Given that both recipient and donor APCs play a critical role in initiating GVHD, the goal of this preclinical study was to evaluate the therapeutic potential of milatuzumab for this disease by affecting recipient and/or donor APCs.
In a humanized-mouse model of GVHD, milatuzumab effectively prevented the onset and manifestations of acute GVHD, suppressed the serum levels of human cytokines, eliminated the infiltration of human white blood cells in GVHD target organs, such as lung, liver, and spleen. Importantly, the humanized anti-CD74 antibody significantly promoted the survival of animals (90% versus 20% for controls).
Commenting on these results, Cynthia L. Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer stated, "This is the first report showing that acute GVHD can be controlled by milatuzumab without impairing protective T-cell immunity that is essential for anti-viral and graft-versus-leukemia effects following stem cell transplant from a donor. We are very encouraged by these results and plan to respond to investigators who have requested to study milatuzumab for this indication by conducting an initial small clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of milatuzumab for the control of this challenging disease."
The referenced publication is: Chen X, Chang CH, Stein R, Cardillo TM, Gold DV, Goldenberg DM, Prevention of Acute Graft-Versus-Host Disease in a Xenogeneic SCID Mouse Model by Humanized Anti-CD74 Antagonistic Antibody, Milatuzumab,
Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
(2012), doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2012.09.015.
This work was supported in part by Award Number R41AI093082 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The content is solely the responsibility of the Company and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases or the National Institutes of Health.
Immunomedics is a New Jersey-based biopharmaceutical company primarily focused on the development of monoclonal antibody-based products for the targeted treatment of cancer, autoimmune and other serious diseases. We have developed a number of advanced proprietary technologies that allow us to create humanized antibodies that can be used either alone in unlabeled or "naked" form, or conjugated with radioactive isotopes, chemotherapeutics, cytokines or toxins, in each case to create highly targeted agents. Using these technologies, we have built a pipeline of therapeutic product candidates that utilize several different mechanisms of action. We also have a majority ownership in IBC Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which is developing a novel DOCK-AND-LOCK™ (DNL™) method with us for making fusion proteins and multifunctional antibodies, and a new method of delivering imaging and therapeutic agents selectively to disease, especially different solid cancers (colorectal, lung, pancreas, etc.), by proprietary, antibody-based, pretargeting methods. We believe that our portfolio of intellectual property, which includes approximately 205 patents issued in the United States and more than 400 foreign patents, protects our product candidates and technologies. For additional information on us, please visit our website at
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