A phase I, randomized, observer-blinded, single and multiple ascending-dose study to investigate the safety, pharmacokinetics, and immunogenicity of BITS7201A, a bispecific antibody targeting IL-13 and IL-17, in healthy volunteers

BMC Pulmonary Medicine

Research article, Open Access, Open Peer Review
Tracy L. StatonKun PengRyan OwenDavid F. ChoyChristopher R. CabanskiAlice FongFlavia BrunsteinKathila R. Alatsis and Hubert Chen Email author
Contributed equally

Open Peer Review reports

Abstract

Background

Inhibition of interleukin (IL)-13, a Type 2 inflammatory mediator in asthma, improves lung function and reduces exacerbations; however, more effective therapies are needed. A subset of asthma patients also exhibits elevated IL-17, which is associated with greater disease severity, neutrophilic inflammation, and steroid resistance. BITS7201A is a novel, humanized bispecific antibody that binds and neutralizes both IL-13 and IL-17.

Methods

Safety, pharmacokinetics, and immunogenicity of BITS7201A were evaluated in a phase 1 study. Part A was a single ascending-dose design with 5 cohorts: 30-, 90-, and 300-mg subcutaneous (SC), and 300- and 750-mg intravenous (IV). Part B was a multiple ascending-dose design with 3 cohorts: 150-, 300-, and 600-mg SC every 4 weeks × 3 doses. Both parts enrolled approximately 8 healthy volunteers into each cohort (6 active: 2 placebo). Part B included an additional cohort of patients with mild asthma (600-mg SC).

Results

Forty-one subjects (31 active, 10 placebo) and 26 subjects (20 active, 6 placebo) were enrolled into Parts A and B, respectively. The cohort with mild asthma patients was terminated after enrollment of a single patient. No deaths, serious adverse events, or dose-limiting adverse events occurred. In Part A, 12 active (39%) and 5 placebo subjects (50%), and in Part B, 6 active (30%) and 3 placebo subjects (50%) experienced at least 1 treatment-emergent adverse event (TEAE). The most common AEs were fatigue (n = 3) and influenza-like illness (n = 2). One injection-site reaction was reported. Two subjects with elevated blood eosinophil counts at baseline had transient elevations in blood eosinophils (≥Grade 2, > 1500 cells/μL). In Parts A and B, 16 of 30 (53%) and 16 of 17 (94%) active subjects, respectively, tested positive for anti-drug antibodies (ADAs). No anaphylaxis or hypersensitivity events occurred. BITS7201A exhibited single- and multiple-dose pharmacokinetic characteristics consistent with an IgG monoclonal antibody; exposure generally increased dose-proportionally. Postdose elevations of the serum pharmacodynamic biomarkers, IL-17AA and IL-17FF, occurred, confirming target engagement.

Conclusions

BITS7201A was well tolerated, but was associated with a high incidence of ADA formation.

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