In recent years, reagents have been developed that specifically target signals critical for effective T cell activation and function. Manipulation of the CD28/CD80/86 and CD40/CD154 pathways has exhibited extraordinary efficacy, particularly when the pathways are blocked simultaneously. Despite the reported efficacy of anti-CD154 in rodents and higher models, its future clinical use is uncertain due to reported thromboembolic events in clinical trials. To circumvent this potential complication, we developed and evaluated a chimeric Ab targeting CD40 (Chi220, BMS-224819) as an alternative to CD154. Although CM220 blocks CD154 binding, it also possesses partial agonist properties and weak stimulatory potential. The anti-CD40 was tested alone and in combination with a rationally designed, high affinity variant of CTLA4-Ig, LEA29Y (belatacept), in a nonhuman primate model of islet transplantation. Although either agent alone only modestly prolonged islet survival (Chi220 alone: 14, 16, and 84 days; LEA29Y alone: 58 and 60 days), their combination (LEA29Y and Chi220) dramatically facilitated long term survival (237, 237, 220, >185, and 172 days). We found that the effects of Chi220 treatment were not mediated solely through deletion of CD20-bearing cells and that the combined therapy did not significantly impair established antiviral immunity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy