended dose is 400 mg/m as a loading dose given as a 120-min infusion (max infusion rate, 10 mg/min) 1 wk prior to initiation of a course of radiation therapy. The recommended weekly maintenance dose is 250 mg/m 2 infused over 60 min (max infusion rate, 10 mg/min) weekly for the duration of radiation therapy (6 to 7 wk). Ideally, administration should be complete 1 hour prior to radiation therapy. As a single agent, the recommended initial Attorney's Docket No. : U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442 dose is 400 mg/m 2 followed by 250 mg/m 2 weekly (max infusion rate, 10 mg/min) until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

With respect to therapeutic indications, we envision the antibody-based compositions of the invention, including the constructs such as the BS28 constructs described in the Examples, in use as targeted therapeutics in multiple forms of cancer. Although 806 specifically targets EGFRvIII, our in vitro data suggests that BS28 will be effective on a wide range of cancer cell lines with varied wild-type and mutant receptor densities. Also, the efficacy observed at a low dose of bispecific antibody in mouse models indicates that we may improve upon the 400 mg/m 2 standard intravenous dose of cetuximab (cetuximab dosing information). Accordingly, methods of treatment using doses less than those recommended for cetuximab are within the scope of the present invention. The patient treated may have, or the medicament prepared may be useful in, breast cancer, bladder cancer, lung cancer, including non-small-cell lung cancer, colorectal cancer, squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, esophageal cancer, salivary gland cancer, gastric cancer, a B cell cancer, multiple myeloma, thyroid cancer, a glioblastoma, or pancreatic cancer.

The duration of treatment with any composition provided herein can be any length of time from as short as one day to as long as the life span of the host (e.g. , many years). For example, an engineered protein can be administered once a week (for, for example, 4 weeks to many months or years); once a month (for, for example, three to twelve months or for many years); or once a year for a period of five years, ten years, or longer. It is also noted that the frequency of treatment can be variable. For example, the present bispecific antibodies can be administered once (or twice, three times, etc.) daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.

An effective amount of any composition provided herein can be administered to an individual in need of treatment. The term "effective" as used herein refers to any amount that induces a desired response while not inducing significant toxicity in the patient. Such an amount can be determined by assessing a patient's response after administration of a known amount of a particular composition. In addition, the level of toxicity, if any, can be determined by assessing a patient's clinical symptoms before and after administering a known amount of a particular composition. It is noted that the effective amount of a particular composition administered to a patient can be adjusted according to a desired outcome as well as the patient's response and level Attorney's Docket No. : U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442 of toxicity. Significant toxicity can vary for each particular patient and depends on multiple factors including, without limitation, the patient's disease state, age, and tolerance to side effects.

In any of the methods of treatment, the subject can be a human and the method can include a step of identifying a patient for treatment (e.g., by performing a diagnostic assay for a cancer). Further, one may obtain a biological sample from a patient and expose cancerous cells within the sample to one or more bispecific antibodies ex vivo to determine whether or to what extent the antibodies downregulate a target expressed by the cells or inhibit their proliferation or capacity for metastasis. Similarly, one may obtain a biological sample from a patient and expose cancerous cells within the sample to one or more of the bispecific antibodies that have been engineered to carry toxic cargo. Evaluating cell survival or other parameters (e.g. , cellular proliferation or migration) can yield information that reflects how well a patient's cancer may respond to in vivo treatment with the engineered protein tested in culture. The patient identified as a candidate for treatment with the present antibodies may be one who is resistant to treatment with a conventional tetrameric immunoglobulin (e.g., cetuximab).

Any method known to those in the art can be used to determine if a particular response is induced. Clinical methods that can assess the degree of a particular disease state can be used to determine if a response is induced. The particular methods used to evaluate a response will depend upon the nature of the patient's disorder, the patient's age, and sex, other drugs being administered, and the judgment of the attending clinician.

As noted above, the antibody-based constructs can also be used as delivery agents to deliver cargo (e.g., a therapeutic or imaging agent) to a particular cell type. The cargo can be internalized by virtue of internalization of the engineered protein and its target molecule. The cargo can be a cytotoxic agent, which refers to a substance that inhibits or prevents the function of cells and/or causes destruction of cells. Cytotoxic agents include radioactive isotopes (e.g., m l, l25 I, 90 Y and 186 Re), chemotherapeutic agents, and toxins such as enzymatically active toxins of bacterial, fungal, plant or animal origin or synthetic toxins, or fragments thereof. The agents can also be non-cytotoxic, in which case they will not inhibit or prevent the function of cells and/or will not cause destruction of cells. A non-cytotoxic agent may include an agent that can be activated to be cytotoxic. A non-cytotoxic agent may include a bead, liposome, matrix or particle (see, e.g., U.S. Patent Publications 2003/0028071 and 2003/0032995 which are hereby Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442 incorporated by reference herein in their entireties). Such agents may be conjugated, coupled, linked or otherwise associated with an engineered protein disclosed herein.

Kits: The polyspecific antibodies (e.g. , bispecific and trispecific antibodies) described herein, domains thereof, nucleic acids, including vector constructs that can be used to produce them, and any of the other compositions of the invention can be packaged in various

combinations as a kit, together with instructions for use.

The studies described in the examples below illustrate the compositions and methods of the invention without limitation.

EXAMPLES

In the studies described below, bispecific antibodies were designed using a modular format that fused the full 225 mAb with the 806 single chain variable fragment (scFv). These bispecific compounds were designated BS28 followed by their conformational specificity, as depicted in Figure 1. The constructs include a full human IgGl backbone with the 225 variable domains with an 806 scFv conjugated to either the light chain or heavy chain at the N or C terminal ends. As shown in Figure 1 , BS28 constructs are bispecific and tetravalent.

The bispecific antibodies were secreted from HEK 293F cells (Invitrogen) co-transfected with the appropriate heavy and light chain expression plasmids derived from the gWiz vector (Genlantis). The sequences for the four bispecific plasmids illustrated in Figure 1 are provided in Appendix A. All constructs include a Kozak consensus sequence immediately upstream of the leader sequence to enhance yield (Kozak, Nature, 269:391-394, 1977). Although not essential, our modular bispecific format allows for the insertion of an epitope tag (such as cmyc in the case of BS28-LC) to facilitate labeling and/or purification.

For the preparation of each bispecific construct, one transfected chain was conjugated to an scFv of the 806 antibody and the other transfected chain was identical to the unmodified 225 antibody. Cells were grown in Freestyle medium (Invitrogen) and transfection was performed in the presence of 2 μg/mL polyethylinimine (Sigma- Aldrich) and 4% OptiPro® medium

(Invitrogen). Following transfection, cells were incubated for 7 days at 37°C and 5% C0 2 . Secretions were then harvested, purified via protein A affinity chromatography (Pierce), and reconstituted in phosphate buffered saline (PBS). Yields ranged from 2-1383 μg/L depending on Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442 antibody format and the fibronectin clone used; HN secretes best (1383 /ί), followed by LC (305 μg/L), HC (125

The secreted constructs were analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) to ensure that all bispecific antibodies were fully assembled and free of contaminants. The preparations were pure; all antibodies were fully assembled under non- reducing conditions and reduced to heavy and light chains of the expected molecular weights under reducing conditions. BS28-LN was not secreted in sufficient quantities to visualize via SDS-PAGE. The molecular weights of all four constructs are presented in the Table below. Note that the bispecific antibodies are approximately 1.3 times the size of the 225 mAb.

The crystal structures of the EGFR extracellular domain in both the tethered monomeric and active dimeric conformations have been solved (Li et al, Cancer Cell, 7:301 -31 1 , 2005); (Ogiso et al, Cell, 1 10:775-787, 2002) and reveal that domains 1 and 3 are involved in maintaining the tethered conformation while domain 2 mediates dimerization. Domain 4 is disordered and cannot be crystallized, but may also play a role in receptor dimerization. Native ligands such as EGF and TGF-a bind to domain 3 of the ectodomain.

The 225 antibody binds to domain 3 of the EGFR extracellular domain and obstructs ligand binding (Li et al, Cancer Cell, 7:301 -31 1 , 2005). The 806 antibody was raised against the junctional peptide at the tail end of EGFR extracellular domain 2 and is noncompetitive with both ligand and 225. This epitope is only exposed in the wild type receptor when it is in the activated state but which is constitutively exposed in the truncation mutant of EGFR known as ' EGFRvIII, which deletes all of domain 1 and the majority of domain 2 of the EGFR ectodomain (Garrett et al, Proc. Natl. Acad. Set USA, 106:5082-5087, 2009). A schematic of EGFR is provided in Figure 2. Domains 1 and 3 are involved in ligand binding and domains 2 and 4 facilitate dimerization. Crystal structures of EGFR in its tethered and activated states are available in the art (Burgess et al, Mol. Cell, 12:541 -552, 2003). EGF (or another native ligand) Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442 gates the transition between the tethered and the active conformation. The epitopes of 225 and 806 identified from crystal structures of EGFR bound to the respective Fabs are known, and residues implicated in the epitopes of EGF, 225, and 806 are identified in the Table below. Note that the epitopes are non-overlapping and 225 is competitive with ligand, while 806 is not.

The interaction between two of the bispecific constructs (BS28-HC and BS28-LC) and their target antigen, EGFR, was characterized on the surface of A431 cells. As shown in Figure 3 and the Table below, the affinity of the Ab-Fn3 fusion is 4-6 times greater than that of the unmodified 225 antibody at endosomal pH (6.0) and more than ten times greater than that of the unmodified 225 antibody at physiological pH (7.4). This is a direct consequence of avidity effects resulting from the bispecificity of the BS28 construct. The insensitivity of binding to pH reduction indicates that the compound will remain bound to EGFR following internalization.

The bispecific construct we have developed may offer numerous therapeutic advantages over current clinically available treatments. The strategy of using a bispecific antibody with two variable domains targeting non-overlapping epitopes on a single receptor tyrosine kinase can also be generalized as a robust therapeutic option. At least one of the epitopes can be exposed when the receptor is in an activated state and/or it can be present in a mutant form that increases a patient's risk for disease or facilitates the disease process. This targeting strategy has the potential to complement existing therapeutic mechanisms (namely ligand competition, immune recruitment, and angiogenesis inhibition) to enhance drug efficacy via clustering, receptor downregulation, increased binding affinity, and selective targeting of mutant or activated receptors. The therapeutic promise of our bispecific antibodies has been confirmed both in vitro through surface EGFR downregulation assays on human cells and in vivo via mouse xenograft studies. Attorney's Docket No. : U2166-01076

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As shown in Figure 4, the presence of two non-competitive EGFR binding moieties on the same molecular species enables receptor crosslinking and clustering. Clustering has been shown to abrogate EGFR recycling, thereby decreasing surface receptor expression and activation of downstream signaling pathways (Spangler et at, Proc. Natl. Acad. Set USA, 107: 13252-13257, 2010). By altering the trafficking of EGFR using the endogenous endocytic machinery, clustering reduces the steady state surface levels of EGFR, thus reducing the number of receptors available for signal activation. Importantly, receptor clustering is not agonistic, achieving downregulation without activating downstream pathways (Spangler et al, Proc. Natl. Acad. Set USA, 107: 13252-13257, 2010).

Receptor clustering can be induced by using a combination of antibodies with non- overlapping epitopes. However, this requires alternating receptor binding, as shown in Figure 5. The advantage of the bispecific antibody is that every molecule displays both paratopes, reducing transport limitations and facilitating receptor crosslinking, since every antibody molecule is capable of extending the growing receptor-antibody chain.

Bispecific constructs also have enhanced binding compared to monoclonal antibodies, as shown in Figure 3. This is the result of a phenomenon known as avidity, which describes the cooperativity of binding. The presence of multiple antibody interactions increases the probability of binding and reduces the probability of dissociation since the likelihood of multiple interactions terminating simultaneously is low. Furthermore, if one paratope of the tetravalent antibody dissociates from the receptor, three other paratopes may remain bound to receptor, thus tethering the antibody and increasing the local concentration of the free paratope in the vicinity of surface-bound receptor. In all likelihood, the dissociated paratope will rebind, strengthening the apparent affinity of the antibody for its target receptor. In the specific case of the 225-806 bispecific construct, binding is not only enhanced, but enabled through avidity effects. Recall that the 806 epitope is only exposed when EGFR is in its active conformation. However, due to random fluctuations of the receptor, the 806 epitope is exposed at times. If the 225 paratope is already bound to EGFR, the range of the 806 paratope is constrained, increasing the apparent concentration of 806 paratope to which the receptor is exposed and increasing the likelihood that 806 will bind when its epitope is exposed. Thus, the 806 paratope on the bispecific antibody is much more likely to capture its epitope in the 225-bound constrained state compared to the unconstrained state in free solution. Improved 806 binding in the bispecific state is evidenced by Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442 the affinity enhancement of BS28 constructs compared to mAb 225 in A431 cells at pH 7.4 (physiological pH). The 806 monoclonal antibody only binds to approximately 10% of EGFR in A431 cells (the activated fraction), yet in a bispecific construct with 225, it improves the affinity of the monoclonal 225 antibody by more than an order of magnitude. This improved 806 scFv binding also facilitates crosslinking, thus enhancing receptor clustering.

Improved receptor clustering manifests itself through enhanced surface EGFR

downregulation. We therefore performed downregulation assays on a variety of EGFR- expressing cell lines with diverse cancerous and non-cancerous origins. The cell lines that were studied are listed in order of total EGFR expression level (measured by quantitative flow cytometry) in the Table below. Note that the U87-SH line expresses both wild type and

EGFRvIll receptors.

Surface EGFR densities as measured by quantitative flow cytometry are indicated. Note that these cell lines span wide range of normal and transformed mammalian origins.

Since the 806 epitope is only exposed in the mutant or activated form of EGFR, mAb 806 binding is negligible in all cell lines that were examined with the exception of CHO-EG (in which the receptor may be folded differently than in cell lines that natively express EGFR) and U87-SH, which stably expresses tenfold more mutant EGFRvIll receptors than wild type EGFR receptors. mAb 806 binding relative to that of mAb 225 is depicted in Figure 6.

To determine whether BS28 constructs induce EGFR downregulation, cells were treated with 20 mM mAb 225, mAb 806, mAbs 225 and 806 combined, BS28-HC, or BS28-LC for 13 hours at 37°C. This allowed the receptors to achieve a new steady state in the presence of antibody. Cells were then acid stripped to remove surface antibody, relabeled with an anti- Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

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EGFR antibody followed by a fluorophore-conjugated secondary antibody, and quantified via flow cytometry. For each of the seven cell lines tested, single or combination mAbs had minimal effects, whereas BS28-HC and BS28-LC reduced surface receptors 60-80% (Figure 7). While both BS28 constructs reproducibly effected downregulation, BS28-LC was slightly more potent than BS28-HC. The downregulation results are suggestive of greatly enhanced receptor clustering in the presence of the bispecific antibody compared to niAb 225, mAb 806, or a combination thereof.

To demonstrate the advantage of using a bispecific construct that includes mAb 806 to target mutant receptors, we measured surface EGFR downregulation in a series of cell lines derived from the U87 glioblastoma line that are transfected with various numbers of EGFRvIII (Huang et al, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 104: 12867-12872, 2007; Huang et al, J. Biol. Chem. , 272:2927-2935, 1997). The wild type EGFR and EGFRvIII densities of each cell lines are provided in the Table below. Note that the U87-DK (dead kinase) cell line is transfected with EGFRvIII possessing the K721M mutation, which is known to inactivate the tyrosine kinase domain (Huang et al, J Biol Chem, 272:2927-2935, 1997), and the U87-wt (wild type) line is transfected with wild type EGFR (Huang et al, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 104: 12867-12872, 2007).

The six U87-derived cell lines listed were used in surface EGFR downregulation assays. Wild type and mutant EGFR surface densities as measured by quantitative flow cytometry are indicated. M = medium, H = high, SH = super high, wt = wild type, DK = dead kinase (Huang et al, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 104: 12867-12872, 2007); (Huang et al, J. Biol. Chem. , 272:2927-2935, 1997).

As was the case for wild type EGFR-expressing cell lines, the U87-derived EGFRvIII- expressing cell lines were virtually unaffected by mAb 225, mAb 806, and the combination thereof, but profoundly impacted by both BS28-HC and BS28-LC. BS28 constructs elicited 60- Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

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80% downregulation of total (wild type plus mutant) surface EGFR on all six cell lines that were assessed (Figure 8). Once again, BS28-LC was slightly more potent than BS28-HC.

The U87 series downregulation results suggest that receptor clustering occurs in the case of bispecific antibody treatment but not in the case of single or combination mAb treatment. We also find that the ability to downregulate EGFRvIII is independent of kinase activity since the kinase defective U87-DK is downregulated to the same extent as other U87-derived cell lines. This is consistent with the observation that combination antibody-induced downregulation is kinase domain independent (Friedman et al, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 102: 1915-1920, 2005; Spangler et al, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 107: 13252-13257, 2010).

The ability of BS28 constructs to downregulate both EGFR and EGFRvIII is significant since the two FDA-approved antibody drugs that target EGFR are ineffective against this mutant, as they rely significantly on ligand competition for therapeutic efficacy. Our results imply that BS28 would also have a therapeutic advantage in cases where EGFR ligands are overexpressed or otherwise dysregulated. Clearly, BS28 constructs have the potential to complement the effects and overcome the limitations of currently approved antibodies targeting EGFR.

Encouraged by the performance of BS28 constructs in vitro, we sought to test their therapeutic efficacy in a U87-SH mouse xenograft model. Two million U87-SH glioblastoma cells (stably expressing EGFRvIII) were injected subcutaneously into the right flanks of three cohorts of Ncr nude mice. After one week, tumors had grown to a volume of approximately 70 mm 3 , at which point a twice weekly retro-orbital injection regimen of PBS, mAb 225 plus mAb 806, or BS28-LC was commenced. Mice were dosed at a total of 5 mg/kg with the exception of the first dose (day 8), which was 10 mg/kg. Treatments continued for 1.5 weeks and tumor volume was monitored daily with a digital caliper using the formula:

Volume = 0.5x(Length)x(Width) 2

As shown in Figure 9, the 225 and 806 mAb combination slowed tumor growth slightly compared to the saline control, whereas BS28-LC halted tumor growth through day 15 and retarded growth thereafter. Note that 5 mg/kg is a rather meager antibody dose since mAb 225 is controlling only at 50 mg/kg or greater, so the tumor response is quite impressive. The in vivo results indicate a strong therapeutic effect of BS28-LC and suggest an advantage for the bispecific antibody compared to combination treatment with its two component antibodies. The Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442 consistency with our in vitro results also hints at therapeutic efficacy of BS28 constructs on a range of cancer cell lines expressing wild type or mutant EGFR.

In addition to the therapeutic advantages of using a bispecific antibody as opposed to a single antibody or a drug cocktail, we anticipate further advantages to the development of the multispecific constructs described herein. From a logistical standpoint, combining two therapeutics into a single compound facilitates preparation and administration. Also, clinical testing of a bispecific compound may be expedited compared to a drug cocktail since one would only be required to characterize the properties of a single compound as opposed to multiple compounds. Finally, the presence of multiple antibody variable domains and the recruitment of multiple therapeutic mechanisms with a single compound along with the binding and clustering advantages of a bispecific antibody combine to make multispecific antibodies more potent than their monoclonal counterparts. As a result, drug dosage is reduced for bispecific compounds and, consequently, so are off-target effects.

Additional materials and methods used in the studies described above are presented in the following paragraphs.

Cell lines and antibodies. The transfected CHO-EG (Haugh et ah, J. Cell Set , 115:303- 310, 2002) and U87-derived (Johns et al, Int. J. Cancer, 98:398-408, 2002) cell lines were established as described previously and all other lines were obtained from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC; Manassas, VA). Cells were maintained in their respective growth media (from the ATCC unless otherwise indicated): DMEM for A431 , U87-MG, transfected U87-MG, and CHO-EG cells, McCoy's Modified 5 A media for HT-29 cells, EMEM for HeLa cells, and HuMEC Ready Medium (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA) for HMEC cells. U87-MG, transfected U87-MG, and CHO-EG media were supplemented with 1 mM sodium pyruvate (Invitrogen) and 0.1 mM non-essential amino acids (Invitrogen) and transfected U87-MG lines and CHO-EG were selected with 0.3 mM Geneticin (Invitrogen). ATCC media was

supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS). 225 was secreted from the hybridoma cell line (ATCC). Unless otherwise noted, all washes were conducted in PBS containing 0.1%) BSA and all mAbs were used at a concentration of 40 nM for single treatment and 20 nM each for combination treatment. EGF (Sigma, St. Louis, MO) was dosed at 20 nM. Trypsin-EDTA (Invitrogen) contains 0.05%) trypsin and 0.5 mM EDTA. Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442

Production ofBS28 constructs via HEK cell transfection: The human IgGl heavy and light chains of each BS28 construct were inserted into the gWiz mammalian expression vector (Genlantis). Constructs were verified by sequence analysis. HEK 293F cells (Invitrogen) were grown to 1.2 million cells per mL and diluted to one million per mL. Miniprepped DNA and polyethyleneimine (Sigma) were independently diluted to 0.05 and 0.1 mg/mL in OptiPro medium and incubated at 22°C for 15 minutes. Equal volumes of DNA and polyethyleneimine were mixed and incubated at 22°C for 15 minutes. 500 mL of cells and 20 mL of

DNA/polyethyleneimine mixture were added to a 2 L roller bottle and incubated at 37°C, 5% C0 2 on a roller bottle adapter for seven days. The cell secretions were then centrifuged for 30 minutes at 15,000xg and the supernatant was filtered through a 0.22 μιη bottle-top filter and purified via affinity column chromatography using protein A resin (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, MA). The eluted bispecific antibodies were concentrated and transferred to PBS and then characterized by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis.

Affinity titrations. To characterize bispecific construct binding affinities, A431 cells were trypsinized, washed in PBSA and incubated with various concentrations of Ab-Fn3 in a 96-well plate on ice. The number of cells and sample volumes were selected to ensure at least tenfold excess Ab-Fn3 relative to EGFR. Cells were incubated on ice for sufficient time to ensure that the approach to equilibrium was at least 99% complete. Cells were then washed and labeled with 66 nM PE-conjugated goat anti-human antibody (Rockland Immunochemicals, Gilbertsville, PA) for 20 minutes on ice. After a final wash, plates were analyzed on a FACS Calibur cytometer (BD Biosciences, San Jose, CA). Cell pelleting was conducted at lOOOxg. The minimum and maximum fluorescence and the Kj value were determined by minimizing the sum of squared errors assuming a 1 : 1 binding interaction (% Bound = [L]/([L]+K d ) where [L] is bispecific antibody concentration and ¾ is the equilibrium dissociation constant of the BS28 construct. Titrations were performed at both pH 6.0 (endosomal pH) and pH 7.4 (physiological pH).

mAb binding assays. To characterize mAb 225 and 806 binding to cells, the indicated cell lines were trypsinized, washed in PBSA, and incubated with 20 nM mAb 225 or 806 in a 96-well plate on ice for 1 hour. Cells were then washed and labeled with 66 nM PE-conjugated goat anti- mouse antibody (Invitrogen) for 20 minutes on ice. After a final wash, plates were analyzed on a FACS Calibur cytometer (BD Biosciences). Cell pelleting was conducted at lOOOxg. Attorney's Docket No.: U2166-01076

Client's Reference No.: 14442

Receptor quantification. Cells were serum starved for 12-16 hours, washed, digested in trypsin-EDTA (for 20 minutes at 37°C), neutralized with complete medium, and labeled with 20 nM 225 for 1 hour on ice. They were then washed, labeled with 66 nM phycoerythrin (PE)- conjugated goat anti-mouse antibody (Invitrogen) for 20 minutes on ice, washed again, and subjected to quantitative flow cytometry on an EPICS XL cytometer (Beckman Coulter, Fullerton, CA). Receptor density was calculated based on a curve of identically labeled anti- mouse IgG-coated beads (Bangs Laboratories, Fishers, IN).

Receptor downregulation assays. Cells were seeded at 5x 10 4 per well in 96-well plates, serum starved for 12-16 hours, treated with the indicated mAbs or BS28 constructs in serum-free medium, and incubated at 37°C for 13 hours. Subsequently, cells were washed and treated with trypsin-EDTA for 20 minutes at 37°C. Trypsin was neutralized with medium (10% FBS) and cells were transferred to v-bottom plates on ice. They were then washed, acid stripped (0.2 M acetic acid, 0.5 M NaCl, pH 2.5), and washed again prior to incubation with 20 nM 225 for 1 hour on ice to label surface EGFR. Cells were then washed and labeled with 66 nM PE- conjugated goat anti-mouse antibody (Invitrogen) for 20 minutes on ice. After a final wash, plates were analyzed on a FACS Calibur cytometer (BD Biosciences). Cell pelleting was conducted at lOOOxg.

U87-SH mouse xenograft studies. Two million U87-SH glioblastoma cells (stably expressing EGFRvIlI) were injected subcutaneously into the right flanks of three cohorts of Ncr nude mice. By day 8 post-injection, tumors had grown to a volume of approximately 70 mm 3 and a twice weekly retro-orbital injection regimen of phosphate buffered saline (PBS), mAb 225 plus mAb 806, or BS28-LC was commenced. Mice were dosed at a total of 5 mg/kg with the exception of the first bolus dose (day 8), which was 10 mg/kg. Treatments continued for 1.5 weeks and tumor volume was monitored daily with a digital caliper using the formula Volume = 0.5x(Length)x(Width) 2 . Throughout the experiment, mice were monitored for overall health and activity in accordance with Massachusetts Institute of Technology Committee on Animal Care.

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