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Novel Phosphate Modified Cathepsin B Linkers: Improving Aqueous Solubility and Enhancing Payload Scope of ADCs

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journal contribution
posted on 28.07.2016, 00:00 by Jeffrey C. Kern, Deborah Dooney, Rena Zhang, Linda Liang, Philip E. Brandish, Mangeng Cheng, Guo Feng, Andrew Beck, Damien Bresson, Juhi Firdos, Dennis Gately, Nick Knudsen, Anthony Manibusan, Ying Sun, Robert M. Garbaccio
In an effort to examine the utility of antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs) beyond oncology indications, a novel phosphate bridged Cathepsin B sensitive linker was developed to enable the targeted delivery of glucocorticoids. Phosphate bridging of the Cathepsin B sensitive linkers allows for payload attachment at an aliphatic alcohol. As small molecule drug-linkers, these aqueous soluble phosphate containing drug-linkers were found to have robust plasma stability coupled with rapid release of payload in a lysosomal environment. Site-specific ADCs were successfully made between these drug-linkers and an antibody against human CD70, a receptor specifically expressed in immune cells but also found aberrantly expressed in multiple human carcinomas. These ADCs demonstrated in vitro targeted delivery of glucocorticoids to a representative cell line as measured by changes in glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mediated gene mRNA levels. This novel linker expands the scope of potential ADC payloads by allowing an aliphatic alcohol to be a stable, yet cleavable attachment site. This phosphate linker may have broad utility for internalizing ADCs as well as other targeted delivery platforms.