2016 Archived Content

2016 Immunogenicity Assessment and Clinical Relevance Banner

The goal of developing a biotherapeutic that is safe and efficacious and receives regulatory approval with few hurdles is beset with challenges. Management of interfering drug in the ADA assay is clearly a common difficulty, together with the timing and protocol for neutralizing antibody assays, and the clinical significance of all immunogenicity assays, particularly in the presence of pre-existing drug. CHI's Eighth Annual Immunogenicity Assessment & Clinical Relevance conference presents approaches from leading Pharma and Biotech and from the clinic for a wide range of products: enzyme replacement therapies, multi-domain antibody products, ADCs, Pegylated biotherapeutics, Botulinum neurotoxins and anti-TNF monoclonal antibodies. The FDA and NDA Advisory Board will present the regulatory perspectives for innovators and biosimilars.

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Wednesday, October 26

7:30 am Registration and Morning Coffee

8:30 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Boris Gorovits, Ph.D., Senior Director, PDM, Pfizer, Inc.

Regulatory and Industry Perspectives on Immunogenicity Assessment for Innovators and Biosimilars

8:35 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: FDA Regulatory Perspectives on Immunogenicity - an Update

Joao Pedras-VasconcelosJoão Pedras-Vasconcelos, Ph.D., Biotech Quality and Immunogenicity Reviewer, Biotechnology Products, CDER-FDA

The cost to the biotechnology industry of developing a biologic from early stage all the way to licensing is very high, and many factors can impinge upon approval, particularly the occurrence of immune responses against the biologic. Immunogenicity can impact product efficacy and safety depending on patient-related and product-related factors. This presentation will provide an updated overview of the FDA regulatory perspective to immunogenicity risk management for innovator and biosimilar biologics including risk assessment and mitigation, and anti-drug antibody detection.

9:05 Challenges in Assessing Relative Immunogenicity for Biosimilars and for Manufacturing Change

Paul_ChamberlainPaul Chamberlain, NDA Advisory Board

This presentation will reflect on how the extent of the evaluation of relative immunogenicity of closely related therapeutic proteins is strongly dependent on the nature of the product and the regulatory purpose. Directly comparative clinical evaluation is normally required for biosimilars, whereas a requirement for clinical data is exceptional in the case of manufacturing process changes for authorized products. The importance of minimization of bioanalytical bias, sensitivity of the clinical population, and duration of interventional monitoring for building an effective strategy will be highlighted.

9:35 Creating Reference Sera and Standardized Antibody Panels to Assist Standardization of ADA Assays for Therapeutic Proteins

Kimberly_FlorenceKimberly Florence, MS, Investigator, Immunogenicity and Clinical Immunology, GlaxoSmithKline

As biopharmaceuticals revolutionize patient care, safety issues may arise through drug/anti-drug antibody interactions. How do we ensure that immunogenicity testing post licensing in routine clinical practice is standardized and fit for purpose? Although there is no “perfect” ADA assay, can universal standards be implemented in the ADA sphere? This presentation will focus on newly developed approaches to use reference standards in the assessment of immunogenicity.

10:05 The New Draft FDA Immunogenicity Guidance – Challenges and Implications

Kamerud_JohnJohn Kamerud, Ph.D., Scientific Director, Eurofins Bioanalytical Services

There is no finalized guidance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to govern the validation and use of assays to detect anti-drug antibodies (ADA). To date, investigators have relied on consensus industry white papers for direction on best  practices. The absence of finalized guidance leaves the industry at risk from a complete lack of understanding of the FDAs standing on critical areas of assay design and interpretation. The FDA released a draft Guidance Document in April 2016, which  provides some clarity around requirements and recommended approaches to implement ADA methods. In this talk we will review the recommendations of the new draft guidance and discuss how to address any challenges to compliance that might be  foreseen.

10:35 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

Application and Significance of Neutralizing Antibody Assays

11:15 Challenges in Developing Neutralizing Antibody Assays for Antibody Drug Conjugates

Shan_ChungShan Chung, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, BioAnalytical Sciences, Genentech, Inc.

Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs) are a new class of anti-cancer medicines consisting of a tumor-specific antibody, a cytotoxic toxin, and a linker. Each of these components either by itself or in combination with the others can induce immune responses in patients including generation of antibodies (NAbs) capable of neutralizing the therapeutic effects of the ADC. This presentation will describe technical challenges and potential solutions in development of NAb assays for ADCs.

11:45 Neutralizing Antibody Titers Measured with a Cell-Based Flow Cytometry Assay Show No Association with Reduced Efficacy or Pharmacodynamic Effect in Elosulfase Alfa Treated Subjects

Andrew_MeltonAndrew C. Melton, Ph.D., Scientist II, Bioanalytical R&D, BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Inc.

Many enzyme replacement therapies (ERTs) utilize the cation-independent mannose-6-phosphate receptor (CI-M6PR) to target lysosomal delivery of ERTs. However, patients receiving ERTs may produce neutralizing antibodies that interfere with CI-M6PR binding. We validated a cell-based flow cytometry assay that detects antibodies capable of interfering with uptake of elosulfase alfa. Consistent with earlier findings, no correlations were observed between NAb titers and the clinical outcomes of elosulfase alfa-treated patients with Morquio A.

12:15 pm Panel Discussion: Handling Immunogenicity Challenges

Kathleen A. Clouse, Ph.D., Director, Biotechnology Review and Research, OBP/OPQ/CDER/FDA
Paul Chamberlain, NDA Advisory Board
Boris Gorovits, Ph.D., Senior Director, PDM, Pfizer, Inc.
Melissa R. Snyder, Ph.D., Laboratory Director, Antibody Immunology Laboratory, Mayo Clinic

  • How do physicians use immunogenicity assessments in routine clinical practice?
  • How does the lack of standardization across immunogenicity methods affect their use for patient testing?
  • Aligning of immunogenicity assessment platforms and reported immunogenicity incidence / prevalence
  • Follow up immunogenicity assessment: For how long should this be done, for example with TNF antagonists? How long can it take for immunogenicity to emerge?

12:45 Luncheon Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available)

1:15 Session Break

Managing Drug and Target Interference

2:15 Chairperson’s Remarks

Shan Chung, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, BioAnalytical Sciences, Genentech, Inc.

2:20 New Method for Overcoming Drug and Target Interference in ADA Assays

Jad ZoghbiJad Zoghbi, MSc, Senior Scientist, Biomarkers and Clinical Bioanalyses, Sanofi

I will describe a novel method that is effective at solving interference problems in immunogenicity assays. I will outline the principles behind the Precipitation and Acid (PandA) approach developed by Sanofi for detecting free and drug-bound ADA in the presence of high levels of circulating drug and drug target in patient samples. Case studies demonstrating superiority over other methods will be presented.

2:50 Practical Approaches to Improving Drug Tolerance in ADA Assays: Impact of Assay Format and Platform

Mitra Azadeh, Ph.D, Principal Scientist, Bioanalytical & Biomarker Development, Nonclinical Development, R&D, Shire

Drug intolerance in ADA assays remains a significant bioanalytical challenge as it interferes with the proper assessment of immunogenicity. This presentation is aimed at providing practical approaches to reducing drug interference in ADA assays. Case studies where changes to either assay format or platform as well as specific examples in which simple modifications to assay parameters and reagents resulted in ten-fold or higher increase in drug tolerance will be presented.

3:20 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

4:00 Method to Improve the Recovery of pH Labile Anti-Drug Antibodies during Acid Dissociation and Extraction

Weifeng_XuWeifeng Xu, Ph.D., Senior Research Investigator, Bioanalytical Science-Biologics, BMS

When large amounts of biotherapeutic drug are present in clinical samples, these drugs have to be dissociated and removed from anti-drug antibodies (ADA) so that ADAs can be detected by either ligand-binding assays or cell-based bioassays. By screening a panel of more than 20 ADA positive control (PC) Abs, we found that the current widely used acid dissociation method followed by biotinylated-drug extraction led to low recovery of more than 40% of these ADA PCs, due to sensitivity to low pH and denaturation. Here we discuss the alternative methods for ADA extraction so that pH labile species can be maximally recovered. This will increase the sensitivity of immunogenicity testing.

4:30 Problem Solving Roundtable Discussions

Table 1: Meeting Regulatory Expectations Regarding Immunogenicity Assessment

Kathleen A. Clouse, Ph.D., Director, Division of Biotechnology Review and Research 1, OBP/OPQ/CDER/FDA

Table 2: Challenges in Developing Neutralizing Antibody (NAb) Assays

Shan Chung, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, BioAnalytical Sciences, Genentech, Inc.

Table 3: Overcoming Drug Interference in ADA Assays

Melissa R. Snyder, Ph.D., Laboratory Director, Antibody Immunology Laboratory, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Mayo Clinic

Table 4: Critical Issues in ADA Assay Validation

Jim McNally, Ph.D., Associate Director and Immunogenicity Expert, Global Early Development, Quantitative Pharmacology & Drug Disposition, EMD Serono

Table 5: Practical Application of Immunogenicity Preclinical Risk Assessment

Boris Gorovits, Ph.D., Senior Director, PDM, Pfizer, Inc.

Table 6: Focus on Immunogenicity of Biosimilars

Paul Chamberlain, NDA Advisory Board

Table 7: Dealing with Pre-Existing Positive ADA Activity in Study Patients

Li Xue, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Pharmacokinetics Dynamics & Metabolism, NBE, Pfizer, Inc.

5:30 Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

6:30 End of Day One

Thursday, October 27

7:30 am Registration and Morning Coffee

8:00 Chairperson’s Remarks

João Pedras-Vasconcelos, Ph.D., Biotech Quality and Immunogenicity Reviewer, Office of Biotechnology Products, CDER-FDA

Clinical Relevance of Drug Target Interference

8:05 Impact and Challenges of Drug Target Interference on Immunogenicity Assessment: Perspectives from a Clinical Laboratory

Melissa_SnyderMelissa R. Snyder, Ph.D., Laboratory Director, Antibody Immunology Laboratory, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Mayo Clinic

Assessment of immunogenicity is increasingly becoming the standard of care for patients being treated with monoclonal antibody therapeutics, particularly for evaluation of loss of response. However, a significant challenge is the potential for drug target interference. In this session, methods for assessment of anti-drug antibodies to adalimumab and infliximab will be discussed, with a focus on the analytical impact and clinical relevance of drug target interference.

Pre-Existing Antibodies

8:35 Determination of the Clinical Significance of Pre-Existing Antibodies

Li_XueLi Xue, Ph.D., Senior Principal Scientist, Pharmacokinetics Dynamics & Metabolism, NBE, Pfizer, Inc.

Therapeutic reactive pre-existing antibodies have been widely detected during clinical immunogenicity evaluation and have received growing attention in the past decade. The related clinical significance ranges from severe adverse safety findings to no impact at all. This talk will provide an overview of the known clinical impact of pre-existing antibodies and discuss the clinical risk assessment and management strategies.

Case Studies

9:05 FEATURED PRESENTATION: Relationship between Immunogenicity, Drug Concentration, Efficacy, Safety and How this Correlates with Tests/Methods for TNF Inhibitors

Bori GorovitsBoris Gorovits, Ph.D., Senior Director, PDM, Pfizer, Inc.

This presentation will focus on reported immunogenicity data for anti-TNF mAb and similar compounds with the goal to link with PK, efficacy and other clinical observations. Also, to understand whether the methods applied to evaluate immunogenicity responses had any influence on the outcome of the correlation to determine relevance of immunogenicity assays.

9:35 Immunogenicity Strategy for a Multidomain Protein Containing Endogenous Counterparts

Jim McNallyJim McNally, Ph.D., Associate Director and Immunogenicity Expert, Global Early Development, Quantitative Pharmacology & Drug Disposition, EMD Serono

This talk will describe the ongoing immunogenicity risk assessment, strategic planning and bioanalytical assay development to support a novel biotherapeutic containing multiple effector domains each with an endogenous counterpart. In addition to the need to closely monitor anti-drug antibody responses due to the potential cross reactivity against the endogenous counterparts, the biotherapeutic also has soluble targets that have the possibility of generating false positives in screening ADA assays using the bridging format. The goal will be to present the case for early assessment of immunogenicity risk to drive the generation of the numerous reagents and associated procedures to support the clinical development of this molecule.

10:05 Selection of Ligand Binding NAb Assay to Support Benralizumab Clinical Development: Comparison with an ADCC MOA Cell-based NAb Assay

Yuling Wu, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Clinical Pharmacology & DMPK, Translational Sciences, MedImmune

To support the clinical development of benralizumab (a humanized anti-IL5Rα mAb with enhanced (afucosylation) antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) function, we developed NAb assays in two platforms, ligand-binding assay and ADCC cell-based assay. We validated both assays and compared them for suitability and practicality to detect NAbs in human serum samples. Our data demonstrated advantages of ligand-binding NAb assay in different aspects and supported the choice of a ligand-binding NAb assay for the pivotal trials.

10:35 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

11:10 Application of a Cell-Based Neutralizing Antibody Assay for Botulinum Neurotoxin ADA

Samuel_PineSamuel Pine, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Immunology, Allergan

Immunogenicity measurements for anti-botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) antibodies have historically relied on mouse protection bioassays. We devised a cell-based method that captures the complexity of all three biologically relevant steps of BoNT/A activity – receptor binding, translocation and target cleavage – to assess human serum samples for anti-BoNT/A neutralizing antibodies. Method validation results indicate the assay detects clinically relevant neutralizing antibodies similarly to the currently accepted mouse protection assay.

11:40 Implementation of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring in Clinical Practice as a Reactive or Proactive Tool to Optimize Treatment Outcomes of Biologics

Niels_Vande_CasteeleNiels Vande Casteele, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Gastroenterology, University of California, San Diego

Anti-drug antibodies (ADA) can impair the treatment effect of biologics and have been associated with adverse events. However, it is important to distinguish transient from persistent ADA and how this covariate (continuous or categorical) is included in pharmacological models. ADA are typically used in a reactive setting to support treatment decisions, whereas drug concentrations can be used in a proactive setting to guide dosing based on exposure.

12:10 pm rFVIIa Analog Clinical Trial Including 3-Year Follow Up Study in Patients with Anti-Drug Antibodies

Karin_WeldinghKarin Nana Weldingh, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Immunogenicity Assessment, Novo Nordisk

A FVIIa analogue with 3 amino acid mutations compared to the native molecule was developed to improve the treatment of bleeds in hemophilia patients. In the Phase III trial, 8/72 (11%) of the treated patients developed anti-drug antibodies (ADAs). The presentation will describe the characterisation and consequences of these ADAs. Furthermore, data from a 3 year follow-up study of the ADA positive patients will be presented.

12:40 End of Conference

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