(19)
(11)EP 3 444 274 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
23.12.2020 Bulletin 2020/52

(21)Application number: 18177227.8

(22)Date of filing:  25.06.2009
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
C07K 16/24(2006.01)
C12N 15/13(2006.01)
A61K 39/395(2006.01)

(54)

STABLE AND SOLUBLE ANTIBODIES INHIBITING TNF

STABILE UND LÖSLICHE TNF-INHIBIERENDE ANTIKÖRPER

ANTICORPS STABLES ET SOLUBLES INHIBANT LE TNF


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO SE SI SK TR

(30)Priority: 25.06.2008 US 75640 P
25.06.2008 US 75692 P
25.06.2008 US 75697 P
26.06.2008 US 75956 P
24.02.2009 US 155041 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
20.02.2019 Bulletin 2019/08

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
09768692.7 / 2307457

(73)Proprietor: Novartis AG
4056 Basel (CH)

(72)Inventors:
  • Borras, Leonardo
    8952 Schlieren (CH)
  • Gunde, Tea
    8005 Zürich (CH)
  • Urech, David
    8645 Jona (CH)

(74)Representative: Grünecker Patent- und Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB 
Leopoldstraße 4
80802 München
80802 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A-03/097697
US-A1- 2006 099 204
WO-A-2006/131013
US-A1- 2006 216 293
  
  • SAIJO SHINJI ET AL: "Comparison of reactivity of monoclonal antibody (3F2) to trimeric tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha) with that to monomeric TNF-alpha", JOURNAL OF BIOCHEMISTRY (TOKYO), vol. 118, no. 1, 1 January 1995 (1995-01-01), pages 28-32, XP009123525, ISSN: 0021-924X
  • WÖRN A ET AL: "Stability engineering of antibody single-chain Fv fragments", JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, LONDON, GB, vol. 305, no. 5, 2 February 2001 (2001-02-02), pages 989-1010, XP004465987, ISSN: 0022-2836
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

Background of the Invention



[0001] Tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFα, also known as cachectin), is a naturally occurring mammalian cytokine produced by numerous cell types, including monocytes and macrophages in response to endotoxin or other stimuli. TNFa is a major mediator of inflammatory, immunological, and pathophysiological reactions (Grell, M., et al. (1995) Cell, 83: 793-802).

[0002] Soluble TNFα is formed by the cleavage of a precursor transmembrane protein (Kriegler, et al. (1988) Cell 53: 45-53), and the secreted 17 kDa polypeptides assemble to soluble homotrimer complexes (Smith, et al.(1987), J. Biol. Chem. 262: 6951-6954; for reviews of TNFA, see Butler, et al. (1986), Nature 320:584; Old (1986), Science 230: 630). These complexes then bind to receptors found on a variety of cells. Binding produces an array of pro-inflammatory effects, including (i) release of other pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin IL-6, IL-8, and IL-1, (ii) release of matrix metalloproteinases and (iii) up regulation of the expression of endothelial adhesion molecules, further amplifying the inflammatory and immune cascade by attracting leukocytes into extravascular tissues.

[0003] A large number of disorders are associated with elevated levels of TNFα, many of them of significant medical importance. TNFa has been shown to be up-regulated in a number of human diseases, including chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), inflammatory bowel disorders including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, sepsis, congestive heart failure, asthma bronchiale and multiple sclerosis. Mice transgenic for human TNFa produce high levels of TNFa constitutively and develop a spontaneous, destructive polyarthritis resembling RA (Keffer et al. 1991, EMBO J., 10,4025-4031). TNFa is therefore referred to as a pro-inflammatory cytokine.

[0004] TNFa is now well established as key in the pathogenesis of RA, which is a chronic, progressive and debilitating disease characterised by polyarticular joint inflammation and destruction, with systemic symptoms of fever and malaise and fatigue. RA also leads to chronic synovial inflammation, with frequent progression to articular cartilage and bone destruction. Increased levels of TNFa are found in both the synovial fluid and peripheral blood of patients suffering from RA. When TNFa blocking agents are administered to patients suffering from RA, they reduce inflammation, improve symptoms and retard joint damage (McKown et al. (1999), Arthritis Rheum. 42:1204-1208).

[0005] Physiologically, TNFa is also associated with protection from particular infections (Cerami. et al. (1988), Immunol. Today 9:28). TNFα is released by macrophages that have been activated by lipopolysaccharides of Gram-negative bacteria. As such, TNFa appears to be an endogenous mediator of central importance involved in the development and pathogenesis of endotoxic shock associated with bacterial sepsis (Michie, et al. (1989), Br. J.Surg.76:670-671.; Debets. et al. (1989), Second Vienna Shock Forum, p. 463-466; Simpson, et al. (1989) Crit. Care Clin. 5: 27-47; Waage et al. (1987). Lancet 1: 355-357; Hammerle. et al. (1989) Second Vienna Shock Forum p. 715-718; Debets. et al. (1989), Crit. Care Med. 17:489-497; Calandra. et al. (1990), J. Infect Dis. 161:982-987; Revhaug et al. (1988), Arch. Surg. 123:162-170).

[0006] As with other organ systems, TNFa has also been shown to play a key role in the central nervous system, in particular in inflammatory and autoimmune disorders of the nervous system, including multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome and myasthenia gravis, and in degenerative disorders of the nervous system, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. TNFa is also involved in disorders of related systems of the retina and of muscle, including optic neuritis, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, dermatomyositis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy, as well as in injuries to the nervous system, including traumatic brain injury, acute spinal cord injury, and stroke.

[0007] Hepatitis is another TNFa-related inflammatory disorder which among other triggers can be caused by viral infections, including Epstein-Barr, cytomegalovirus, and hepatitis A-E viruses. Hepatitis causes acute liver inflammation in the portal and lobular region, followed by fibrosis and tumor progression. TNFα can also mediate cachexia in cancer, which causes most cancer morbidity and mortality (Tisdale M.J. (2004), Langenbecks Arch Surg. 389:299-305).

[0008] The key role played by TNFα in inflammation, cellular immune responses and the pathology of many diseases has led to the search for antagonists of TNFα. One class of TNFα antagonists designed for the treatment of TNFα-mediated diseases are antibodies or antibody fragments that specifically bind TNFα and thereby block its function. The use of anti-TNFα antibodies has shown that a blockade of TNFα can reverse effects attributed to TNFα including decreases in IL-1, GM-CSF, IL-6, IL-8, adhesion molecules and tissue destruction (Feldmann et al. (1997), Adv. Immunol. 1997:283-350). Among the specific inhibitors of TNFα that have recently become commercially available include a monoclonal, chimeric mouse-human antibody directed against TNFα (infliximab, Remicade™; Centocor Corporation/Johnson & Johnson) has demonstrated clinical efficacy in the treatment of RA and Crohn's disease. All marketed inhibitors of TNFα are administered intravenously or subcutaneously in weekly or longer intervals as bolus injections, resulting in high starting concentrations that are steadily decreasing until the next injection. Their volume of distribution is limited.

[0009] Despite these advances, there remains a need for new and effective forms of antibodies or other immunobinders for the treatment for TNFα-associated disorders such as RA. In particular, there is an urgent need for immunobinders with optimal functional properties for the effective and continuous treatment of arthritis and other TNFα-mediated disorderswhich allow for more flexible administration and formulation and have an improved tissue penetration and thereby an increased volume of distribution.

Summary of the Invention



[0010] Hence, it is a general object of the invention to provide a stable and soluble antibody or other immunobinder, which specifically binds TNFα in vitro and in vivo. In a preferred embodiment said immunobinder is an scFv antibody or Fab fragment.

[0011] The present invention provides stable and soluble scFv antibodies and Fab fragments specific for TNFα, which comprise specific light chain and heavy chain sequences that are optimized for stability, solubility, in vitro and in vivo binding of TNFα, and low immunogenicity. Said antibodies are designed for the diagnosis and/or treatment of TNFα -mediated disorders. The nucleic acids, vectors and host cells for expression of the recombinant antibodies of the invention, methods for isolating them and the use of said antibodies in medicine are also disclosed.

Brief Description of the Drawings



[0012] 

Figure 1_depicts the relative ability of the supernatants from 44 anti-TNF RabMab hybridomas in binding TNFα (Biacore assay) and neutralising its activity (L929 assay).

Figure 2 depicts the ability of 20 anti-TNF RabMab single-chain antibodies and 7 humanized anti-TNF single-chain antibodies in selectively binding TNFα (ELISA secretion assay, please note that for this assay supernatant from bacterial culture was used, which was not normalized for single-chain antibody content).

Figure 3 depicts the binding kinetics (Figure 3A) of EP43max and the binding kinetics (Figure 3B) of EP34max to human TNF alpha.

Figure 4 depicts the potency of EP43max (open squares) the potency (closed circles) of ESBA105. The EC50 of EP43max is 1ng/ml and the EC50 of ESBA105 is 6,5 ng/ml.

Figure 5 depicts the performance of EP43max, EP6max and EP19max in a thermal unfolding assay (FTIR).

Figure 6 depicts the thermal denaturation curves of EP43max and derivatives thereof as compared by FTIR analysis.

Figure 7 depicts the comparison of EP43 max (Figure 7A) and its EP43minmax variant (Figure 7B) in a thermal stress test.

Figure 8 depicts the CDR H1 definition used herein for grafting antigen binding sites from rabbit monoclonal antibodies into the highly soluble and stable human antibody frameworks.

Figure 9a illustrates the potency of Epi34max and Adalimumab to block cytotoxic activity of 1000 pg/ml recombinant human TNFalpha (murine L929 cells). The IC50 for Ep34max and Adalimumab was determined to be 1,03 ng/ml and 8,46 ng/ml, respectively. Figure 9b illustrates the potency of Adalimumab and Ep34max to block cytotoxic activity of 10 pg/ml recombinant human TNFalpha (human Kym-1 cells). The IC50 for Infliximab and Ep34max (791) was determined to be 66,2 ng/ml and 0,69ng/ml respectively.

Figure 10a illustrates the potency of Epi34max and Infliximab to block cytotoxic activity of 1000 pg/ml recombinant human TNFalpha (murine L929 cells).. The IC50 for Ep34max and Infliximab was determined to be 1.04 ng/ml and 13.9 ng/m, respectively. Figure 10b illustrates the potency of Infliximab and Ep34max (791) to block cytotoxic activity of 10 pg/ml recombinant human TNFalpha (human Kym-1 cells). The IC50 for Infliximab and Ep34max was determined to be 14.,8 ng/ml and 0,63 ng/ml respectively.

Figure 11 illustrates the BioATR FT-IR thermal denaturation profile fitted from Fourier transformed infrared spectra in the amide I band region of Ep34 max in comparison to ESBA903. V50 for ESBA903 was 71,12 and for EP34max 71, 50; the slope or ESBA903 2,481 and 2,540 for EP34max.

Figure 12 illustrates the DSC thermal unfolding curves of Ep34max and ESBA903 scFv antibodies. Tm of EP 34max is 78,11°C and Tm for ESBA903 is 76,19°C.


Detailed Description of the Invention



[0013] It is a general object of the invention to provide stable and soluble immunobiner which specifically binds TNFα in vitro and in vivo. In a preferred embodiment said antibody derivative is a scFv antibody or Fab fragment. The immunobinders of the invention preferably comprise a light and/or heavy chain.

Definitions



[0014] In order that the present invention may be more readily understood, certain terms will be defined as follows. Additional definitions are set forth throughout the detailed description.

[0015] The term "antibody" as used herein is a synonym for "immunoglobulin." Antibodies according to the present invention may be whole immunoglobulins or fragments thereof, comprising at least one variable domain of an immunoglobulin, such as single variable domains, Fv (Skerra A. and Pluckthun, A. (1988) Science 240:1038-41), scFv (Bird, R.E. et al. (1988) Science 242:423-26; Huston, J.S. et al. (1988) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 85:5879-83), Fab, (Fab')2 or other fragments well known to a person skilled in the art.

[0016] The term "CDR" refers to one of the six hypervariable regions within the variable domains of an antibody that mainly contribute to antigen binding. One of the most commonly used definitions for the six CDRs was provided by Kabat E.A, et al., (1991) Sequences of proteins of immunological interest. NIH Publication 91-3242). As used herein, Rabat's definition of CDRs only apply for CDR1, CDR2 and CDR3 of the light chain variable domain (CDR L1, CDR L2, CDR L3, or L1, L2, L3), as well as for CDR2 and CDR3 of the heavy chain variable domain (CDR H2, CDR H3, or H2, H3). CDR1 of the heavy chain variable domain (CDR H1 or H1), however, as used herein is defined by the following residues (Kabat numbering): It starts with position 26 and ends prior to position 36. This is basically a fusion of CDR H1 as differently defined by Kabat and Chotia (see also Figure 8 for illustration).

[0017] The term "antibody framework" as used herein refers to the part of the variable domain, either VL or VH, which serves as a scaffold for the antigen binding loops (CDRs) of this variable domain. In essence it is the variable domain without the CDRs.

[0018] The term "single chain antibody", "single chain Fv" or "scFv" is intended to refer to a molecule comprising an antibody heavy chain variable domain (or region; VH) and an antibody light chain variable domain (or region; VL) connected by a linker. Such scFv molecules can have the general structures: NH2-VL-linker-VH-COOH or NH2-VH-linker-VL-COOH.

[0019] The term "immunobinder" refers to a molecule that contains all or a part of the antigen binding site of an antibody, e.g,. all or part of the heavy and/or light chain variable domain, such that the immunobinder specifically recognizes a target antigen. Non-limiting examples of immunobinders include full-length immunoglobulin molecules and scFvs, as well as antibody fragments, including but not limited to (i) a Fab fragment, a monovalent fragment consisting of the VL, VH, CL and CH1 domains; (ii) a F(ab')2 fragment, a bivalent fragment comprising two Fab fragments linked by a disulfide bridge at the hinge region; (iii) a Fab' fragment; (iv) a Fd fragment consisting of the VH and CH1 domains; (v) a Fv fragment consisting of the VL and VH domains of a single arm of an antibody, (vi) a single domain antibody such as a Dab fragment which consists of a VH or VL domain, a Camelid, or a Shark antibody (e.g., shark Ig-NARs Nanobodies®); and (vii) a nanobody, a heavy chain region containing the variable domain and two constant domains.

[0020] The numbering systems as used herein to identify amino acid residue positions in antibody heavy and light chain variable regions corresponds to the one as defined by A. Honegger, J.Mol.Biol. 309 (2001) 657-670 (the AHo system). Conversion tables between the AHo system and the most commonly used system as defined by Kabat et al. (Kabat, E. A., et al. (1991) Sequences of Proteins of Immunological Interest, Fifth Edition, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIH Publication No. 91-3242) are provided in A. Honegger, J.Mol.Biol. 309 (2001) 657-670.

[0021] The term "epitope" or "antigenic determinant" refers to a site on an antigen to which an immunoglobulin or antibody specifically binds (e.g., TNF). An epitope typically includes at least 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 or 15 amino acids in a unique spatial conformation. See, e.g., Epitope Mapping Protocols in Methods in Molecular Biology, Vol. 66, G. E. Morris, Ed. (1996).

[0022] The terms "specific binding," "selective binding," "selectively binds," and "specifically binds," refer to antibody binding to an epitope on a predetermined antigen. Typically, the antibody binds with an affinity (KD) of approximately less than 10-7 M, such as approximately less than 10-8 M, 10-9 M or 10-10 M or even lower

[0023] The term "KD," refers to the dissociation equilibrium constant of a particular antibody-antigen interaction. Typically, the antibodies of the invention bind to TNF with a dissociation equilibrium constant (KD) of less than approximately 10-7 M, such as less than approximately 10-8 M, 10-9 M or 10-10 M or even lower, for example, as determined using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) technology in a BIACORE instrument.

[0024] As used herein, "identity" refers to the sequence matching between two polypeptides, molecules or between two nucleic acids. When a position in both of the two compared sequences is occupied by the same base or amino acid monomer subunit (for instance, if a position in each of the two DNA molecules is occupied by adenine, or a position in each of two polypeptides is occupied by a lysine), then the respective molecules are identical at that position. The "percentage identity" between two sequences is a function of the number of matching positions shared by the two sequences divided by the number of positions compared x 100. For instance, if 6 of 10 of the positions in two sequences are matched, then the two sequences have 60% identity. By way of example, the DNA sequences CTGACT and CAGGTT share 50% identity (3 of the 6 total positions are matched). Generally, a comparison is made when two sequences are aligned to give maximum identity. Such alignment can be provided using, for instance, the method of Needleman et al. (1970) J. Mol. Biol. 48: 443-453, implemented conveniently by computer programs such as the Align program (DNAstar, Inc.). The percent identity between two amino acid sequences can also be determined using the algorithm of E. Meyers and W. Miller (Comput. Appl. Biosci., 4:11-17 (1988)) which has been incorporated into the ALIGN program (version 2.0), using a PAM120 weight residue table, a gap length penalty of 12 and a gap penalty of 4. In addition, the percent identity between two amino acid sequences can be determined using the Needleman and Wunsch (J. Mol. Biol. 48:444-453 (1970)) algorithm which has been incorporated into the GAP program in the GCG software package (available at www.gcg.com), using either a Blossum 62 matrix or a PAM250 matrix, and a gap weight of 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, or 4 and a length weight of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6.

[0025] "Similar" sequences are those which, when aligned, share identical and similar amino acid residues, where similar residues are conservative substitutions for corresponding amino acid residues in an aligned reference sequence. In this regard, a "conservative substitution" of a residue in a reference sequence is a substitution by a residue that is physically or functionally similar to the corresponding reference residue, e.g., that has a similar size, shape, electric charge, chemical properties, including the ability to form covalent or hydrogen bonds, or the like. Thus, a "conservative substitution modified" sequence is one that differs from a reference sequence or a wild-type sequence in that one or more conservative substitutions are present. The "percentage similarity" between two sequences is a function of the number of positions that contain matching residues or conservative substitutions shared by the two sequences divided by the number of positions compared x 100. For instance, if 6 of 10 of the positions in two sequences are matched and 2 of 10 positions contain conservative substitutions, then the two sequences have 80% positive similarity.

[0026] As used herein, the term "conservative sequence modifications" is intended to refer to amino acid modifications that do not negatively affect or alter the binding characteristics of the antibody containing the amino acid sequence. Such conservative sequence modifications include nucleotide and amino acid substitutions, additions and deletions. For example, modifications can be introduced by standard techniques known in the art, such as site-directed mutagenesis and PCR-mediated mutagenesis. Conservative amino acid substitutions include ones in which the amino acid residue is replaced with an amino acid residue having a similar side chain. Families of amino acid residues having similar side chains have been defined in the art. These families include amino acids with basic side chains (e.g., lysine, arginine, histidine), acidic side chains (e.g., aspartic acid, glutamic acid), uncharged polar side chains (e.g., glycine, asparagine, glutamine, serine, threonine, tyrosine, cysteine, tryptophan), nonpolar side chains (e.g., alanine, valine, leucine, isoleucine, proline, phenylalanine, methionine), beta-branched side chains (e.g., threonine, valine, isoleucine) and aromatic side chains (e.g., tyrosine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, histidine). Thus, a predicted nonessential amino acid residue in a human anti-VEGF antibody is preferably replaced with another amino acid residue from the same side chain family. Methods of identifying nucleotide and amino acid conservative substitutions which do not eliminate antigen binding are well-known in the art (see, e.g., Brummell et al., Biochem. 32:1180-1187 (1993); Kobayashi et al. Protein Eng. 12(10):879-884 (1999); and Burks et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 94:412-417 (1997)).

[0027] "Amino acid consensus sequence" as used herein refers to an amino acid sequence that can be generated using a matrix of at least two, and preferably more, aligned amino acid sequences, and allowing for gaps in the alignment, such that it is possible to determine the most frequent amino acid residue at each position. The consensus sequence is that sequence which comprises the amino acids which are most frequently represented at each position. In the event that two or more amino acids are equally represented at a single position, the consensus sequence includes both or all of those amino acids.

[0028] The amino acid sequence of a protein can be analyzed at various levels. For example, conservation or variability can be exhibited at the single residue level, multiple residue level, multiple residue with gaps etc. Residues can exhibit conservation of the identical residue or can be conserved at the class level. Examples of amino acid classes include polar but uncharged R groups (Serine, Threonine, Asparagine and Glutamine); positively charged R groups (Lysine, Arginine, and Histidine); negatively charged R groups (Glutamic acid and Aspartic acid); hydrophobic R groups (Alanine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Tryptophan, Valine and Tyrosine); and special amino acids (Cysteine, Glycine and Proline). Other classes are known to one of skill in the art and may be defined using structural determinations or other data to assess substitutability. In that sense, a substitutable amino acid can refer to any amino acid which can be substituted and maintain functional conservation at that position.

[0029] It will be recognized, however, that amino acids of the same class may vary in degree by their biophysical properties. For example, it will be recognized that certain hydrophobic R groups (e.g., Alanine, Serine, or Threonine) are more hydrophilic (i.e., of higher hydrophilicity or lower hydrophobicity) than other hydrophobic R groups (e.g., Valine or Leucine). Relative hydrophilicity or hydrophobicity can be determined using art-recognized methods (see, e.g., Rose et al., Science, 229: 834-838 (1985) and Cornette et al., J. Mol. Biol., 195: 659-685 (1987)).

[0030] As used herein, when one amino acid sequence (e.g., a first VH or VL sequence) is aligned with one or more additional amino acid sequences (e.g., one or more VH or VL sequences in a database), an amino acid position in one sequence (e.g., the first VH or VL sequence) can be compared to a "corresponding position" in the one or more additional amino acid sequences. As used herein, the "corresponding position" represents the equivalent position in the sequence(s) being compared when the sequences are optimally aligned, i.e., when the sequences are aligned to achieve the highest percent identity or percent similarity.

[0031] "Chimeric" immunobinders as used herein have a portion of the heavy and/or light chain identical with or homologous to corresponding sequences in antibodies derived from a particular species or belonging to a particular antibody class or subclass, while the remainder of the chain(s) is identical with or homologous to corresponding sequences in antibodies derived from another species or belonging to another antibody class or subclass, as well as fragments of such antibodies. Humanized antibody as used herein is a subset of chimeric antibodies.

[0032] "Humanized antibodies" as used herein are immunobinders that have been synthesized using recombinant DNA technology to circumvent immune response to foreign antigens, Humanization is a well-established technique for reducing the immunogenicity of monoclonal antibodies of xenogenic sources. A humanized antibody consists of humanized heavy chain variable region, a humanized light chain variable region and fully human constant domains. The humanization of a variable region involves the choice of an acceptor framework, typically a human acceptor framework, the extent of the CDRs from the donor immunobinder to be inserted into the variable domain acceptor framework and the substitution of residues from the donor framework into the acceptor framework. A general method for grafting CDRs into human acceptor frameworks has been disclosed by Winter in US Patent No. 5,225,539. US6,407,213 discloses a number of amino acid positions of the framework where a substitution from the donor immunobinder is preferred.

[0033] As used herein, the term "functional property" is a property of a polypeptide (e.g., an immunobinder) for which an improvement (e.g., relative to a conventional polypeptide) is desirable and/or advantageous to one of skill in the art, e.g., in order to improve the manufacturing properties or therapeutic efficacy of the polypeptide. In one embodiment, the functional property is improved stability (e.g., thermal stability). In another embodiment, the functional property is improved solubility (e.g., under cellular conditions). In yet another embodiment, the functional property is non-aggregation. In still another embodiment, the functional property is an improvement in expression (e.g., in a prokaryotic cell). In yet another embodiment the functional property is an improvement in refolding yield following an inclusion body purification process. In certain embodiments, the functional property is not an improvement in antigen binding affinity.

[0034] The term "nucleic acid molecule," refers to DNA molecules and RNA molecules. A nucleic acid molecule may be single-stranded or double-stranded, but preferably is double-stranded DNA. A nucleic acid is "operably linked" when it is placed into a functional relationship with another nucleic acid sequence. For instance, a promoter or enhancer is operably linked to a coding sequence if it affects the transcription of the sequence.

[0035] The term "vector," refers to a nucleic acid molecule capable of transporting another nucleic acid to which it has been linked. One type of vector is a "plasmid," which refers to a circular double stranded DNA loop into which additional DNA segments may be ligated. Another type of vector is a viral vector, wherein additional DNA segments may be ligated into the viral genome. Certain vectors are capable of autonomous replication in a host cell into which they are introduced (e.g., bacterial vectors having a bacterial origin of replication and episomal mammalian vectors). Other vectors (e.g., non-episomal mammalian vectors) can be integrated into the genome of a host cell upon introduction into the host cell, and thereby are replicated along with the host genome.

[0036] The term "host cell" refers to a cell into which and expression vector has been introduced. Host cells can include bacterial, microbial, plant or animal cells. Bacteria, which are susceptible to transformation, include members of the enterobacteriaceae, such as strains of Escherichia coli or Salmonella; Bacillaceae, such as Bacillus subtilis; Pneumococcus; Streptococcus, and Haemophilus influenzae. Suitable microbes include Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Pichia pastoris. Suitable animal host cell lines include CHO (Chinese Hamster Ovary lines) and NS0 cells.

[0037] The terms "treat," "treating," and "treatment," refer to therapeutic or preventative measures described herein. The methods of "treatment" employ administration to a subject, in need of such treatment, an antibody of the present invention, for example, a subject having a TNFa-mediated disorder or a subject who ultimately may acquire such a disorder, in order to prevent, cure, delay, reduce the severity of, or ameliorate one or more symptoms of the disorder or recurring disorder, or in order to prolong the survival of a subject beyond that expected in the absence of such treatment.

[0038] The term "TNF-mediated disorder" or "TNF-mediated disease" refers to any disorder, the onset, progression or the persistence of the symptoms or disease states of which requires the participation of TNF. Exemplary TNF-mediated disorders include, but are not limited to, chronic and/or autoimmune states of inflammation in general, immune mediated inflammatory disorders in general, inflammatory CNS disease, inflammatory diseases affecting the eye, joint, skin, mucuous membranes, central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract or lung, states of uveitis in general, retinitis, HLA-B27+ uveitis, Behcet's disease, dry eye syndrome, glaucoma, Sjögren syndrome, diabetes mellitus (incl. diabetic neuropathy), insulin resistance, states of arthritis in general, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, reactive arthritis and Reiter's syndrome, juvenile arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, myasthenia gravis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, sarcoidosis, glomerulonephritis, chronic kidney disease, cystitis, psoriasis (incl. psoriatic arthritis), hidradenitis suppurativa, panniculitis, pyoderma gangrenosum, SAPHO syndrome (synovitis, acne, pustulosis, hyperostosis and osteitis), acne, Sweet's sydrome, pemphigus, Crohn's disease (incl. extraintestinal manifestastations), ulcerative colitis, asthma bronchiale, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, general allergies, allergic rhinitis, allergic sinusitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung fibrosis, Wegener's granulomatosis, Kawasaki syndrome, Giant cell arteritis, Churg-Strauss vasculitis, polyarteritis nodosa, burns, graft versus host disease, host versus graft reactions, rejection episodes following organ or bone marrow transplantation, sytemic and local states of vasculitis in general, systemic and discoid lupus erythematodes, polymyositis and dermatomyositis, sclerodermia, pre-eclampsia, acute and chronic pancreatitis, viral hepatitis, alcoholic hepatitis, postsurgical inflammation such as after eye surgery (e.g. cataract (eye lens replacement) or glaucoma surgery), joint surgery (incl. arthroscopic surgery), surgery at joint-related structures (e.g. ligaments), oral and/or dental surgery, minimally invasive cardiovascular procedures (e.g. PTCA, atherectomy, stent placement), laparoscopic and/or endoscopic intra-abdominal and gynecological procedures, endoscopic urological procedures (e.g. prostate surgery, ureteroscopy, cystoscopy, interstitial cystitis), or perioperative inflammation (prevention) in general, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Bell' palsy, Creutzfeld-Jakob disease. Cancer-related osteolysis, cancer-related inflammation, cancer-related pain, cancer-related cachexia, bone metastases, acute and chronic forms of pain, irrespective whether these are caused by central or peripheral effects of TNFα and whether they are classified as inflammatory, nociceptive or neuropathic forms of pain, sciatica, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), gout, postherpetic neuralgia, fibromyalgia, local pain states, chronic pain syndroms due to metastatic tumor, dismenorrhea. Bacterial, viral or fungal sepsis, tuberculosis, AIDS, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, hypertension, dyslipidemia, heart insufficiency and chronic heart failure.The term "effective dose" or "effective dosage" refers to an amount sufficient to achieve or at least partially achieve the desired effect. The term "therapeutically effective dose" is defined as an amount sufficient to cure or at least partially arrest the disease and its complications in a patient already suffering from the disease. Amounts effective for this use will depend upon the severity of the disorder being treated and the general state of the patient's own immune system.

[0039] The term "subject" refers to any human or non-human animal. For example, the methods and compositions of the present invention can be used to treat a subject with a TNF-mediated disorder.

[0040] The term "lagomorphs" refers to members of the taxonomic order Lagomorpha, comprising the families Leporidae (e.g. hares and rabbits), and the Ochotonidae (pikas). In a most preferred embodiment, the lagomorphs is a rabbit. The term "rabbit" as used herein refers to an animal belonging to the family of the leporidae.

[0041] Different nomenclatures were used for the generated immunobinders. These are typically identified by a number (e.g. #34). In those cases where a prefix such as EP or Epi was used (e.g. EP 34 which is identical to Epi 34 or to #34), the same immunobinder is thereby indicated.

[0042] Unless otherwise defined, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Although methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the present invention, suitable methods and materials are described below. In case of conflict, the present specification, including definitions, will control. In addition, the materials, methods, and examples are illustrative only and not intended to be limiting.

[0043] Various aspects of the invention are described in further detail in the following subsections. It is understood that the various embodiments, preferences and ranges may be combined at will. Further, depending of the specific embodiment, selected definitions, embodiments or ranges may not apply.

Anti-TNFa antibodies



[0044] In one aspect, the present invention provides immunobinders that bind TNFa and thus are suitable to block the function of TNFα in vivo. The CDRs of these immunobinders are derived from rabbit anti-TNFα monoclonal antibodies as disclosed in US7,431,927. Rabbit antibodies are known to have particularly high affinities. Moreover, the CDR sequences disclosed herein are natural sequences, which means that no affinity maturation of the resulting immunobinders needs to be performed. In a preferred embodiment, the immunobinder neutralizes TNFα in vivo.

[0045] In certain embodiments, the invention provides an immunobinder, which specifically binds TNFα, comprising at least one of a CDRH1, a CDRH2, a CDRH3, a CDRL1, a CDRL2, or a CDRL3 amino acid sequence. Exemplary CDR amino acid sequences for use in the immunobinders of the invention are set forth in SEQ ID Nos: 3-50 (Table 1). The CDRs set forth in SEQ ID Nos: 3-50 can be grafted onto any suitable binding scaffold using any art recognized methods (see, e.g., Riechmann, L. et al. (1998) Nature 332:323-327; Jones, P. et al. (1986) Nature 321:522-525; Queen, C. et al. (1989) Proc. Natl. Acad. See. U.S.A. 86:10029-10033; U.S. Patent No. 5,225,539 to Winter, and U.S. Patent Nos. 5,530,101; 5,585,089; 5,693,762 and 6,180,370 to Queen et al.). The CDRs from different parent antibodies may be combined into one antibody to generate additional antibody species. However, it is preferred that the immunobinders disclosed herein are humanized, thus being suitable for therapeutic applications.

[0046] Thus, in one embodiment, the invention provides an immunobinder which specifically binds human TNFα, the immunobinder comprising:
  1. (i) a humanized heavy chain variable region (VH), the heavy chain variable region comprising a human heavy chain variable framework sequence and CDR H1, CDR H2 and CDR H3 sequences stemming from a rabbit immunobinder; and/or
  2. (ii) a humanized light chain variable region (VL), the light chain variable region comprising a human light chain variable framework sequence and CDR L1, CDR L2 and CDR L3 sequences stemming from a rabbit immunobinder.


[0047] As known in the art, many rabbit VH chains have extra paired cysteines relative to the murine and human counterparts. In addition to the conserved disulfide bridge formed between cys22 and cys92, there is also a cys21-cys79 bridge as well as an interCDR S-S bridge formed between the last residue of CDRH1 and the first residue of CDR H2 in some rabbit chains. Besides, pairs of cysteine residues are often found in the CDR-L3. Besides, many rabbit antibody CDRs do not belong to any previously known canonical structure. In particular the CDR-L3 is often much longer than the CDR-L3 of a human or murine counterpart.

[0048] Further to rabbits, the invention may be used for grafting CDRs of any lagomorph.

[0049] In the case of antibodies, the rabbit CDRs set forth in SEQ ID Nos: 3-50 may be grafted into the framework regions of any antibody from any species. However, it has previously been discovered that antibodies or antibody derivatives comprising the frameworks identified in the so called "quality control" screen (WO0148017) are characterised by a generally high stability and/or solubility and thus may also be useful in the context of extracellular applications such as neutralizing human TNFα. Moreover, it has further been discovered that one particular combination of these VL (variable light chain) and VH (variable heavy chain) soluble and stable frameworks is particularly suited to accommodating rabbit CDRs. It was surprisingly found that upon grafting into said framework or its derivatives, loop conformation of a large variety of rabbit CDRs could be fully maintained, largely independent of the sequence of the donor framework. Moreover, said framework or its derivatves containing different rabbit CDRs are well expressed and good produced contrary to the rabbit wild type single chains and still almost fully retain the affinity of the original donor rabbit antibodies. Accordingly, in one embodiment, the CDRs set forth in SEQ ID Nos: 3-50 are grafted into the human antibody frameworks derived by "quality control" screening disclosed in EP1479694. The amino acid sequences of exemplary frameworks for use in the invention are set forth in SEQ ID Nos: 1 and 2 below.





[0050] X can be any naturally occurring amino acid. At least three and up to 50 amino acids can be present. The CDRs are typically inserted into the sites where X is present.

[0051] In other embodiments, the invention provides an immunobinder, which specifically binds TNFα, comprising at least one of a VH or a VL amino acid sequence. Exemplary VH or VL amino acid sequences for use in the immunobinders of the invention are set forth in SEQ ID Nos: 51-111.

[0052] In certain embodiments, the invention further provides an immunobinder, which specifically binds TNFα, comprising an amino acid sequence with substantial similarity to an amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID Nos: 51-111, and wherein the immunobinder retains or improves the desired functional properties of the anti-TNFa immunobinder of the invention. Exemplary percentage similarities include, but are not limited to, about 50%, 60%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90% or 95% identity.

[0053] In certain embodiments, the invention further provides an immunobinder, which specifically binds TNFα, comprising an amino acid sequence with substantial identity to an amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID Nos: 51-111, and wherein the immunobinder retains or improves the desired functional properties of the anti-TNFa immunobinder of the invention. Exemplary percentage identities include, but are not limited to, about 50%, 60%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90% or 95% identity.

[0054] In certain embodiments, the invention further provides an immunobinder, which specifically binds TNFα, comprising an amino acid sequence with conservative substitutions relative to an amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID Nos: 51-111, and wherein the immunobinder retains or improves the desired functional properties of the anti-TNFa immunobinder of the invention.

[0055] In a most preferred embodiment, the immunobinder of the invention comprises at least one CDR sequence being at least 80%, more preferably at least 85%, 90%, 95% or 100% identical to anyone of the SEQ ID Nos: 3-50.

[0056] In a preferred embodiment of the invention, an immunobinder is provided comprising at least one, preferably two, three, four, five or most preferably six CDRs of the group consisting of SEQ ID Nos 3-8.

[0057] In another preferred embodiment of the invention, an immunobinder is provided comprising at least one, preferably two, three, four, five or most preferably six CDRs of the group consisting of SEQ ID Nos 9-14.

[0058] In another preferred embodiment of the invention, an immunobinder is provided comprising at least one, preferably two, three, four, five or most preferably six CDRs of the group consisting of SEQ ID Nos: 15-20.

[0059] In another preferred embodiment of the invention, an immunobinder is provided comprising at least one, preferably two, three, four, five or most preferably six CDRs of the group consisting of SEQ ID Nos: 21-26.

[0060] In another preferred embodiment of the invention, an immunobinder is provided comprising at least one, preferably two, three, four, five or most preferably six CDRs of the group consisting of SEQ ID Nos: 27-32.

[0061] In another preferred embodiment of the invention, an immunobinder is provided comprising at least one, preferably two, three, four, five or most preferably six CDRs of the group consisting of SEQ ID Nos: 33-38.

[0062] In another preferred embodiment of the invention, an immunobinder is provided comprising at least one, preferably, two, three, four, five or most preferably six CDRs of the group consisting of SEQ ID Nos: 39-44.

[0063] In another preferred embodiment of the invention, an immunobinder is provided comprising at least one, preferably two, three, four, five or most preferably six CDRs of the group consisting of SEQ ID Nos: 45-50.

[0064] The CDR sequences provided herein in SEQ ID Nos: 3-50 may further comprise substitutions. Preferably, the sequences have 3, more preferably 2, and most preferably only one substitution(s). Said substitutions are preferably such that the selective binding capacity of the immunobinder is not impaired but the affinity of the immunobinder is altered, preferably enhanced.
Table 1. Rabmab Donor CDRs
Rabmab CloneCDRAmino Acid SequenceSEQ ID NO:
EP-43 CDR-H1 GFSLSSGAMS 3
  CDR-H2 VIISSGATYYASWAKG 4
  CDR-H3 GGPDDSNSMGTFDP 5
  CDR-L1 QASQSISDWLA 6
  CDR-L2 GASRLAS 7
  CDR-L3 QQGWSDSYVDNL 8
EP-1 CDR-H1 GIDLSNDAIS 9
  CDR-H2 YISDWSIRYYANWAQG 10
  CDR-H3 GAPGAGDNGI 11
  CDR-L1 QSTESVYKNNYLA 12
  CDR-L2 DASTLAS 13
  CDR-L3 AGYYRSGSGTANGS 14
EP-6 CDR-H1 GFSLSRYGVS 15
  CDR-H2 TIGEAGRAYYANWARS 16
  CDR-H3 GEVFNNGWGAFNI 17
  CDR-L1 QASESIYSGLA 18
  CDR-L2 QASTLAS 19
  CDR-L3 QQGFGTSNVENP 20
EP-15 CDR-H1 GFSLSRYGVS 21
  CDR-H2 AIGETGRAYYANWAKS 22
  CDR-H3 GEEFNNGWGAFNI 23
  CDR-L1 QASENIYTSLA 24
  CDR-L2 SASTLAS 25
  CDR-L3 QQGFATSNVENP 26
EP-19 CDR-H1 GFSLNSNEIS 27
  CDR-H2 YIGNGGMTHYASWAKG 28
  CDR-H3 SVEYTDLYYLNI 29
  CDR-L1 QASDNIYRGLA 30
  CDR-L2 DASTLQS 31
  CDR-L3 LGVYGYSSDDGAA 32
EP-34 CDR-H1 GFTISRSYWIC 33
  CDR-H2 CIYGDNDITPLYANWAKG 34
  CDR-H3 LGYADYAYDL 35
  CDR-L1 QSSQSVYGNIWMA 36
  CDR-L2 QASKLAS 37
  CDR-L3 QGNFNTGDRYA 38
EP-35 CDR-H1 GFSFSVGYWIC 39
  CDR-H2 CIDAGTSGGTYYATWAKG 40
  CDR-H3 GVSSNGYYFKL 41
  CDR-L1 QASQSISNLLA 42
  CDR-L2 AASKLAS 43
  CDR-L3 QQGWSHTNVDNT 44
EP-42 CDR-H1 GIDLRNDAIS 45
  CDR-H2 YISDWGIKYYASWVKG 46
  CDR-H3 GAPGAGDNGI 47
  CDR-L1 QSTESVYKNNYLA 48
  CDR-L2 DASTLAS 49
  CDR-L3 AGYYRSGFGTANG 50


[0065] In another embodiment, the invention provides antibodies that bind to an epitope on human TNFα as is recognized by a monoclonal antibody containing a set of CDRs (H1-H3, L1-L3; belonging to one Rabmab clone) as set forth in Table 1. Such antibodies can be identified based on their ability to cross-compete with an antibody of Table 1 in a standard TNF binding assay. The ability of a test antibody to inhibit the binding of an antibody of Table 1 to human TNFa demonstrates that the test antibody can compete with the antibody of Table 1 for binding to human TNFa and thus invloves the same epitope on human TNFa as the antibody of Table 1. In a preferred embodiment, the antibody that binds to the same epitope on human TNFα as the antibodies set forth in Table 1is a human monoclonal antibody. Such human monoclonal antibodies can be prepared and isolated as described herein.

[0066] In one embodiment, antibodies and antibody fragments of the present invention are single-chain antibodies (scFv) or Fab fragments. In the case of scFv antibodies, a selected VL domain can be linked to a selected VH domain in either orientation by a flexible linker. A suitable state of the art linker consists of repeated GGGGS amino acid sequences or variants thereof. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention a (GGGGS)4 linker (SEQ ID No: 72) or its derivative is used, but variants of 1-3 repeats are also possible (Holliger et al. (1993), Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 90:6444-6448). Other linkers that can be used for the present invention are described by Alfthan et al. (1995), Protein Eng. 8:725-731, Choi et al. (2001), Eur. J. Immunol. 31:94-106, Hu et al. (1996), Cancer Res. 56:3055-3061, Kipriyanov et al. (1999), J. Mol. Biol. 293:41-56 and Roovers et al. (2001), Cancer Immunol. Immunother. 50:51-59. The arrangement can be either NH2-VL-linker-VH-COOH or NH2-VH-linker-VL-COOH, with the former orientation being the preferred one. In the case of Fab fragments, selected light chain variable domains VL are fused to the constant region of a human Ig kappa chain, while the suitable heavy chain variable domains VH are fused to the first (N-terminal) constant domain CH1 of a human IgG. At the C-terminus, an inter-chain disulfide bridge is formed between the two constant domains.

[0067] The antibodies or antibody derivatives of the present invention can have affinities to human TNF with dissociation constants Kd in a range of 1 fM -10 µM. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention the Kd is ≤1 nM. The affinity of an antibody for an antigen can be determined experimentally using a suitable method (Berzofsky et al. "Antibody-Antigen Interactions", in Fundamental Immunology, Paul, W.E., Ed, Raven Press: New York, NY (1992); Kuby, J. Immunology, W.H. Freeman and Company: New York, NY) and methods described therein.

[0068] Preferred antibodies include antibodies having a variable heavy (VH) and/or variable light (VL) chain region from among the following VH and VL sequences (CDR sequences underlined):

SEQ ID NO:51
EP43min VH

SEQ ID NO:52
EP43min VL

SEQ ID NO:53
EP43max VH

SEQ ID NO:54
EP43max VL

SEQ ID NO:55
EP43maxDHP VH

SEQ ID NO:56
EP43minmaxVL:T22K VL

SEQ ID NO:57
EP43minmaxVL:V58F VL

SEQ ID NO:58
EP43minmaxVL:Q79E VL

SEQ ID NO:59
EP43minmaxVL:D81A VL

SEQ ID NO:60
EP1min VH

NOTE: EP1min CDR-H1 does not match that of EP1max

SEQ ID NO:61
EP1min VL

SEQ ID NO:62
EP1max VH

SEQ ID NO:63
EP1max VL

SEQ ID NO:64
EP6min VH

SEQ ID NO:65
EP6min VL

SEQ ID NO:66
EP6max VH

SEQ ID NO:67
EP6max VL

SEQ ID NO:68
EP15min VH

SEQ ID NO:69
EP15min VL

SEQ ID NO:70
EP15max VH

SEQ ID NO:71
EP15max VL

SEQ ID NO:72
glycine-serine linker
GGGGSGGGGSGGGGSGGGGS

SEQ ID NO:73
EP19maxmod VH

SEQ ID NO:74
EP19maxmod VL

SEQ ID NO:75
EP19minmod VH

SEQ ID NO:76
EP19minmod VL

SEQ ID NO:77
EP34min VH

SEQ ID NO:78
EP34min VL

SEQ ID NO:79
EP34max VH

SEQ ID NO:80
EP34max VL

SEQ ID NO:81
EP35min VH

SEQ ID NO:82
EP35min VL

SEQ ID NO:83
EP35max VH

SEQ ID NO:84
EP35max VL

SEQ ID NO:85
EP42min VH

NOTE: EP42min CDR-H1 does not match that of EP42max

SEQ ID NO:86
EP42min VL

SEQ ID NO:87
EP42max VH

SEQ ID NO:88
EP42max VL


Production of Anti-TNF antibodies



[0069] The present invention is based, at least in part, on the discovery that the highly soluble and stable human antibody frameworks identified by a Quality Control (QC) assay are particulary suitable frameworks for acommodating CDRs from other non-human animal species, for example, rabbit CDRs. In particular, the invention is based on the discovery that the light and heavy chain variable regions of particular human antibody (the so called, "FW 1.4" antibody) are particularly suitable as acceptors for CDRs from a variety of rabbit antibodies of different binding specificities. Although ESBATech's human single-chain framework FW1.4 clearly underperformed in the Quality Control assay and when expressed in HeLa cells when used together with its original CDRs (as disclosed in WO03097697), it was surprisingly found that, when combined with other CDRs, such as rabbit CDRs, it gives rise to very stable, soluble and well producible single-chain antibodies. Furthermore, humanized immunobinders generated by the grafting of rabbit CDRs into these highly compatible light and heavy frameworks consistently and reliably retain the binding properties of the rabbit antibodies from which the donor CDRs are derived. Moreover, immunobinders generated by the methods of the invention reliably exhibit superior functional properties such as solubility and stability. Accordingly, it is a general object of the invention to provide methods for grafting rabbit and other non-human CDRs, into the soluble and stable light chain and/or heavy chain human antibody frameworks of SEQ ID NO:1 (K127) and SEQ ID NO:2 (a43), respectively, thereby generating humanized antibodies with superior biophysical properties.

[0070] In a preferred embodiment, the framework comprises one or more substitutions in the heavy chain framework (VH) at a position from the group consisting of positions H24, H25, H56, H82, H84, H89 and H108 (AHo numbering system). Additionally or alternatively, the framework may comprise a substitution in the light chain framework (VH) at position L87 according to the AHo numbering system. The presence of said substitutions have shown to provide an acceptor framework which almost fully retains the affinity of the original donor antibodies. In a more preferred embodiment, the one or more of substitutions selected from the group consisting of: threonine (T) at position H24, valine (V) at postion H25, glycine (G) or alanine (A) at position H56, lysine (K) at position H82, threonine (T) at postion H84, valine (V) at position H89 and arginine (R) at position H108 and threonine (T) at position L87 according to the AHo numbering system are present in the framework sequence.

[0071] Thus, in an even more preferred embodiment, the the acceptor framework is

SEQ ID NO. 89: variable heavy chain framework of rFW1.4 EVQLVESGGGLVQPGGSLRLSCTAS(X)n=3-50 WVRQAPGKGLEWVG(X)n=3-50 RFTISRDTSKNTVYLQMNSLRAEDTAVYYCAR(X)n=3-50 WGQGTLV TVSS

SEQ ID NO. 90: variable heavy chain framework of rFW1.4(V2) EVQLVESGGGLVQPGGSLRLSCTVS(X)n=3-50 WVRQAPGKGLEWVG(X)n=3-50 RFTISKDTSKNTVYLQMNSLRAEDTAVYYCAR(X)n=3-50 WGQGTLVTVSS

SEQ ID NO. 91: substituted variable light chain framework of FW1.4 EIVMTQSPSTLSASVGDRVIITC(X)n=3-50 WYQQKPGKAPKLLIY(X)n=3-50 GVPSRFSGSGSGTEFTLTISSLQPDDFATYYC(X)n=3-50FGQGTKLTVLG

SEQ ID NO. 92: framework of rFW1.4 EIVMTQSPSTLSASVGDRVIITC(X)n=3-50 WYQQKPGKAPKLLIY(X)n=3-50 GVPSRFSGSGSGTEFTLTISSLQPDDFATYYC(X)n=3-50 FGQGTKLTVLG GGGGSGGGGSGGGGSGGGGSEVQL VESGGGL VQPGGSLRLSCT AS(X)n=3-50 WVRQAPGKGLEWVG(X)n=3-50 RFTISRDTSKNTVYLQMNS LRAEDTAVYYCAR(X)n=3-50 WGQGTLVTVSS

SEQ ID NO. 93: framework of rFW1.4(V2) EIVMTQSPSTLSASVGDRVIITC(X)n=3-50 WYQQKPGKAPKLLIY(X)n=3-50 GVPSRFSGSGSGTEFTLTISSLQPDDFATYYC(X) FGQGTKLTVLG GGGGSGGGGSGGGGSGGGGS EVQLVESGGGLVQPGGSLRLSCTVS(X)n=3-50 WVRQAPGKGLEWVG(X)n=3-50 RFTISKDTSKNTVYLQMNSLR AEDTAVYYCAR(X)n=3-50 WGQGTLVTVSS



[0072] X can be any naturally occurring amino acid; at least three and up to 50 amino acids can be present. The CDRs are typically inserted into the sites where X is present.

[0073] The antibodies or antibody derivatives of the present invention may be generated using routine techniques in the field of recombinant genetics. Knowing the sequences of the polypeptides, the cDNAs encoding them can be generated by gene synthesis by methods well known in the art. These cDNAs can be cloned into suitable vector plasmids. Once the DNA encoding a VL and/or a VH domain are obtained, site directed mutagenesis, for example by PCR using mutagenic primers, can be performed to obtain various derivatives. The best "starting" sequence can be chosen depending on the number of alterations desired in the VL and/or VH sequences. A preferred sequence is the TB-A sequences and its derivatives, e.g. scFv sequences or Fab fusion peptide sequences, may be chosen as templates for PCR driven mutagenesis and/or cloning.

[0074] Methods for incorporating or grafting CDRs into framework regions include those set forth in, e.g., Riechmann, L. et al. (1998) Nature 332:323-327; Jones, P. et al. (1986) Nature 321:522-525; Queen, C. et al. (1989) Proc. Natl. Acad. See. U.S.A. 86:10029-10033; U.S. Patent No. 5,225,539 to Winter, and U.S. Patent Nos. 5,530,101; 5,585,089; 5,693,762 and 6,180,370 to Queen et al, as well as those disclosed in U.S. Provisional Applications Serial Nos. 61/075,697 and 61/155,041, entitled "Humanization of Rabbit Antibodies Using Universal Antibody Frameworks," filed on June 25, 2008 and on February 4, 2009, respectively.

[0075] Standard cloning and mutagenesis techniques well known to the person skilled in the art can be used to attach linkers, shuffle domains or construct fusions for the production of Fab fragments. Basic protocols disclosing the general methods of this invention are described in Molecular Cloning, A Laboratory Manual (Sambrook & Russell, 3rd ed. 2001) and in Current Protocols in Molecular Biology (Ausubel et al., 1999).

[0076] The DNA sequence harboring a gene encoding a scFv polypeptide, or in the case of Fab fragments, encoding either two separate genes or a bi-cistronic operon comprising the two genes for the VL-Cκ and the VH-CH1 fusions are cloned in a suitable expression vector, preferably one with an inducible promoter. Care must be taken that in front of each gene an appropriate ribosome binding site is present that ensures translation. It is to be understood that the antibodies of the present invention comprise the disclosed sequences rather than they consist of them. For example, cloning strategies may require that a construct is made from which an antibody with one or a few additional residues at the N-terminal end are present. Specifically, the methionine derived from the start codon may be present in the final protein in cases where it has not been cleaved posttranslationally. Most of the constructs for scFv antibodies give rise to an additional alanine at the N-terminal end. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, an expression vector for periplasmic expression in E. coli is chosen (Krebber, 1997). Said vector comprises a promoter in front of a cleavable signal sequence. The coding sequence for the antibody peptide is then fused in frame to the cleavable signal sequence. This allows the targeting of the expressed polypeptide to the bacterial periplasm where the signal sequence is cleaved. The antibody is then folded. In the case of the Fab fragments, both the VL-Cκ and the VH-CH1 fusions peptides must be linked to an export signal. The covalent S-S bond is formed at the C-terminal cysteines after the peptides have reached the periplasm. If cytoplasmic expression of antibodies is preferred, said antibodies usually can be obtained at high yields from inclusion bodies, which can be easily separated from other cellular fragments and protein. In this case the inclusion bodies are solubilized in a denaturing agent such as e.g. guaridine hydrochloride (GndHCl) and then refolded by renaturation procedures well known to those skilled in the art.

[0077] Plasmids expressing the scFv or Fab polypeptides are introduced into a suitable host, preferably a bacterial, yeast or mammalian cell, most preferably a suitable E. coli strain as for example JM83 for periplasmic expression or BL21 for expression in inclusion bodies. The polypeptide can be harvested either from the periplasm or form inclusion bodies and purified using standard techniques such as ion exchange chromatography, reversed phase chromatography, affinity chromatography and/or gel filtration known to the person skilled in the art.

[0078] The antibodies or antibody derivatives of the present invention can be characterized with respect to yield, solubility and stability in vitro. Binding capacities towards TNF, preferably towards human TNFα, can be tested in vitro by ELISA or surface plasmon resonance (BIACore), using recombinant human TNF as described in WO9729131, the latter method also allowing to determine the koff rate constant, which should preferably be less than 10-3s-1. Kd values of ≤10 nM are preferred.

[0079] Aside from antibodies with strong binding affinity for human TNF, it is also desirable to generate anti-TNF antibodies which have beneficial properties from a therapeutic perspective. For example, the antibody may be one which shows neutralizing activity in a L929 TNFalpha-mediated cytotoxicity assay. In this assay toxicity of mouse L929 fibroblast cells treated with Actinomycin was induced with recombinant human TNF (hTNF). 90% of maximal hTNF-induced cytoxicity was determined to be at a TNF concentration of 1000 pg/ml.

[0080] All L929 cells were cultured in RPMI 1640 with phenolred, with L-Glutamine medium supplemented with fetal calf serum (10% v/v). The neutralizing activity of anti-TNFa binders was assessed in RPMI 1640 without phenolred and 5% fetal calf serum. Different concentrations (0 - 374 ng/mL) of anti-TNF binders are added to L929 cells in presence of 1000 pg/ml hTNF in order to determine the concentration at which the antagonistic effect reaches half-maximal inhibition (EC50%) The dose response curve was fitted with nonlinear sigmoidal regression with variable slope and the EC50 was calculated.

Optimized Variants



[0081] The antibodies of the invention may be further optimized for enhanced functional properties, e.g., for enhanced solubility and/or stability.

[0082] In certain embodiments, the antibodies of the invention are optimized according to the "functional consensus" methodology disclosed in PCT Application Serial No. PCT/EP2008/001958, entitled "Sequence Based Engineering and Optimization of Single Chain Antibodies", filed on March 12, 2008. For example, the TNFα immunobinders of the invention can be compared with a database of functionally-selected scFvs to identify amino acid residue positions that are either more or less tolerant of variability than the corresponding position(s) in the VEGF immunobinder, thereby indicating that such identified residue position(s) may be suitable for engineering to improve functionality such as stability and/or solubility.

[0083] Exemplary framework positions for substitution are described in PCT Application No. PCT/CH2008/000285, entitled "Methods of Modifying Antibodies, and Modified Antibodies with Improved Functional Properties", filed on June 25, 2008, and PCT Application No. PCT/CH2008/000284, entitled "Sequence Based Engineering and Optimization of Single Chain Antibodies", filed on June 25, 2008. For example, one or more of the following substitutions may be introduced at an amino acid position (AHo numbering is referenced for each of the amino acid position listed below) in the heavy chain variable region of an immunobinder of the invention:
  1. (a) Q or E at amino acid position 1;
  2. (b) Q or E at amino acid position 6;
  3. (c) T, S or A at amino acid position 7, more preferably T or A, even more preferably T;
  4. (d) A, T, P, V or D, more preferably T, P, V or D, at amino acid position 10,
  5. (e) L or V, more preferably L, at amino acid position 12,
  6. (f) V, R, Q, M or K, more preferably V, R, Q or M at amino acid position 13;
  7. (g) R, M, E, Q or K, more preferably R, M, E or Q, even more preferably R or E, at amino acid position 14;
  8. (h) L or V, more preferably L, at amino acid position 19;
  9. (i) R, T, K or N, more preferably R, T or N, even more preferably N, at amino acid position 20;
  10. (j) I, F, L or V, more preferably I, F or L, even more preferably I or L, at amino acid position 21;
  11. (k) R or K, more preferably K, at amino acid position 45;
  12. (l) T, P, V, A or R, more preferably T, P, V or R, even more preferably R, at amino acid position 47;
  13. (m) K, Q, H or E, more preferably K, H or E, even more preferably K, at amino acid position 50;
  14. (n) M or I, more preferably I, at amino acid position 55;
  15. (o) K or R, more preferably K, at amino acid position 77;
  16. (p) A, V, L or I, more preferably A, L or I, even more preferably A, at amino acid position 78;
  17. (q) E, R, T or A, more preferably E, T or A, even more preferably E, at amino acid position 82;
  18. (r) T, S, I or L, more preferably T, S or L, even more preferably T, at amino acid position 86;
  19. (s) D, S, N or G, more preferably D, N or G, even more preferably N, at amino acid position 87;
  20. (t) A, V, L or F, more preferably A, V or F, even more preferably V, at amino acid position 89;
  21. (u) F, S, H, D or Y, more preferably F, S, H or D, at amino acid position 90;
  22. (v) D, Q or E, more preferably D or Q, even more preferably D, at amino acid position 92;
  23. (w) G, N, T or S, more preferably G, N or T, even more preferably G, at amino acid position 95;
  24. (x) T, A, P, F or S, more preferably T, A, P or F, even more preferably F, at amino acid position 98;
  25. (y) R, Q, V, I, M, F, or L, more preferably R, Q, I, M, F or L, even more preferably Y, even more preferably L, at amino acid position 103; and
  26. (z) N, S or A, more preferably N or S, even more preferably N, at amino acid position 107.


[0084] Additionally or alternatively, one or more of the following substitutions can be introduced into the light chain variable region of an immunobinder of the invention:

(aa) Q, D, L, E, S, or I, more preferably L, E, S or I, even more preferably L or E, at amino acid position 1;

(bb) S, A, Y, I, P or T, more preferably A, Y, I, P or T, even more preferably P or T at amino acid position 2;

(cc) Q, V, T or I, more preferably V, T or I, even more preferably V or T, at amino acid position 3;

(dd) V, L, I or M, more preferably V or L, at amino acid position 4;

(ee) S, E or P, more preferably S or E, even more preferably S, at amino acid position 7;

(ff) T or I, more preferably I, at amino acid position 10;

(gg) A or V, more preferably A, at amino acid position 11;

(hh) S or Y, more preferably Y, at amino acid position 12;

(ii) T, S or A, more preferably T or S, even more preferably T, at amino acid position 14;

(jj) S or R, more preferably S, at amino acid position 18;

(kk) T or R, more preferably R, at amino acid position 20;

(11) R or Q, more preferably Q, at amino acid position 24;

(mm) H or Q, more preferably H, at amino acid position 46;

(nn) K, R or I, more preferably R or I, even more preferably R, at amino acid position 47;

(oo) R, Q, K, E, T, or M, more preferably Q, K, E, T or M, at amino acid position 50;

(pp) K, T, S, N, Q or P, more preferably T, S, N, Q or P, at amino acid position 53;

(qq) I or M, more preferably M, at amino acid position 56;

(rr) H, S, F or Y, more preferably H, S or F, at amino acid position 57;

(ss) I, V or T, more preferably V or T, R, even more preferably T, at amino acid position 74;

(tt) R, Q or K, more preferably R or Q, even more preferably R, at amino acid position 82;

(uu) L or F, more preferably F, at amino acid position 91;

(vv) G, D, T or A, more preferably G, D or T, even more preferably T, at amino acid position 92;

(xx) S or N, more preferably N, at amino acid position 94;

(yy) F, Y or S, more preferably Y or S, even more preferably S, at amino acid position 101; and

(zz) D, F, H, E, L, A, T, V, S, G or I, more preferably H, E, L, A, T ,V, S, G or I, even more preferably A or V, at amino acid position 103.

In other embodiments, the immunobinders of the invention comprise one or more of the solubility and/or stability enhancing mutations described in U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 61/075,692, entitled "Solubility Optimization of Immunobinders," filed on June 25, 2008. In certain preferred embodiments, the immunobinder comprises a solubility enhancing mutation at an amino acid position selected from the group of heavy chain amino acid positions consisting of 12, 103 and 144 (AHo Numbering convention). In one preferred embodiment, the immunobinder comprises one or more substitutions selected from the group consisting of: (a) Serine (S) at heavy chain amino acid position 12; (b) Serine (S) or Threonine (T) at heavy chain amino acid position 103; and (c) Serine (S) or Threonine (T) at heavy chain amino acid position 144. In another embodiment, the immunobinder comprises the following substitutions: (a) Serine (S) at heavy chain amino acid position 12; (b) Serine (S) or Threonine (T) at heavy chain amino acid position 103; and (c) Serine (S) or Threonine (T) at heavy chain amino acid position 144.

[0085] As mentioned above, combinations of the VL and VH sequences, in particular of those having the same or essentially the same set of CDR sequences but different framework sequences e.g. due to the presence of the substitutions mentioned above, can be shuffled and combined by a linker sequence. Exemplary combinations, without being limited to, include:

SEQ ID NO:94
EP43 min

SEQ ID NO: 95
EP43max

SEQ ID NO: 96
EP43minmax

SEQ ID NO: 97
EP43max DHP

SEQ ID NO: 98
EP43minmaxDHP

SEQ ID NO: 99
EP43minmax VL: T22K

SEQ ID NO: 100
EP43minmax: VL: V58F

SEQ ID NO: 101
EP43minmax VL: D81A



SEQ ID NO: 102
EP43minmax VL: Q79E

SEQ ID NO: 103
EP1min

SEQ ID NO: 104
EP1max

SEQ ID NO: 105
EP1minmax

SEQ ID NO: 106
EP6min



SEQ ID NO: 107
EP6max

SEQ ID NO: 108
EP6minmax

SEQ ID NO: 109
EP15min

SEQ ID NO: 110
EP15max

SEQ ID NO: 111
EP15minmax

SEQ ID NO: 112
EP19minmod

SEQ ID NO: 113
EP19maxmod

SEQ ID NO: 114
EP34min

SEQ ID NO: 115
EP34max



SEQ ID NO: 116
EP35min

SEQ ID NO: 117
EP35max

SEQ ID NO: 118
EP35minmax

SEQ ID NO: 119
EP42min

SEQ ID NO: 120
EP42max

SEQ ID NO: 121
EP42minmax



[0086] In a preferrred embodiment, a seqeunce has at least 90% identiy, more preferably at least 95% identity and most preferably 100% identity to anyone of seqeunces SEQ ID No. 94-121.

Uses of Anti-TNF antibodies



[0087] For therapeutic applications, the anti-TNF antibodies of the invention are administered to a mammal, preferably a human, in a pharmaceutically acceptable dosage form such as those discussed above, including those that may be administered to a human intravenously as a bolus or by continuous infusion over a period of time, by intramuscular, intraperitoneal, intra-cerebrospinal, subcutaneous, intra-articular, intrasynovial, intrathecal, oral, topical, or inhalation routes. The antibodies also are suitably administered by intra tumoral, peritumoral, intralesional, or perilesional routes, to exert local as well as systemic therapeutic effects.

[0088] For the prevention or treatment of disease, the appropriate dosage of antibody will depend on the type of disease to be treated, as defined above, the severity and course of the disease, whether the antibody is administered for preventive or therapeutic purposes, previous therapy, the patient's clinical history and response to the antibody, and the discretion of the attending physician. The antibody is suitably administered to the patient at one time or over a series of treatments.

[0089] The anti-TNF antibodies are useful in the treatment of TNF-mediated diseases. Depending on the type and severity of the disease, about 1 µg/kg to about 50 mg/kg (e.g., 0.1-20 mg/kg) of antibody is an initial candidate dosage for administration to the patient, whether, for example, by one or more separate administrations, or by continuous infusion. A typical daily or weekly dosage might range from about 1 µg/kg to about 20 mg/kg or more, depending on the factors mentioned above. For repeated administrations over several days or longer, depending on the condition, the treatment is repeated until a desired suppression of disease symptoms occurs. However, other dosage regimens may be useful. The progress of this therapy is easily monitored by conventional techniques and assays, including, for example, radiographic tumor imaging.

[0090] According to another embodiment of the invention, the effectiveness of the antibody in preventing or treating disease may be improved by administering the antibody serially or in combination with another agent that is effective for those purposes, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), an antibody capable of inhibiting or neutralizing the angiogenic activity of acidic or basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF) or hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), an antibody capable of inhibiting or neutralizing the coagulant activities of tissue factor, protein C, or protein S (see Esmon et al., PCT Patent Publication No. WO 91/01753, published 21 Feb. 1991), an antibody capable of binding to HER2 receptor (see Hudziak et al., PCT Patent Publication No. WO 89/06692, published 27 Jul. 1989), or one or more conventional therapeutic agents such as, for example, alkylating agents, folic acid antagonists, antimetabolites of nucleic acid metabolism, antibiotics, pyrimidine analogs, 5-fluorouracil, cisplatin, purine nucleosides, amines, amino acids, triazol nucleosides, or corticosteroids. Such other agents may be present in the composition being administered or may be administered separately. Also, the antibody is suitably administered serially or in combination with radiological treatments, whether involving irradiation or administration of radioactive substances.

[0091] The antibodies of the invention may be used as affinity purification agents. In this process, the antibodies are immobilized on a solid phase such a Sephadex resin or filter paper, using methods well known in the art. The immobilized antibody is contacted with a sample containing the TNF protein (or fragment thereof) to be purified, and thereafter the support is washed with a suitable solvent that will remove substantially all the material in the sample except the TNF protein, which is bound to the immobilized antibody. Finally, the support is washed with another suitable solvent, such as glycine buffer, pH 5.0, that will release the TNF protein from the antibody.

[0092] Anti-TNF antibodies may also be useful in diagnostic assays for TNF protein, e.g., detecting its expression in specific cells, tissues, or serum. Such diagnostic methods may be useful in cancer diagnosis.

[0093] For diagnostic applications, the antibody typically will be labeled with a detectable moiety. Numerous labels are available which can be generally grouped into the following categories:
  1. (a) Radioisotopes, such as . 111 In, . 99Tc,. 14C, . 131I, 125I, 3H, 32P or 35S. The antibody can be labeled with the radioisotope using the techniques described in Current Protocols in Immunology, Volumes 1 and 2, Coligen et al., Ed. Wiley-Interscience, New York, N.Y., Pubs. (1991) for example and radioactivity can be measured using scintillation counting.
  2. (b) Fluorescent labels such as rare earth chelates (europium chelates) or fluorescein and its derivatives, rhodamine and its derivatives, dansyl, Lissamine, phycoerythrin and Texas Red are available. The fluorescent labels can be conjugated to the antibody using the techniques disclosed in Current Protocols in Immunology, supra, for example. Fluorescence can be quantified using a fluorimeter.
  3. (c) Various enzyme-substrate labels are available and U.S. Pat. No. 4,275,149 provides a review of some of these. The enzyme generally catalyzes a chemical alteration of the chromogenic substrate which can be measured using various techniques. For example, the enzyme may catalyze a color change in a substrate, which can be measured spectrophotometrically. Alternatively, the enzyme may alter the fluorescence or chemiluminescence of the substrate. Techniques for quantifying a change in fluorescence are described above. The chemiluminescent substrate becomes electronically excited by a chemical reaction and may then emit light which can be measured (using a chemiluminometer, for example) or donates energy to a fluorescent acceptor. Examples of enzymatic labels include luciferases (e.g., firefly luciferase and bacterial luciferase; U.S. Pat. No. 4,737,456), luciferin, 2,3-dihydrophthalazinediones, malate dehydrogenase, urease, peroxidase such as horseradish peroxidase (HRPO), alkaline phosphatase, .beta.-galactosidase, glucoamylase, lysozyme, saccharide oxidases (e.g., glucose oxidase, galactose oxidase, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase), heterocyclic oxidases (such as uricase and xanthine oxidase), lactoperoxidase, microperoxidase, and the like. Techniques for conjugating enzymes to antibodies are described in O'Sullivan et al., Methods for the Preparation of Enzyme-Antibody Conjugates for use in Enzyme Immunoassay, in Methods in Enzym. (ed J. Langone & H. Van Vunakis), Academic press, New York, 73:147-166 (1981). Examples of enzyme-substrate combinations include, for example:
    1. (i) Horseradish peroxidase (HRPO) with hydrogen peroxidase as a substrate, wherein the hydrogen peroxidase oxidizes a dye precursor (e.g., orthophenylene diamine (OPD) or 3,3',5,5'-tetramethyl benzidine hydrochloride (TMB));
    2. (ii) alkaline phosphatase (AP) with para-Nitrophenyl phosphate as chromogenic substrate; and
    3. (iii) beta.-D-galactosidase (.beta.-D-Gal) with a chromogenic substrate (e.g., P-nitrophenyl-.beta.-D-galactosidase) or fluorogenic substrate 4-methylumbelliferyl-.beta.-D-galactosidase.


[0094] Numerous other enzyme-substrate combinations are available to those skilled in the art. For a general review of these, see U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,275,149 and 4,318,980. Sometimes, the label is indirectly conjugated with the antibody. The skilled artisan will be aware of various techniques for achieving this. For example, the antibody can be conjugated with biotin and any of the three broad categories of labels mentioned above can be conjugated with avidin, or vice versa. Biotin binds selectively to avidin and thus, the label can be conjugated with the antibody in this indirect manner. Alternatively, to achieve indirect conjugation of the label with the antibody, the antibody is conjugated with a small hapten (e.g., digoxin) and one of the different types of labels mentioned above is conjugated with an anti-hapten antibody (e.g., anti-digoxin antibody). Thus, indirect conjugation of the label with the antibody can be achieved.

[0095] In another embodiment of the invention, the anti-TNF antibody need not be labeled, and the presence thereof can be detected using a labeled antibody which binds to the TNF antibody.

[0096] The antibodies of the present invention may be employed in any known assay method, such as competitive binding assays, direct and indirect sandwich assays, and immunoprecipitation assays. Zola, Monoclonal Antibodies: A Manual of Techniques, pp.147-158 (CRC Press, Inc. 1987).

[0097] Competitive binding assays rely on the ability of a labeled standard to compete with the test sample analyte for binding with a limited amount of antibody. The amount of TNF protein in the test sample is inversely proportional to the amount of standard that becomes bound to the antibodies. To facilitate determining the amount of standard that becomes bound, the antibodies generally are insolubilized before or after the competition, so that the standard and analyte that are bound to the antibodies may conveniently be separated from the standard and analyte which remain unbound.

[0098] Sandwich assays involve the use of two antibodies, each capable of binding to a different immunogenic portion, or epitope, of the protein to be detected. In a sandwich assay, the test sample analyte is bound by a first antibody which is immobilized on a solid support, and thereafter a second antibody binds to the analyte, thus forming an insoluble three-part complex. See, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 4,376,110. The second antibody may itself be labeled with a detectable moiety (direct sandwich assays) or may be measured using an anti-immunoglobulin antibody that is labeled with a detectable moiety (indirect sandwich assay). For example, one type of sandwich assay is an ELISA assay, in which case the detectable moiety is an enzyme.

[0099] For immunohistochemistry, the tumor sample may be fresh or frozen or may be embedded in paraffin and fixed with a preservative such as formalin, for example.

[0100] The antibodies may also be used for in vivo diagnostic assays. Generally, the antibody is labeled with a radio nuclide (such as .sup.111 In, . 99 Tc, . 14 C, . 131 I, 125 I, 3 H, 32 P or 35 S) so that the tumor can be localized using immunoscintiography.

[0101] The antibody of the present invention can be provided in a kit, a packaged combination of reagents in predetermined amounts with instructions for performing the diagnostic assay. Where the antibody is labeled with an enzyme, the kit will include substrates and cofactors required by the enzyme (e.g., a substrate precursor which provides the detectable chromophore or fluorophore). In addition, other additives may be included such as stabilizers, buffers (e.g., a block buffer or lysis buffer) and the like. The relative amounts of the various reagents may be varied widely to provide for concentrations in solution of the reagents which substantially optimize the sensitivity of the assay. Particularly, the reagents may be provided as dry powders, usually lyophilized, including excipients which on dissolution will provide a reagent solution having the appropriate concentration.

Pharmaceutical Preparations



[0102] In one aspect the invention provides pharmaceutical formulations comprising anti-TNF antibodies for the treatment of TNF-mediated diseases. The term "pharmaceutical formulation" refers to preparations which are in such form as to permit the biological actvity of the antibody or antibody derivative to be unequivocally effective, and which contain no additional components which are toxic to the subjects to which the formulation would be administered. "Pharmaceutically acceptable" excipients (vehicles, additives) are those which can reasonably be administered to a subject mammal to provide an effective dose of the active ingredient employed.

[0103] A "stable" formulation is one in which the antibody or antibody derivative therein essentially retains its physical stability and/or chemical stability and/or biological activity upon storage. Various analytical techniques for measuring protein stability are available in the art and are reviewed in Peptide and Protein Drug Delivery, 247-301, Vincent Lee Ed., Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, N.Y., Pubs. (1991) and Jones, A. Adv. Drug Delivery Rev. 10: 29-90 (1993), for example. Stability can be measured at a selected temperature for a selected time period. Preferably, the formulation is stable at room temperature (about 30° C) or at 40° C for at least 1 month and/or stable at about 2-8° C for at least 1 year for at least 2 years. Furthermore, the formulation is preferably stable following freezing (to, e.g., -70° C) and thawing of the formulation.

[0104] An antibody or antibody derivative "retains its physical stability" in a pharmaceutical formulation if it shows no signs of aggregation, precipitation and/or denaturation upon visual examination of color and/or clarity, or as measured by UV light scattering or by size exclusion chromatography.

[0105] An antibody or antibody derivative "retains its chemical stability" in a pharmaceutical formulation, if the chemical stability at a given time is such that the protein is considered to still retain its biological activity as defined below. Chemical stability can be assessed by detecting and quantifying chemically altered forms of the protein. Chemical alteration may involve size modification (e.g. clipping) which can be evaluated using size exclusion chromatography, SDS-PAGE and/or matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI/TOF MS), for example. Other types of chemical alteration include charge alteration (e.g. occurring as a result of deamidation) which can be evaluated by ion-exchange chromatography, for example.

[0106] An antibody or antibody derivative "retains its biological activity" in a pharmaceutical formulation, if the biological activity of the antibody at a given time is within about 10% (within the errors of the assay) of the biological activity exhibited at the time the pharmaceutical formulation was prepared as determined in an antigen binding assay, for example. Other "biological activity" assays for antibodies are elaborated herein below.

[0107] By "isotonic" is meant that the formulation of interest has essentially the same osmotic pressure as human blood. Isotonic formulations will generally have an osmotic pressure from about 250 to 350 mOsm. Isotonicity can be measured using a vapor pressure or ice-freezing type osmometer, for example.

[0108] A "polyol" is a substance with multiple hydroxyl groups, and includes sugars (reducing and non-reducing sugars), sugar alcohols and sugar acids. Preferred polyols herein have a molecular weight which is less than about 600 kD (e.g. in the range from about 120 to about 400 kD). A "reducing sugar" is one which contains a hemiacetal group that can reduce metal ions or react covalently with lysine and other amino groups in proteins and a "non-reducing sugar" is one which does not have these properties of a reducing sugar. Examples of reducing sugars are fructose, mannose, maltose, lactose, arabinose, xylose, ribose, rhamnose, galactose and glucose. Non-reducing sugars include sucrose, trehalose, sorbose, melezitose and raffinose. Mannitol, xylitol, erythritol, threitol, sorbitol and glycerol are examples of sugar alcohols. As to sugar acids, these include L-gluconate and metallic salts thereof. Where it is desired that the formulation is freeze-thaw stable, the polyol is preferably one which does not crystallize at freezing temperatures (e.g. -20° C) such that it destabilizes the antibody in the formulation. Non-reducing sugars such as sucrose and trehalose are the preferred polyols herein, with trehalose being preferred over sucrose, because of the superior solution stability of trehalose.

[0109] As used herein, "buffer" refers to a buffered solution that resists changes in pH by the action of its acid-base conjugate components. The buffer of this invention has a pH in the range from about 4.5 to about 6.0; preferably from about 4.8 to about 5.5; and most preferably has a pH of about 5.0. Examples of buffers that will control the pH in this range include acetate (e.g. sodium acetate), succinate (such as sodium succinate), gluconate, histidine, citrate and other organic acid buffers. Where a freeze-thaw stable formulation is desired, the buffer is preferably not phosphate.

[0110] In a pharmacological sense, in the context of the present invention, a "therapeutically effective amount" of an antibody or antibody derivative refers to an amount effective in the prevention or treatment of a disorder for the treatment of which the antibody or antibody derivative is effective. A "disease/disorder" is any condition that would benefit from treatment with the antibody or antibody derivative. This includes chronic and acute disorders or diseases including those pathological conditions which predispose the mammal to the disorder in question.

[0111] A "preservative" is a compound which can be included in the formulation to essentially reduce bacterial action therein, thus facilitating the production of a multi-use formulation, for example. Examples of potential preservatives include octadecyldimethylbenzyl ammonium chloride, hexamethonium chloride, benzalkonium chloride (a mixture of alkylbenzyldimethylammonium chlorides in which the alkyl groups are long-chain compounds), and benzethonium chloride. Other types of preservatives include aromatic alcohols such as phenol, butyl and benzyl alcohol, alkyl parabens such as methyl or propyl paraben, catechol, resorcinol, cyclohexanol, 3-pentanol, and m-cresol. The most preferred preservative herein is benzyl alcohol.

[0112] The present invention also provides pharmaceutical compositions comprising one or more antibodies or antibody derivative compounds, together with at least one physiologically acceptable carrier or excipient. Pharmaceutical compositions may comprise, for example, one or more of water, buffers (e.g., neutral buffered saline or phosphate buffered saline), ethanol, mineral oil, vegetable oil, dimethylsulfoxide, carbohydrates (e.g., glucose, mannose, sucrose or dextrans), mannitol, proteins, adjuvants, polypeptides or amino acids such as glycine, antioxidants, chelating agents such as EDTA or glutathione and/or preservatives. As noted above, other active ingredients may (but need not) be included in the pharmaceutical compositions provided herein.

[0113] A carrier is a substance that may be associated with an antibody or antibody derivative prior to administration to a patient, often for the purpose of controlling stability or bioavailability of the compound. Carriers for use within such formulations are generally biocompatible, and may also be biodegradable. Carriers include, for example, monovalent or multivalent molecules such as serum albumin (e.g., human or bovine), egg albumin, peptides, polylysine and polysaccharides such as aminodextran and polyamidoamines. Carriers also include solid support materials such as beads and microparticles comprising, for example, polylactate polyglycolate, poly(lactide-co-glycolide), polyacrylate, latex, starch, cellulose or dextran. A carrier may bear the compounds in a variety of ways, including covalent bonding (either directly or via a linker group), noncovalent interaction or admixture.

[0114] Pharmaceutical compositions may be formulated for any appropriate manner of administration, including, for example, topical, oral, nasal, rectal or parenteral administration. In certain embodiments, compositions in a form suitable for oral use are preferred. Such forms include, for example, pills, tablets, troches, lozenges, aqueous or oily suspensions, dispersible powders or granules, emulsion, hard or soft capsules, or syrups or elixirs. Within yet other embodiments, compositions provided herein may be formulated as a lyophilizate. The term parenteral as used herein includes subcutaneous, intradermal, intravascular (e.g., intravenous), intramuscular, spinal, intracranial, intrathecal and intraperitoneal injection, as well as any similar injection or infusion technique.

[0115] Compositions intended for oral use may be prepared according to any method known to the art for the manufacture of pharmaceutical compositions and may contain one or more agents, such as sweetening agents, flavoring agents, coloring agent, and preserving agents in order to provide appealing and palatable preparations. Tablets contain the active ingredient in admixture with physiologically acceptable excipients that are suitable for the manufacture of tablets. Such excipients include, for example, inert diluents (e.g., calcium carbonate, sodium carbonate, lactose, calcium phosphate or sodium phosphate), granulating and disintegrating agents (e.g., corn starch or alginic acid), binding agents (e.g., starch, gelatin or acacia) and lubricating agents (e.g., magnesium stearate, stearic acid or talc). The tablets may be uncoated or they may be coated by known techniques to delay disintegration and absorption in the gastrointestinal tract and thereby provide a sustained action over a longer period. For example, a time delay material such as glyceryl monosterate or glyceryl distearate may be employed.

[0116] Formulations for oral use may also be presented as hard gelatin capsules wherein the active ingredient is mixed with an inert solid diluent (e.g., calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate or kaolin), or as soft gelatin capsules wherein the active ingredient is mixed with water or an oil medium (e.g., peanut oil, liquid paraffin or olive oil). Aqueous suspensions contain the antibody or antibody derivative in admixture with excipients suitable for the manufacture of aqueous suspensions. Such excipients include suspending agents (e.g., sodium carboxymethylcellulose, methylcellulose, hydropropylmethylcellulose, sodium alginate, polyvinylpyrrolidone, gum tragacanth and gum acacia); and dispersing or wetting agents (e.g., naturally-occurring phosphatides such as lecithin, condensation products of an alkylene oxide with fatty acids such as polyoxyethylene stearate, condensation products of ethylene oxide with long chain aliphatic alcohols such as heptadecaethyleneoxycetanol, condensation products of ethylene oxide with partial esters derived from fatty acids and a hexitol such as polyoxyethylene sorbitol monooleate, or condensation products of ethylene oxide with partial esters derived from fatty acids and hexitol anhydrides such as polyethylene sorbitan monooleate). Aqueous suspensions may also comprise one or more preservatives, for example ethyl or n-propyl p-hydroxybenzoate, one or more coloring agents, one or more flavoring agents, and one or more sweetening agents, such as sucrose or saccharin. Syrups and elixirs may be formulated with sweetening agents, such as glycerol, propylene glycol, sorbitol, or sucrose. Such formulations may also comprise one or more demulcents, preservatives, flavoring agents, and/or coloring agents.

[0117] Oily suspensions may be formulated by suspending the active ingredients in a vegetable oil (e.g., arachis oil, olive oil, sesame oil, or coconut oil) or in a mineral oil such as liquid paraffin. The oily suspensions may contain a thickening agent such as beeswax, hard paraffin, or cetyl alcohol. Sweetening agents, such as those set forth above, and/or flavoring agents may be added to provide palatable oral preparations. Such suspensions may be preserved by the addition of an anti-oxidant such as ascorbic acid.

[0118] Dispersible powders and granules suitable for preparation of an aqueous suspension by the addition of water provide the active ingredient in admixture with a dispersing or wetting agent, suspending agent and one or more preservatives. Suitable dispersing or wetting agents and suspending agents are exemplified by those already mentioned above. Additional excipients, for example sweetening, flavoring and coloring agents, may also be present.

[0119] Pharmaceutical compositions may also be in the form of oil-in-water emulsions. The oily phase may be a vegetable oil (e.g., olive oil or arachis oil), a mineral oil (e.g., liquid paraffin), or a mixture thereof. Suitable emulsifying agents include naturally-occurring gums (e.g., gum acacia or gum tragacanth), naturally-occurring phosphatides (e.g., soy bean, lecithin, and esters or partial esters derived from fatty acids and hexitol), anhydrides (e.g., sorbitan monoleate), and condensation products of partial esters derived from fatty acids and hexitol with ethylene oxide (e.g., polyoxyethylene sorbitan monoleate). An emulsion may also comprise one or more sweetening and/or flavoring agents.

[0120] The pharmaceutical composition may be prepared as a sterile injectible aqueous or oleaginous suspension in which the modulator, depending on the vehicle and concentration used, is either suspended or dissolved in the vehicle. Such a composition may be formulated according to the known art using suitable dispersing, wetting agents and/or suspending agents such as those mentioned above. Among the acceptable vehicles and solvents that may be employed are water, 1,3-butanediol, Ringer's solution and isotonic sodium chloride solution. In addition, sterile, fixed oils may be employed as a solvent or suspending medium. For this purpose any bland fixed oil may be employed, including synthetic mono- or diglycerides. In addition, fatty acids such as oleic acid may be used in the preparation of injectible compositions, and adjuvants such as local anesthetics, preservatives and/or buffering agents can be dissolved in the vehicle.

[0121] Pharmaceutical compositions may be formulated as sustained release formulations (i.e., a formulation such as a capsule that effects a slow release of modulator following administration). Such formulations may generally be prepared using well known technology and administered by, for example, oral, rectal, or subcutaneous implantation, or by implantation at the desired target site. Carriers for use within such formulations are biocompatible, and may also be biodegradable; preferably the formulation provides a relatively constant level of modulator release. The amount of an antibody or antibody derivative contained within a sustained release formulation depends upon, for example, the site of implantation, the rate and expected duration of release and the nature of the disease/disorder to be treated or prevented.

[0122] Antibody or antibody derivatives provided herein are generally administered in an amount that achieves a concentration in a body fluid (e.g., blood, plasma, serum, CSF, synovial fluid, lymph, cellular interstitial fluid, tears or urine) that is sufficient to detectably bind to TNF and prevent or inhibit TNF-mediated diseases/disorders. A dose is considered to be effective if it results in a discernible patient benefit as described herein. Preferred systemic doses range from about 0.1 mg to about 140 mg per kilogram of body weight per day (about 0.5 mg to about 7 g per patient per day), with oral doses generally being about 5-20 fold higher than intravenous doses. The amount of antibody or antibody derivative that may be combined with the carrier materials to produce a single dosage form will vary depending upon the host treated and the particular mode of administration. Dosage unit forms will generally contain between from about 1 mg to about 500 mg of an active ingredient.

[0123] Pharmaceutical compositions may be packaged for treating conditions responsive to an antibody or antibody derivative directed to TNF. Packaged pharmaceutical compositions may include a container holding a effective amount of at least one antibody or antibody derivative as described herein and instructions (e.g., labeling) indicating that the contained composition is to be used for treating a disease/disorder responsive to one antibody or antibody derivative following administration in the patient.

[0124] The antibodies or antibody derivatives of the present invention can also be chemically modified. Preferred modifying groups are polymers, for example an optionally substituted straight or branched chain polyalkene, polyalkenylene, or polyoxyalkylene polymer or a branched or unbranched polysaccharide. Such effector group may increase the half-live of the antibody in vivo. Particular examples of synthetic polymers include optionally substituted straight or branched chain poly(ethyleneglycol) (PEG), poly(propyleneglycol), poly(vinylalcohol) or derivatives thereof. Particular naturally occurring polymers include lactose, amylose, dextran, glycogen or derivatives thereof. The size of the polymer may be varied as desired, but will generally be in an average molecular weight range from 500 Da to 50000 Da. For local application where the antibody is designed to penetrate tissue, a preferred molecular weight of the polymer is around 5000 Da. The polymer molecule can be attached to the antibody, in particular to the C-terminal end of the Fab fragment heavy chain via a covalently linked hinge peptide as described in WO0194585. Regarding the attachment of PEG moieties, reference is made to "Poly(ethyleneglycol) Chemistry, Biotechnological and Biomedical Applications", 1992, J. Milton Harris (ed), Plenum Press, New York and "Bioconjugation Protein Coupling Techniques for the Biomedical Sciences", 1998, M. Aslam and A. Dent, Grove Publishers, New York.

[0125] After preparation of the antibody or antibody derivative of interest as described above, the pharmaceutical formulation comprising it is prepared. The antibody to be formulated has not been subjected to prior lyophilization and the formulation of interest herein is an aqueous formulation. Preferably the antibody or antibody derivative in the formulation is an antibody fragment, such as an scFv. The therapeutically effective amount of antibody present in the formulation is determined by taking into account the desired dose volumes and mode(s) of administration, for example. From about 0.1 mg/ml to about 50 mg/ml, preferably from about 0.5 mg/ml to about 25 mg/ml and most preferably from about 2 mg/ml to about 10 mg/ml is an exemplary antibody concentration in the formulation.

[0126] An aqueous formulation is prepared comprising the antibody or antibody derivative in a pH-buffered solution The buffer of this invention has a pH in the range from about 4.5 to about 6.0, preferably from about 4.8 to about 5.5, and most preferably has a pH of about 5.0. Examples of buffers that will control the pH within this range include acetate (e.g. sodium acetate), succinate (such as sodium succinate), gluconate, histidine, citrate and other organic acid buffers. The buffer concentration can be from about 1 mM to about 50 mM, preferably from about 5 mM to about 30 mM, depending, for example, on the buffer and the desired isotonicity of the formulation. The preferred buffer is sodium acetate (about 10 mM), pH 5.0.

[0127] A polyol, which acts as a tonicifier and may stabilize the antibody, is included in the formulation. In preferred embodiments, the formulation does not contain a tonicifying amount of a salt such as sodium chloride, as this may cause the antibody or antibody derivative to precipitate and/or may result in oxidation at low pH. In preferred embodiments, the polyol is a non-reducing sugar, such as sucrose or trehalose. The polyol is added to the formulation in an amount which may vary with respect to the desired isotonicity of the formulation. Preferably the aqueous formulation is isotonic, in which case suitable concentrations of the polyol in the formulation are in the range from about 1% to about 15% w/v, preferably in the range from about 2% to about 10% whv, for example. However, hypertonic or hypotonic formulations may also be suitable. The amount of polyol added may also alter with respect to the molecular weight of the polyol. For example, a lower amount of a monosaccharide (e.g. mannitol) may be added, compared to a disaccharide (such as trehalose).

[0128] A surfactant is also added to the antibody or antibody derivative formulation. Exemplary surfactants include nonionic surfactants such as polysorbates (e.g. polysorbates 20, 80 etc) or poloxamers (e.g. poloxamer 188). The amount of surfactant added is such that it reduces aggregation of the formulated antibody/antibody derivative and/or minimizes the formation of particulates in the formulation and/or reduces adsorption. For example, the surfactant may be present in the formulation in an amount from about 0.001% to about 0.5%, preferably from about 0.005% to about 0.2% and most preferably from about 0.01% to about 0.1%.

[0129] In one embodiment, the formulation contains the above-identified agents (i.e. antibody or antibody derivative, buffer, polyol and surfactant) and is essentially free of one or more preservatives, such as benzyl alcohol, phenol, m-cresol, chlorobutanol and benzethonium Cl. In another embodiment, a preservative may be included in the formulation, particularly where the formulation is a multidose formulation. The concentration of preservative may be in the range from about 0.1% to about 2%, most preferably from about 0.5% to about 1%. One or more other pharmaceutically acceptable carriers, excipients or stabilizers such as those described in Remington's Pharmaceutical Sciences 21 st edition, Osol, A. Ed. (2006) may be included in the formulation provided that they do not adversely affect the desired characteristics of the formulation. Acceptable carriers, excipients or stabilizers are non-toxic to recipients at the dosages and concentrations employed and include; additional buffering agents; co-solvents; antioxidants including ascorbic acid and methionine; chelating agents such as EDTA; metal complexes (e.g. Zn-protein complexes); biodegradable polymers such as polyesters; and/or salt-forming counterions such as sodium.

[0130] The formulations to be used for in vivo administration must be sterile. This is readily accomplished by filtration through sterile filtration membranes, prior to, or following, preparation of the formulation.

[0131] The formulation is administered to a mammal in need of treatment with the antibody, preferably a human, in accord with known methods, such as intravenous administration as a bolus or by continuous infusion over a period of time, by intramuscular, intraperitoneal, intracerobrospinal, subcutaneous, intra-articular, intrasynovial, intrathecal, oral, topical, or inhalation routes. In preferred embodiments, the formulation is administered to the mammal by intravenous administration. For such purposes, the formulation may be injected using a syringe or via an IV line, for example.

[0132] The appropriate dosage ("therapeutically effective amount") of the antibody will depend, for example, on the condition to be treated, the severity and course of the condition, whether the antibody is administered for preventive or therapeutic purposes, previous therapy, the patient's clinical history and response to the antibody, the type of antibody used, and the discretion of the attending physician. The antibody or antibody derivative is suitably administered to the patent at one time or over a series of treatments and may be administered to the patent at any time from diagnosis onwards. The antibody or antibody derivative may be administered as the sole treatment or in conjunction with other drugs or therapies useful in treating the condition in question.

[0133] As a general proposition, the therapeutically effective amount of the antibody or antibody derivative administered will be in the range of about 0.1 to about 50 mg/kg of patent body weight whether by one or more administrations, with the typical range of antibody used being about 0.3 to about 20 mg/kg, more preferably about 0.3 to about 15 mg/kg, administered daily, for example. However, other dosage regimens may be useful. The progress of this therapy is easily monitored by conventional techniques.

Articles of Manufacture



[0134] In another embodiment of the invention, an article of manufacture is provided comprising a container which holds the pharmaceutical formulation of the present invention, preferably an aqueous pharmaceutical formulation, and optionally provides instructions for its use. Suitable containers include, for example, bottles, vials and syringes. The container may be formed from a variety of materials such as glass or plastic. An exemplary container is a 3-20 cc single use glass vial. Alternatively, for a multidose formulation, the container may be 3-100 cc glass vial. The container holds the formulation and the label on, or associated with, the container may indicate directions for use. The article of manufacture may further include other materials desirable from a commercial and user standpoint, including other buffers, diluents, filters, needles, syringes, and package inserts with instructions for use.

Exemplification



[0135] The present disclosure is further illustrated by the following examples, which should not be construed as further limiting. Throughout the examples, the following materials and methods were used unless otherwise stated.

General Materials and Methods



[0136] In general, the practice of the present invention employs, unless otherwise indicated, conventional techniques of chemistry, molecular biology, recombinant DNA technology, immunology (especially, e.g., antibody technology), and standard techniques of polypeptide preparation. See, e.g., Sambrook, Fritsch and Maniatis, Molecular Cloning: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press (1989); Antibody Engineering Protocols (Methods in Molecular Biology), 510, Paul, S., Humana Pr (1996); Antibody Engineering: A Practical Approach (Practical Approach Series, 169), McCafferty, Ed., Irl Pr (1996); Antibodies: A Laboratory Manual, Harlow et al., C.S.H.L. Press, Pub. (1999); and Current Protocols in Molecular Biology, eds. Ausubel et al., John Wiley & Sons (1992).

Thermostability measurements



[0137] Attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform IR (FTIR-ATR) spectra were obtained for various single chains and follow up molecules using the FT-IR Bio-ATR cell in a Tensor Bruker. The molecules were concentrated up to 3mg/ml and dialyzed overnight at 4°C against PBS, pH 6.5 and the buffer flow through was collected as blank. The denaturation profiles were obtained by thermo challenging the molecules with a broad range of temperatures in 5°C steps (25 to 95°C). All spectra manipulations were performed using OPUS software. The main buffer and transient atmospheric (CO2 and H2O) background were substracted from the protein spectrum. The resulting protein spectrum was then baseline corrected and the protein amide I spectra was determined from the width of the widest resolvable peak in the expected region. Second derivative spectra were obtained for the amide I band spectra using a third degree polynomial function with a smoothing function. Changes in protein structure were estimated by amide I second derivative analysis using a linear calibration curve for the initial curve-fit calculations assuming 0% denaturation for the 3 lower measurements and 100% denaturation for the 3 higher measurements. The denaturation profiles were used to approximate midpoints of the thermal unfolding transitions (TM) for every variant applying the Boltzmann sigmoidal model.

Solubility measurements



[0138] Relative solubility of various scFv molecules was measured after enhancing protein aggregation and precipitation in presence of ammonium sulfate. Ammonium sulfate was added to the protein in aqueous solutions to yield increments of 5% of saturation in the final mixture salt-protein. The precipitation in the dynamic range was determined empirically and the saturation intervals reduced in this range to 2.5% intervals saturation in the final mixture. After ammonium sulfate addition, samples were gently mixed and centrifuged 30 minutes at 6000rpm. The remaining protein in supernatants was recovered for each ammonium sulfate percentage of saturation. Solubility curves were determined by measuring the protein concentration in the supernatant using NanoDropTM 1000 Spectrophotometer. Measurements of remaining soluble protein in supernatants were normalized and used to estimate midpoints of relative solubility for every variant applying the Boltzmann sigmoidal model.

Short Term Stability test



[0139] Protein was examined after two weeks incubation at 40°C for soluble aggregates and degradation products. Proteins with a concentration of 10mg/ml were dialyzed overnight at 4°C against PBS with a broad range of pHs (3.5, 4.5, 5.5, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5 and 8.5). Control protein with the same concentration in standard buffer PBS (pH 6.5) was stored at -80°C during the 2 weeks period. Determination of degradation bands by SDS-PAGE was done at t=0 and t=14d time points and soluble aggregates were assessed in the SEC-HPLC. Determination of remaining activity after 2 weeks at 40°C was done using Biacore.

Potency assay



[0140] The neutralizing activity of anti-TNFa binders was assessed in a L929 TNFa-mediated cytotoxicity assay. Toxicity of Mouse L929 fibroblast cells treated with Actinomycin was induced with recombinant human TNF (hTNF). 90% of maximal hTNF-induced cytoxicity was determined to be at a TNF concentration of 1000 pg/ml. All L929 cells were cultured in RPMI 1640 with phenolred, with L-Glutamine medium supplemented with fetal calf serum (10% v/v). The neutralizing activity of anti-TNFa binders was assessed in RPMI 1640 without phenolred and 5% fetal calf serum. Different concentrations (0 - 374 ng/mL) of anti-TNF binders are added to L929 cells in presence of 1000 pg/ml hTNF in order to determine the concentration at which the antagonistic effect reaches half-maximal inhibition (EC50%) The dose response curve was fitted with nonlinear sigmoidal regression with variable slope and the EC50 was calculated.

Biacore binding analysis of anti-TNF scFvs



[0141] For binding affinity measurements at pH5 and pH 7,4 (data not shown), surface Plasmon resonance measurements with BIAcore™-T100 were employed using a NTA sensor chip and His-tagged TNF (produced at ESBATech). The surface of the NTA sensor chip consists of a carboxymethylated dextran matrix pre-immobilized with nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) for capture of histidine tagged molecules via Ni2+NTA chelation. Human TNFa N-his trimers (5 nM) are captured by the nickel via their N-terminal his-tags and ESBA105 (analyte) is injected at several concentrations ranging from 30 nM to 0.014nM in 3 fold serial dilution steps. At the regeneration step, the complex formed by nickel, ligand and analyte is washed away. This allows the use of the same regeneration conditions for different samples. The response signal is generated by surface Plasmon resonance (SPR) technology and measured in resonance units (RU). All the measurements are performed at 25°C. Sensorgrams were generated for each anti-TNF scFv sample after in-line reference cell correction followed by buffer sample subtraction. The apparent dissociation rate constant (kd), the apparent association rate constant (ka) and the apparent dissociation equilibrium constant (KD) were calculated using one-to-one Langmuir binding model with BIAcore T100 evaluation Software version 1.1.

Example 1:


CDR Grafting and Functional Humanization of monoclonal rabbit anti-TNF antibodies.


Grafting of Rabbit CDRs



[0142] Unlike traditional humanization methods which employ the human antibody acceptor framework that shares the greatest sequence homology with the non-human donor antibody, the rabbit CDRs were grafted into either framework FW1.4 (SEQ ID Nos. 1 and 2, linked by a (GGGGS)4 linker (SEQ ID NO: 72)) to generate a Min-graft or into the "rabbitized" framework rFW1.4 (SEQ ID No. 92) or its variant rFW1.4(v2) (SEQ ID No. 93) to generate a Max-graft. Both frameworks were selected primarily for desirable functional properties (solubility and stability), structural suitability to accommodate a large variety of rabbit CDRs and reasonable homology to the rabbit variable domain consensus sequence. Framework rFW1.4 is a derivative of FW1.4 that was further engineered with the aim to serve as universal acceptor framework for virtually any set of rabbit CDRs. Although the stable and soluble framework sequence FW1.4 exhibits high homology to rabbit antibodies, it is not the most homologous sequence available.

Identification of residues potentially involved in binding



[0143] For each rabbit variable domain sequence, the nearest rabbit germline counterpart was identified. If the closest germline could not be established, the sequence was compared against the subgroup consensus or the consensus of rabbit sequences with a high percentage of similarity. Rare framework residues were considered as possible result of somatic hypermutation and therefore playing a role in antigen binding. Consequently, such residues were considered for grafting onto the acceptor framework rFW1.4 or rFW1.4(v2) to generate Max-grafts. Particularly, residues potentially implicated in direct antigen contact or influencing disposition of VL and VH were grafted. Further residues described to influence CDR structure were substituted if required. No framework substitutions were made when CDRs were grafted onto FW1.4 (Min-grafts). Examples of framework positions that were grafted to obtain the Max-grafts as disclosed herein can be identified by making a sequence alignment of the framework regions of rFW1.4, rFW1.4(v2) and the scFv sequences of interest provided herein. Webtools as known in the art may for example be used for said purpose (e.g. ClustalW as available on June 23, 2009 at http://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/clustalw2/index.html or MultiAlin as avialable on June 23, 2009 at http://bioinfo.genotoul.fr/multalin). All framework positions at which rFW1.4 and rFW1.4(v2) contain the same residue and at which the scFv of interest reveals a different residue, are framework positions that were grafted to obtain the Max-grafts.

Domain shuffling



[0144] Variable light chains of Min-grafts were combined with variable heavy chain Max-grafts to identify optimal combinations in terms of biophysical properties (solubility and stability) and activity.

Cloning and expression of scFvs



[0145] The scFvs described and characterized herein were produced as follows. The humanized VL sequences and the humanized VH sequences (SEQ ID NOs:51-88, without SEQ ID NO:72) were connected via the linker of SEQ ID NO:72 to yield an scFv of the following orientation: NH2-VL-linker-VH-COOH (see e.g. SEQ ID NOs:94-121). In many cases DNA sequences encoding for the various scFvs were de novo synthesized at the service provider Entelechon GmbH (www.entelechon.com). The resulting DNA inserts were cloned into the bacterial expression vector pGMP002 via NcoI and HindIII restriction sites introduced at the 5' and 3' end of the scFv DNA sequence, respectively. Between the DNA sequence of the VL domain and the VH domain, a BamHI restriction site is located. In some cases the scFv encoding DNA was not de novo synthesized, but the scFv expressing constructs were cloned by domain shuffling. Accordingly, the VL domains were excised and introduced into the new constructs via NcoI and BamHI restriction sites, the VH domains via BamHI and HindIII restriction sites. In other cases, point mutations were introduced into the VH and/or VL domain using state of the art assembling PCR methods. The cloning of GMP002 is described in Example 1 of WO2008006235. The production of the scFvs was done analogue as for ESBA105 as described in Example1 of WO2008006235.

Example 2: Profiling and Selection of Rabbit CDR Donor Antibodies



[0146] The general experimental procedure that was followed for the selection of Rabbit antibodies ("RabMabs") with TNF inhibitory activity Is as follows: The rabbit antibodies were employed as donor antibodies for CDRs in the generation of highly soluble TNF immunobinders. Rabbits were immunized with TNFa prior to splenectomy. Splenocytes were isolated from the rabbits for the generation of hybridomas. A total of 44 hybridomas were isolated and supernatants from these hybridomas were profiled for binding affinity, biological potency, and binding specificity.

[0147] Figure 1 depicts the relative ability of the supernatants from the 44 anti-TNF RabMab hybridomas in neutralising TNFα in vivo. Neutralization was tested by measuring inhibition of cytotoxicity of TNFa in cultured mouse L929 fibroblasts. The supernatants display different efficacies in the L929 assay. EC50 values (effective concentration to achieve 50% inhibition) were determined in a primary (blue bars) and secondary screens (red bars) and normalized with respect to the best performer in each assay. TNF Binding affinity was also measured by BIACore analysis for each RabMab (green bars).

[0148] RabMabs encoded by each hybridoma were also sequenced and the sequences subjected to phylogenetic analysis based on the prediction of epitope clusters. Four representative Rabmabs (EPI-6, EPI-19, EPI-34, and EPI-43) with high binding activity and potent neutralizing activity were selected from among different phylogenetic families as donor antibodies for CDR grafting. Additional four (4) Rabmabs (EPI-1, EPI-15, EP-35 and EP-42) were selected for CDR grafting based on their favorable activity in a secretion ELISA (see Figure 2).

Example 3: CDR Grafting and Functional Humanization of Rabbit Donor Antibodies



[0149] Unlike traditional humanization methods which employ the human antibody acceptor framework that shares the greatest sequence homology with the non-human donor antibody, the rabbit CDRs were grafted into a human framework (FW 1.4) that was preselected for desirable functional properties (solubility and stability) using a Quality Control assay. Although the stable and soluble framework sequence exhibited high homology with the RabMab, the selected acceptor antibody is not the most homologous sequence available.

[0150] A number of CDR grafts were generated for each of the rabmabs. The term "Min-graft" or "min" as used herein refers to a humanized variable domain that was generated by grafting of rabbit CDRs from a rabbit variable domain into a naturally occurring human acceptor framework (FW 1.4, SEQ ID NOs. 1 and 2, linked by a (GGGGS)4 linker (SEQ ID NO: 72)). No changes in the framework regions are made. The framework itself was preselected for desirable functional properties (solubility and stability). The term "Max-graft" or "max" as used herein refers to a humanized variable domain that was generated by grafting of rabbit CDRs from a rabbit variable domain into the "rabbitized", human acceptor framework "RabTor" (rFW1.4, SEQ ID No. 92), or into a derivative thereof referred to as rFW1.4(v2) (SEQ ID No. 93). The "RabTor" framework was prepared by incorporating conserved rabbit residues (otherwisewhich are rather variable in other species) at framework positions generally involved in rabbit variable domain structure and stability, with the aim to generate a universally applicable framework that accepts virtually any set of rabbit CDRs without the need to graft donor framework residues other than at positions that are different in their presumable progenitor sequence, e.g. that were altered during somatic hypermutation and thus, possibly contribute to antigen binding. The presumable progenitor sequence is defined to be the closest rabbit germline counterpart and in case the closest germline counterpart cannot be established, the rabbit subgroup consensus or the consensus of rabbit sequences with a high percentage of similarity. "Min-Max" or "minmax" refer to a humanized variable domain consisting of a "Min-graft" variable light chain combined with a "Max-graft" variable heavy chain, whereas "Max-Min" or "maxmin" refer to a humanized variable domain consisting of a "Max-graft" variable light chain combined with a "Min-graft" variable heavy chain.

[0151] Table 2 shows a summary of the detailed characterization data for for humanized single chain antibodies that originate from eight different monoclonal rabbit antibodies or rabmabs (EP1, EP6, EP15, EP19, EP34, EP35, EP42 and EP43). So-called "min" grafts (e.g. EP1min) refer to constructs for wich only the rabbit donor CDRs were grafted, whereas for the so-called "max" grafts, not only the CDRs, but also some amino acid positions in the donor framework were grafted. Additionally, the table 2 shows the data for two His-tagged single-chain antibodies (EP34min_C-His and EP19max_C-His), as well as the reference single chain antibody ESBA105 described in WO 2006/131013. The third column, referred to as "L929" indicates the relative potencies of the different single chain antibodies as determined in a L929 assay an compared to the potency of ESBA105. The values for kon, koff and KD are given in units of M-1s-1, s-1 and M, respectively. The seventh column gives the the mid point of thermally induced unfolding as determined with FT-IR. The last column indicates the relative yield of correctly folded protein obtained from solubilized inclusion bodies after a refolding approach..
Some examples for BIACore data that went into table 2 are given in figure 3: Binding kinetics for ESBA105 (Fig. 3a), EP43max (Fig. 3b) and EP34max (Fig. 3c) binding to human TNFa are shown. Examples for cellular potency assays are given in figure 4, which compares ESBA105 (closed circles) against EP43max (open squares) in a L929 assay. Further examples of cellular potency assays that compare EP34max against the marketed antibodies infliximab and adalimumab are given in figures 9 and 10.
Table 2: Summary of the detailed characterization data for the four rabbit monoclonals (EP6, EP19, EP34 and EP43) and their CDR grafted variants.
DescriptionIDL929*konkoffKDFT-IR TM°CRF yield **
EP1_min 1071 ND*** - - - - 2
EP6_min 673 ND*** 4.67E+04 4.94E-03 1.06E-07 50.2 35
EP15_min 1073 ND*** 1.57E+05 4.10E-02 2.62E-07 - 41.5
EP19_min 616 ND*** - - - - -
EP34_min 643 ND*** - - - - -
EP35_min 1075 ND*** - - - - 1
EP42_min 1076 ND*** 1.42E+05 8.35E-03 5.87E-08 - 3
EP43 min 705 ND*** 5.38E+03 2.98E-02 5.54E-06 70.2 30.0
EP1_max 1072 ND*** 1.11E+04 6.30E-04 5.69E-08 - 44
EP6_max 674 1.1 2.84E+05 1.45E-04 5.12E-10 48.1 12
EP15_max 1074 0.39 1.53E+06 2.26E-03 1.48E-09 68.6 57.8
EP19_max 1007 0.6 2.25E+04 6.54E-05 2.91E-09 53.5 52
EP34_max 791 10.5 5.86E+05 1.68E-05 2.86E-11 72.4 4.05
EP35_max 1089 5.20 7.72E+05 1.50E-04 1.94E-10 - 0.66
EP42_max 1077 ND*** 1.21E+05 4.19E-04 3.46E-09 - 47.6
EP43_max 676 6.4 1.78E+05 4.48E-05 2.51E-10 74.3 21.73
EP34min_C-His 790 0.2          
EP19max_C-His 789 1.9          
*L929 [EC50-E105 / EC50-X], compared in mass units [ng/ml] relative to the performance of ESBA105(WO06/131013)
**(mg/L refolding solution);
*** Not Determined

Example 4: Solubility and Stability Optimization of EP43max, a Potent TNFa Binder



[0152] EP43max was selected for further optimization based on its potent TNF binding activity. Biophysical characterization of this immunobinder revealed that it exhibits a high midpoint of denaturation (Tm>70 °C) in a thermal unfolding assay (FTIR) (see Figure 5). Nevertheless, EP43max was subjected to solubility optimization to narrow its broad transition phase in thermal unfolding. In order to improve the solubility of the native EP43max, the three residue positions 12, 103, or 144 in the VH chain were substituted with amino acids with higher hydophilicity. This combination was shown to increase the solubility of the native protein without affecting stability or binding activity. (V→S at AHo position 12, V→T at AHo position 103, and L→T at AIIo position 144) were introduced to replace hydrophobic residues in the V-C domain interface of the variable heavy chain (VH) region of EP43max. In addition to the solubility enhancing mutations, nine stabilizing mutations (T10S, K47R, Y57S, L91F and T103V in the VL and E1Q, E6Q, S7T and V103L I the VH) were identified in EP43max (see Table 3). These stabilizing residues were identified from a functional consensus analysis of ESBATech's quality control (QC) frameworks. Stabilizing residues at positions 1 and 3 in the VL and position 89 in the VH were already present in the EP43max molecule. An additional stabilizing mutation (M→L) was identified at VL position 4, but was eliminated from consideration based on it predicted role in antigen binding.
Table 3: Stabilizing Mutations in EP43max
DomainPositionParental ResiduePreferred SubstitionStabilizing Mutation
VL 1 E E Already Present
VL 3 V V Already Present
VL 4 M L Involved in Binding
VL 10 T S T10S
VL 47 K R K47R
VL 57 Y S Y57S
VL 91 L F L91F
VL 103 T V T103V
         
VH 1 E Q E1Q
VH 6 E Q E6Q
VH 7 S T S7T
VH 89 V V Already Present
VH 103 V L V103L
Column 1, Variable domain. Column 2, AHo amino acid position. Column 3, parental residue in EP43max. Column 4, preferred substitution for the position indicated in column 2. Column 5, stabilizing mutation.

Example 5: Optimized Variants of EP43max, a Potent TNFa Binder



[0153] Tables 4 and 5 show the characterization data for three optimized variants of EP43max. EP43_maxDHP is solubility enhanced variant of EP43max and comprises the three solubility enhancing mutations above (V→S at AHo position 12, V→T at AHo position 103, and L→T at AHo position 144). EP43_maxmin and EP43_minmax variants were generated by domain shuffling between "min" and "max" grafts. E.g., the "minmax" variant comprises the minimal graft (CDR-graft only) version of the light chain and maximal graft version of the heavy chain (i.e., grafted rabbit CDRs plus rabbit framework residues involved in antigen binding) whereas, the "maxmin" variant comprised the maximal graft version of the light chain and the minimal graft version of the heavy chain.
Table 4: Characterization data for EP43max and variant thereof.
 FWL929*KonKoffKDFT-IR stability TM°C
EP43_max 1.4 6,4 2,28E+05 5,68E-05 2,49E-10 74,32
EP43_maxDHP 1.4 6,7 2,35E+05 2,73E-05 1,16E-10 60,15
EP43_maxmin 1.4 Inactive 1,46E+05 5,33E-03 3,66E-08 51,76
EP43_minmax 1.4 1,6 2,28E+05 1,98E-04 8,68E-10 65,81
*L929 [EC50-E105/C50-X], compared in mass units [ng/ml]
Table 5: Characterization data for EP43max and variant thereof.
 RF yieldExpressionRefolding screeningPurification
EP43_max 27,73 +++ ok ok
EP43_maxDHP 17 +++ ok ok
EP43_maxmin 11 +++ ok ok
EP43_minmax 46 +++ ok ok


[0154] The thermal denaturation curves of EP43max and its optimized variants were compared by FTIR analysis (see Figure 6 and Table 6). EP43minmax was found to have a lower midpoint of unfolding than EP43max.
Table 6: Comparison of thermal denaturation curves of EP43max and its optimized variants by FTIR analysis
 EP43maxDHPEP43maxmin (959)EP43max (676)EP43minmax (958)
Tm°C 60,15 65,81 77,78 51,76
Slope 2,618 2,908 10,43 4,297
R2 0,9974 0,9969 0,9855 0,9936


[0155] Moreover, the mimax variant exhibited a one-step unfolding transition, indicating that both domains unfold at very similar temperatures. EP43 max (Figure 7A) and its EP43minmax variant (Figure 7B) were further compared in a thermal stress test. Beta-sheet content and concentration of soluble protein were evaluated following thermal concentration at increasing temperatures (50, 60 and 70° C). EP43minmax was considerably more stable than EP43max at the intermediate temperature of 60°C.

Example 6: Comparison of EP34max with commercially available TNFa binders



[0156] The capacity of EP34max, Adalimumab and Infliximab to block cytotoxic activity of 1000 pg/ml recombinant human TNFalpha was compared as detailed above in a L929 assay. The capacity of EP43max, Adalimumab and Infliximab to block cytotoxic activity of 10 pg/ml recombinant human TNFalpha was assessed in a Kym-1 assay. The results are shown in Figures 9a, b and figures 10a, b, respectively.

[0157] Figure 9a illustrates the potency of EP34max and Adalimumab to block cytotoxic activity of 1000 pg/ml recombinant human TNFalpha (murine L929 cells). The IC50 for EP34max and Adalimumab was determined to be 1,03 ng/ml and 8.45 ng/ml, respectively. Figure 9b illustrates the potency of Adalimumab and EP34max to block cytotoxic activity of 10 pg/ml recombinant human TNFalpha (human Kym-1 cells). The IC50 for Adalimumab and EP34max (791) was determined to be 66,2 ng/ml and 0,69 ng/ml respectively.

[0158] Figure 10a illustrates the potency of EP34max and Infliximab to block cytotoxic activity of 1000 pg/ml recombinant human TNFalpha (murine L929 cells). The IC50 for EP34max and Infliximab was determined to be 1,04 ng/ml and 13,9 ng/m, respectively. Figure 10b illustrates the potency of Infliximab and EP34max (791) to block cytotoxic activity of 10 pg/ml recombinant human TNFalpha (human Kym-1 cells). The IC50 for Infliximab and EP34max was determined to be 14,98 ng/ml and 0,63 ng/ml respectively. Thus, in both cases, EP34max showed better performance as Infliximab.

EQUIVALENTS



[0159] Numerous modifications and alternative embodiments of the present disclosure will be apparent to those skilled in the art in view of the foregoing description. Accordingly, this description is to be construed as illustrative only and is for the purpose of teaching those skilled in the art the best mode for carrying out the present invention. In the event that one or more of the incorporated literature and similar materials differs from or contradicts this application, including defined terms, term usage, described techniques, or the like, this application controls.

[0160] The section headings used herein are for organizational purposes only and are not to be construed as limiting the subject matter described in any way.

[0161] While the present disclosure have been described in conjunction with various embodiments and examples, it is not intended that the present teachings be limited to such embodiments or examples.

SEQUENCE LISTING



[0162] 

<110> ESBATech, an Alcon Biomedical Research Unit LLC

<120> Stable and soluble antibodies inhibiting TNF

<130> EP79178IFZRPpau

<140> not yet assigned
<141> 2009-06-25

<150> PCT/CH2009/00219
<151> 2009-06-25

<150> 61/155,041
<151> 2009-02-24

<150> 61/075,956
<151> 2008-06-26

<150> 61/075,640
<151> 2008-06-25

<150> 61/075,697
<151> 2008-06-25

<150> 61/075,692
<151> 2008-06-25

<160> 121

<170> PatentIn version 3.5

<210> 1
<211> 230
<212> PRT
<213> Homo sapiens

<220>
<221> CDR
<222> (24)..(73)
<223> CDR1; at least 3 and up to 50 amino acids can be present or absent; Xaa can be any naturally occuring amino acid

<220>
<221> CDR
<222> (89)..(138)
<223> CDR2; at least 3 and up to 50 amino acids can be present or absent; Xaa can be any naturally occuring amino acid

<220>
<221> CDR
<222> (170)..(219)
<223> CDR3; at least 3 and up to 50 amino acids can be present or absent; Xaa can be any naturally occuring amino acid

<400> 1



<210> 2
<211> 232
<212> PRT
<213> Homo sapiens

<220>
<221> CDP
<222> (26).. (75)
<223> CDR1; at least 3 and up to 50 amino acids can be present or absent; Xaa can be any naturally occuring amino acid

<220>
<221> CDP
<222> (90)..(139)
<223> CDR2; at least 3 and up to 50 amino acids can be present or absent; Xaa can be any naturally occuring amino acid

<220>
<221> CDP
<222> (172)..(221)
<223> CDR3; at least 3 and up to 50 amino acids can be present or absent; Xaa can be any naturally occuring amino acid

<400> 2



<210> 3
<211> 10
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP43 CDR-H1

<400> 3

<210> 4
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<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP43 CDR-H2

<400> 4

<210> 5
<211> 14
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<220>
<223> EP-43 CDR-H3

<400> 5

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<220>
<223> EP43 CDR-L1

<400> 6

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<220>
<223> EP43 CDR-L2

<400> 7

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<220>
<223> EP43 CDR-L3

<400> 8

<210> 9
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<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP1 CDR-H1

<400> 9

<210> 10
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<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP1 CDR-H2

<400> 10

<210> 11
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<220>
<223> EP1 CDR-H3

<400> 11

<210> 12
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<220>
<223> EP1 CDR-L1

<400> 12

<210> 13
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<220>
<223> EP1 CDR-L2

<400> 13

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<220>
<223> EP1 CDR-L3

<400> 14

<210> 15
<211> 10
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<220>
<223> EP6 CDR-H1

<400> 15

<210> 16
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<220>
<223> EP6 CDR-H2

<400> 16

<210> 17
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<220>
<223> EP6 CDR-H3

<400> 17

<210> 18
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<220>
<223> EP6 CDR-L1

<400> 18

<210> 19
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<220>
<223> EP6 CDR-L2

<400> 19

<210> 20
<211> 12
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP6 CDR-L3

<400> 20

<210> 21
<211> 10
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP15 CDR-H1

<400> 21

<210> 22
<211> 16
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP15 CDR-H2

<400> 22

<210> 23
<211> 13
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP15 CDR-H3

<400> 23

<210> 24
<211> 11
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP15 CDR-L1

<400> 24

<210> 25
<211> 7
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP15 CDR-L2

<400> 25

<210> 26
<211> 12
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP15 CDR-L3

<400> 26

<210> 27
<211> 10
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP19 CDR-H1

<400> 27

<210> 28
<211> 16
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP19 CDR-H2

<400> 28

<210> 29
<211> 12
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP19 CDR-H3

<400> 29

<210> 30
<211> 11
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP19 CDR-L1

<400> 30

<210> 31
<211> 7
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP19 CDR-L2

<400> 31

<210> 32
<211> 13
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP19 CDR-L3

<400> 32

<210> 33
<211> 11
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP34 CDR-H1

<400> 33

<210> 34
<211> 18
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP34 CDR-H2

<400> 34

<210> 35
<211> 10
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP34 CDR-H3

<400> 35

<210> 36
<211> 13
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP34 CDR-L1

<400> 36

<210> 37
<211> 7
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP34 CDR-L2

<400> 37

<210> 38
<211> 11
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP34 CDR-L3

<400> 38

<210> 39
<211> 11
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP35 CDR-H1

<400> 39

<210> 40
<211> 18
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP35 CDR-H2

<400> 40

<210> 41
<211> 11
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP35 CDR-H3

<400> 41



<210> 42
<211> 11
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP35 CDR-L1

<400> 42

<210> 43
<211> 7
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP35 CDR-L2

<400> 43

<210> 44
<211> 12
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP35 CDR-L3

<400> 44

<210> 45
<211> 10
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP42 CDR-H1

<400> 45

<210> 46
<211> 16
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP42 CDR-H2

<400> 46

<210> 47
<211> 10
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP42 CDR-H3

<400> 47

<210> 48
<211> 13
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP42 CDR-L1

<400> 48

<210> 49
<211> 7
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP42 CDR-L2

<400> 49

<210> 50
<211> 13
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP42 CDR-L3

<400> 50



<210> 51
<211> 122
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP43min VH

<400> 51

<210> 52
<211> 111
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP43min VL

<400> 52



<210> 53
<211> 122
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP43max VH

<400> 53

<210> 54
<211> 111
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP43max VL

<400> 54

<210> 55
<211> 122
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP43maxDHP VH

<400> 55



<210> 56
<211> 111
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP43minmaxVL:T22K VL

<400> 56

<210> 57
<211> 111
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP43minmaxVL:V58F VL

<400> 57

<210> 58
<211> 111
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP43minmaxVL:Q79E VL

<400> 58



<210> 59
<211> 111
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP43minmaxVL:D81A VL

<400> 59

<210> 60
<211> 118
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP1min VH

<400> 60



<210> 61
<211> 115
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<220>
<223> EP1min VL

<400> 61

<210> 62
<211> 118
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP1max VH

<400> 62

<210> 63
<211> 115
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP1max VL

<400> 63



<210> 64
<211> 121
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<220>
<223> EP6min VH

<400> 64

<210> 65
<211> 111
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP6min VL

<400> 65

<210> 66
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<220>
<223> EP6max VH

<400> 66



<210> 67
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<220>
<223> EP6max VL

<400> 67

<210> 68
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<220>
<223> EP15min VH

<400> 68

<210> 69
<211> 111
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<220>
<223> EP15min VL

<400> 69



<210> 70
<211> 121
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP15max VH

<400> 70

<210> 71
<211> 111
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<220>
<223> EP15max VL

<400> 71



<210> 72
<211> 20
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> glycin-serine linker

<400> 72

<210> 73
<211> 120
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP19maxmod

<400> 73



<210> 74
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<220>
<223> EP19maxmod VL

<400> 74

<210> 75
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<220>
<223> EP19minmod VH

<400> 75

<210> 76
<211> 112
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP19minmod VL

<400> 76



<210> 77
<211> 121
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP34min VH

<400> 77

<210> 78
<211> 112
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP34min VL

<400> 78

<210> 79
<211> 121
<212> PRT
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<220>
<223> EP34max VH

<400> 79



<210> 80
<211> 112
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP34max VL

<400> 80

<210> 81
<211> 122
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP35min VH

<400> 81



<210> 82
<211> 111
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP35min VL

<400> 82



<210> 83
<211> 122
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP35max VH

<400> 83

<210> 84
<211> 111
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP35max VL

<400> 84



<210> 85
<211> 118
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP42min VH

<400> 85

<210> 86
<211> 115
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP42min VL

<400> 86

<210> 87
<211> 118
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP42max VH

<400> 87



<210> 88
<211> 115
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP42max VL

<400> 88

<210> 89
<211> 232
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> variable heavy chain framework of rFW1.4

<220>
<221> CDR
<222> (26).. (75)
<223> CDR1; at least 3 and up to 50 amino acids can be present or absent; Xaa can be any naturally occuring amino acid

<220>
<221> CDR
<222> (90)..(139)
<223> CDR2; at least 3 and up to 50 amino acids can be present or absent; Xaa can be any naturally occuring amino acid

<220>
<221> CDR
<222> (172)..(221)
<223> CDR3; at least 3 and up to 50 amino acids can be present or absent; Xaa can be any naturally occuring amino acid

<400> 89



<210> 90
<211> 232
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> variable heavy chain framework of rFW1.4(V2)

<220>
<221> CDR
<222> (26).. (75)
<223> CDR1; at least 3 and up to 50 amino acids can be present or absent; Xaa can be any naturally occuring amino acid

<220>
<221> CDR
<222> (90)..(139)
<223> CDR2; at least 3 and up to 50 amino acids can be present or absent; Xaa can be any naturally occuring amino acid

<220>
<221> CDR
<222> (172)..(221)
<223> CDR3; at least 3 and up to 50 amino acids can be present or absent; Xaa can be any naturally occuring amino acid

<400> 90



<210> 91
<211> 231
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> substituted variable light chain framework of FW1.4

<220>
<221> CDR
<222> (24)..(73)
<223> CDR1; at least 3 and up to 50 amino acids can be present or absent; Xaa can be any naturally occuring amino acid

<220>
<221> CDR
<222> (89)..(138)
<223> CDR2; at least 3 and up to 50 amino acids can be present or absent; Xaa can be any naturally occuring amino acid

<220>
<221> CDR
<222> (170)..(219)
<223> CDR3; at least 3 and up to 50 amino acids can be present or absent; Xaa can be any naturally occuring amino acid

<220>
<221> misc_feature
<222> (220)..(220)
<223> Xaa can be any naturally occurring amino acid

<400> 91



<210> 92
<211> 483
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> rFW1.4

<220>
<221> misc_feature
<222> (24)..(73)
<223> Xaa can be any naturally occurring amino acid

<220>
<221> misc_feature
<222> (89)..(138)
<223> Xaa can be any naturally occurring amino acid

<220>
<221> misc_feature
<222> (171)..(220)
<223> Xaa can be any naturally occurring amino acid

<220>
<221> misc_feature
<222> (277)..(326)
<223> Xaa can be any naturally occurring amino acid

<220>
<221> misc_feature
<222> (341)..(390)
<223> Xaa can be any naturally occurring amino acid

<220>
<221> misc_feature
<222> (423)..(472)
<223> Xaa can be any naturally occurring amino acid

<400> 92





<210> 93
<211> 483
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> framework of rFW1.4(V2)

<220>
<221> misc_feature
<222> (24)..(73)
<223> Xaa can be any naturally occurring amino acid

<220>
<221> misc_feature
<222> (89)..(138)
<223> Xaa can be any naturally occurring amino acid

<220>
<221> misc_feature
<222> (171)..(220)
<223> Xaa can be any naturally occurring amino acid

<220>
<221> misc_feature
<222> (277)..(326)
<223> Xaa can be any naturally occurring amino acid

<220>
<221> misc_feature
<222> (341)..(390)
<223> Xaa can be any naturally occurring amino acid

<220>
<221> misc_feature
<222> (423)..(472)
<223> Xaa can be any naturally occurring amino acid

<400> 93





<210> 94
<211> 253
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP43min scFv

<400> 94



<210> 95
<211> 253
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP43max scFv

<400> 95



<210> 96
<211> 253
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP43minmax scFv

<400> 96



<210> 97
<211> 253
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP43maxDHP scFv

<400> 97



<210> 98
<211> 253
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP43minmaxDHP scFv

<400> 98



<210> 99
<211> 253
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP43minmax VL:T22K scFv

<400> 99



<210> 100
<211> 253
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP43minmax: VL:V58F scFv

<400> 100



<210> 101
<211> 253
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP43minmax VL:D81A scFv

<400> 101



<210> 102
<211> 253
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP43minmax VL:Q79E scFv

<400> 102



<210> 103
<211> 253
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP1min scFv

<400> 103



<210> 104
<211> 253
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP1max scFv

<400> 104



<210> 105
<211> 253
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP1minmax scFv

<400> 105



<210> 106
<211> 252
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP6min scFv

<400> 106



<210> 107
<211> 252
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP6max scFv

<400> 107



<210> 108
<211> 252
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP6minmax scFv

<400> 108



<210> 109
<211> 252
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP15min scFv

<400> 109



<210> 110
<211> 252
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP15max scFv

<400> 110



<210> 111
<211> 252
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP15max scFv

<400> 111



<210> 112
<211> 252
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP19minmod scFv

<400> 112



<210> 113
<211> 252
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP19maxmod scFv

<400> 113

<210> 114
<211> 253
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP43min scFv

<400> 114



<210> 115
<211> 253
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP34max scFv

<400> 115



<210> 116
<211> 253
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP35min scFv

<400> 116



<210> 117
<211> 253
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP35max scFv

<400> 117



<210> 118
<211> 253
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP35minmax scFv

<400> 118



<210> 119
<211> 253
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP42min scFv

<400> 119



<210> 120
<211> 253
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP42max scFv

<400> 120



<210> 121
<211> 253
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> EP42minmax scFv

<400> 121






Claims

1. An immunobinder which specifically binds human TNFα, the immunobinder comprising:

(i) a human heavy chain variable framework sequence and CDR H1, CDR H2 and CDR H3 sequences stemming from a rabbit immunobinder, wherein the human heavy chain variable region framework has at least 90% identity to SEQ ID NO: 89 or SEQ ID NO: 90 wherein the heavy chain variable region framework comprises one or more of the following amino acids: threonine (T) at position 24, valine (V) at position 25, alanine (A) or glycine (G) at position 56, lysine (K) at position 82, threonine (T) at position 84, valine (V) at position 89, and arginine (R) at position 108 (AHo numbering); and

(ii) a human light chain variable framework sequence and CDR L1, CDR L2 and CDR L3 sequences stemming from a rabbit immunobinder, wherein the human light chain variable region framework sequence has at least 90% identity to SEQ ID NO: 91,

wherein the sequences of said CDR H1, CDR H2, CDR H3, CDR L1, CDR L2, and CDR L3 stemming from a rabbit immunobinder are: SEQ ID NO: 33, SEQ ID NO: 34, SEQ ID NO: 35, SEQ ID NO: 36, SEQ ID NO: 37 and SEQ ID NO: 38, respectively.
 
2. The immunobinder of claim 1, wherein immunobinder comprises a solubility enhancing substitution at heavy chain amino positions 12, 103 and 144 (AHo numbering).
 
3. The immunobinder of claim 2, wherein the solubility enhancing substitution is selected from the group consisting of: (a) Serine (S) at position 12; (b) Threonine (T) at position 103; and (c) Threonine (T) at position 144.
 
4. The immunobinder of claim 1, comprising:
a heavy chain variable region (VH) having a sequence at least 90% identity to SEQ ID NO:77 or SEQ ID NO:79, and a light chain variable region (VL) having at least 90% identity to SEQ ID NO:78 or SEQ ID NO:80.
 
5. The immunobinder of any one of claims 1-4, which is an antibody, scFv, Fab or Dab.
 
6. A composition comprising the immunobinder of any one of claims 1-4, and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier.
 
7. The composition of claim 6, formulated for topical, oral, nasal, rectal or parenteral administration.
 
8. An isolated nucleic acid molecule encoding a variable heavy (VH) chain region or variable light (VL) chain region of any one of claims 1-4.
 
9. An expression vector comprising the nucleic acid molecule of claim 8.
 
10. A host cell comprising the expression vector of claim 9.
 
11. A composition comprising the immunobinder of any one of claims 1-4, for use in the treatment or prevention of a human TNFα-mediated disease, wherein the TNFα-mediated disease is selected from the group consisting of chronic or autoimmune states of inflammation in general, immune mediated inflammatory disorders in general, inflammatory CNS disease, inflammatory diseases affecting the eye, joint, skin, mucuous membranes, central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract or lung, states of uveitis in general, retinitis, HLA-B27+ uveitis, Behcet's disease, dry eye syndrome, glaucoma, Sjögren syndrome, diabetes mellitus, diabetic neuropathy, insulin resistance, states of arthritis in general, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, reactive arthritis and Reiter's syndrome, juvenile arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, myasthenia gravis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, sarcoidosis, glomerulonephritis, chronic kidney disease, cystitis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, hidradenitis suppurativa, panniculitis, pyoderma gangrenosum, SAPHO syndrome, acne, Sweet's sydrome, pemphigus, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, asthma bronchiale, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, general allergies, allergic rhinitis, allergic sinusitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung fibrosis, Wegener's granulomatosis, Kawasaki syndrome, Giant cell arteritis, Churg-Strauss vasculitis, polyarteritis nodosa, burns, graft versus host disease, host versus graft reactions, rejection episodes following organ or bone marrow transplantation, sytemic and local states of vasculitis in general, systemic and discoid lupus erythematodes, polymyositis and dermatomyositis, sclerodermia, pre-eclampsia, acute and chronic pancreatitis, viral hepatitis, alcoholic hepatitis, postsurgical inflammation, joint surgery, surgery at joint structures, oral or dental surgery, minimally invasive cardiovascular procedures, laparoscopic or endoscopic intra-abdominal and gynecological procedures, endoscopic urological procedures, or perioperative inflammation in general, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Bell' palsy, Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, osteolysis due to cancer, inflammation due to cancer, pain due to cancer, cachexia due to cancer, bone metastases, acute and chronic forms of pain, nociceptive or neuropathic forms of pain, sciatica, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), gout, postherpetic neuralgia, fibromyalgia, local pain states, chronic pain syndromes due to metastatic tumor, dysmenorrhea, bacterial, viral or fungal sepsis, tuberculosis, AIDS, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, hypertension, dyslipidemia, heart insufficiency and chronic heart failure.
 
12. Use of the immunobinder of any one of claims 1-4 in the production of a medicament for the treatment or prevention of a human TNFa-mediated disease.
 
13. The immunobinder of any one of claims 1-4 for use in the treatment or prevention of a human TNFa-mediated disease.
 
14. The use of claim 12, or the immunobinder for use of claim 13, wherein the TNFα-mediated disease is selected from the group consisting of chronic or autoimmune states of inflammation in general, immune mediated inflammatory disorders in general, inflammatory CNS disease, inflammatory diseases affecting the eye, joint, skin, mucuous membranes, central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract or lung, states of uveitis in general, retinitis, HLA-B27+ uveitis, Behcet's disease, dry eye syndrome, glaucoma, Sjögren syndrome, diabetes mellitus, diabetic neuropathy, insulin resistance, states of arthritis in general, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, reactive arthritis and Reiter's syndrome, juvenile arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, myasthenia gravis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, sarcoidosis, glomerulonephritis, chronic kidney disease, cystitis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, hidradenitis suppurativa, panniculitis, pyoderma gangrenosum, SAPHO syndrome, acne, Sweet's sydrome, pemphigus, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, asthma bronchiale, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, general allergies, allergic rhinitis, allergic sinusitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung fibrosis, Wegener's granulomatosis, Kawasaki syndrome, Giant cell arteritis, Churg-Strauss vasculitis, polyarteritis nodosa, burns, graft versus host disease, host versus graft reactions, rejection episodes following organ or bone marrow transplantation, sytemic and local states of vasculitis in general, systemic and discoid lupus erythematodes, polymyositis and dermatomyositis, sclerodermia, pre-eclampsia, acute and chronic pancreatitis, viral hepatitis, alcoholic hepatitis, postsurgical inflammation, joint surgery, surgery at joint structures, oral or dental surgery, minimally invasive cardiovascular procedures, laparoscopic or endoscopic intra-abdominal and gynecological procedures, endoscopic urological procedures, or perioperative inflammation in general, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Bell' palsy, Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, osteolysis due to cancer, inflammation due to cancer, pain due to cancer, cachexia due to cancer, bone metastases, acute and chronic forms of pain, nociceptive or neuropathic forms of pain, sciatica, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), gout, postherpetic neuralgia, fibromyalgia, local pain states, chronic pain syndromes due to metastatic tumor, dysmenorrhea, bacterial, viral or fungal sepsis, tuberculosis, AIDS, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, hypertension, dyslipidemia, heart insufficiency and chronic heart failure.
 
15. The immunobinder of any one of claims 1-4 for use as a pharmaceutical.
 
16. The immunobinder for use according to claim 15, for intramuscular, intraperitoneal, intracerobrospinal, subcutaneous, intraarticular, intrasynovial, intrathecal, oral, topical, or inhalation administration routes.
 


Ansprüche

1. Immunbinder, der spezifisch menschliches TNFα bindet, wobei der Immunbinder umfasst:

(i) eine variable Framework-Sequenz der menschlichen schweren Kette und CDR H1-, CDR H2- und CDR H3-Sequenzen, die von einem Kaninchen-Immunbinder stammen, wobei das Framework der variablen Region der menschlichen schweren Kette mindestens 90% Identität zu SEQ ID NO: 89 oder SEQ ID NO: 90 aufweist, wobei das Framework der variablen Region der schweren Kette eine oder mehrere der folgenden Aminosäuren umfasst: Threonin (T) an Position 24, Valin (V) an Position 25, Alanin (A) oder Glycin (G) an Position 56, Lysin (K) an Position 82, Threonin (T) an Position 84, Valin (V) an Position 89, und Arginin (R) an Position 108 (AHo-Nummerierung); und

(ii) eine variable Framework-Sequenz der menschlichen leichten Kette und CDR L1-, CDR L2- und CDR L3-Sequenzen, die von einem Kaninchen-Immunbinder stammen, wobei die Framework-Sequenz der variablen Region der menschlichen leichten Kette mindestens 90% Identität zu SEQ ID NO: 91 aufweist,

wobei es sich bei den von einem Kaninchen-Immunbinder stammenden Sequenzen der CDR H1, CDR H2, CDR H3, CDR L1, CDR L2 und CDR L3 um folgende handelt: SEQ ID NO: 33, SEQ ID NO: 34, SEQ ID NO: 35, SEQ ID NO: 36, SEQ ID NO: 37 bzw. SEQ ID NO: 38.
 
2. Der Immunbinder nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Immunbinder eine löslichkeitsverbessernde Substitution an den Aminosäurepositionen 12, 103 und 144 der schweren Kette (AHo-Nummerierung) umfasst.
 
3. Der Immunbinder nach Anspruch 2, wobei die löslichkeitsverbessernde Substitution ausgewählt ist aus der Gruppe bestehend aus: (a) Serin (S) an Position 12; (b) Threonin (T) an Position 103; und (c) Threonin (T) an Position 144.
 
4. Der Immunbinder nach Anspruch 1, umfassend:
eine variable Region der schweren Kette (VH) mit einer Sequenz, die zu mindestens 90% identisch ist mit SEQ ID NO: 77 oder SEQ ID NO: 79, und eine variable Region der leichten Kette (VL), die zu mindestens 90% identisch ist mit SEQ ID NO: 78 oder SEQ ID NO: 80.
 
5. Der Immunbinder nach einem der Ansprüche 1-4, wobei es sich um einen Antikörper, scFv, Fab oder Dab handelt.
 
6. Zusammensetzung umfassend den Immunbinder nach einem der Ansprüche 1-4 und einen pharmazeutisch verträglichen Träger.
 
7. Die Zusammensetzung nach Anspruch 6, formuliert für topische, orale, nasale, rektale oder parenterale Verabreichung.
 
8. Ein isoliertes Nukleinsäuremolekül, welches für eine variable Region der schwere Kette (VH) oder eine variable Region der leichten Kette (VL) nach einem der Ansprüche 1-4 kodiert.
 
9. Expressionsvektor, welcher das Nukleinsäuremolekül nach Anspruch 8 umfasst.
 
10. Wirtszelle, umfassend den Expressionsvektor nach Anspruch 9.
 
11. Zusammensetzung, umfassend den Immunbinder nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, für die Verwendung bei der Behandlung oder Vorbeugung einer durch menschliches TNFα vermittelten Krankheit, wobei die durch TNFα vermittelte Krankheit ausgewählt ist aus der Gruppe bestehend aus chronischen oder autoimmunen Entzündungszuständen im Allgemeinen, immunvermittelten Entzündungsstörungen im Allgemeinen, entzündlicher ZNS-Erkrankung, entzündliche Erkrankungen des Auges, der Gelenke, der Haut, der Schleimhäute, des Zentralnervensystems, des Magen-Darm-Trakts, der Harnwege oder der Lunge, Zustände von Uveitis im Allgemeinen, Retinitis, HLA-B27+-Uveitis, Morbus Behcet, Trockenes-Auge-Syndrom, Glaukom, Sjögren-Syndrom, Diabetes mellitus, diabetische Neuropathie, Insulinresistenz, Zustände von Arthritis im Allgemeinen, rheumatoide Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, reaktive Arthritis und Reiter-Syndrom, juvenile Arthritis, Spondylitis ankylosans, multiple Sklerose, Guillain-Barre-Syndrom, Myasthenia gravis, amyotrophe Lateralsklerose, Sarkoidose, Glomerulonephritis, chronische Nierenerkrankung, Zystitis, Psoriasis, psoriatische Arthritis, Hidradenitis suppurativa, Pannikulitis, Pyoderma gangrenosum, SAPHO-Syndrom, Akne, Sweet-Syndrom, Pemphigus, Morbus Crohn, Colitis ulcerosa, Asthma bronchiale, Überempfindlichkeitspneumonitis, allgemeine Allergien, allergische Rhinitis, allergische Sinusitis, chronisch obstruktive Lungenerkrankung (COPD), Lungenfibrose, Wegener-Granulomatose, Kawasaki-Syndrom, Riesenzellarteriitis, Churg-Strauss-Vaskulitis, Polyarteritis nodosa, Verbrennungen, Transplantat-gegen-Wirt-Krankheit, Wirt-gegen-Transplantat-Reaktionen, Abstoßungsepisoden nach Organ- oder Knochenmarktransplantation, sytemische und lokale Zustände der Vaskulitis im Allgemeinen, systemischer und diskoidaler Lupus erythematodes, Polymyositis und Dermatomyositis, Sklerodermie, Präeklampsie, akute und chronische Pankreatitis, virale Hepatitis, alkoholische Hepatitis, postoperative Entzündungen, Gelenkchirurgie, Chirurgie an Gelenkstrukturen, Mund- oder Zahnchirurgie, minimal-invasive kardiovaskuläre Eingriffe, laparoskopische oder endoskopische intraabdominale und gynäkologische Eingriffe, endoskopische urologische Eingriffe, oder perioperative Entzündungen im Allgemeinen, Alzheimer-Krankheit, Parkinson-Krankheit, Huntington-Krankheit, Bell'sche Lähmung, Creutzfeldt-Jakob-Krankheit, Osteolyse durch Krebs, Entzündung durch Krebs, Schmerzen durch Krebs, Kachexie durch Krebs, Knochenmetastasen, akute und chronische Formen von Schmerzen, nozizeptive oder neuropathische Formen von Schmerzen, Ischiasschmerzen, Kreuzschmerzen, Karpaltunnelsyndrom, komplexes regionales Schmerzsyndrom (CRPS), Gicht, postherpetische Neuralgie, Fibromyalgie, lokale Schmerzzustände, chronische Schmerzsyndrome aufgrund eines metastasierenden Tumors, Dysmenorrhoe, bakterielle, virale oder Pilzsepsis, Tuberkulose, AIDS, Atherosklerose, koronare Herzkrankheit, Bluthochdruck, Dyslipidämie, Herzinsuffizienz und chronische Herzinsuffizienz.
 
12. Verwendung des Immunbinders nach einem der Ansprüche 1-4 zur Herstellung eines Arzneimittels für die Behandlung oder Vorbeugung einer durch menschliches TNFα vermittelten Krankheit.
 
13. Der Immunbinder nach einem der Ansprüche 1-4 für die Verwendung bei der Behandlung oder Vorbeugung einer durch menschliches TNFα vermittelten Krankheit.
 
14. Die Verwendung nach Anspruch 12, oder der Immunbinder für die Verwendung nach Anspruch 13, wobei die durch TNFα vermittelte Krankheit ausgewählt ist aus der Gruppe bestehend aus chronischen oder autoimmunen Entzündungszuständen im Allgemeinen, immunvermittelten Entzündungsstörungen im Allgemeinen, entzündlicher ZNS-Erkrankung, entzündliche Erkrankungen des Auges, der Gelenke, der Haut, der Schleimhäute, des Zentralnervensystems, des Magen-Darm-Trakts, der Harnwege oder der Lunge, Zustände von Uveitis im Allgemeinen, Retinitis, HLA-B27+-Uveitis, Morbus Behcet, Trockenes-Auge-Syndrom, Glaukom, Sjögren-Syndrom, Diabetes mellitus, diabetische Neuropathie, Insulinresistenz, Zustände von Arthritis im Allgemeinen, rheumatoide Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, reaktive Arthritis und Reiter-Syndrom, juvenile Arthritis, Spondylitis ankylosans, multiple Sklerose, Guillain-Barre-Syndrom, Myasthenia gravis, amyotrophe Lateralsklerose, Sarkoidose, Glomerulonephritis, chronische Nierenerkrankung, Zystitis, Psoriasis, psoriatische Arthritis, Hidradenitis suppurativa, Pannikulitis, Pyoderma gangrenosum, SAPHO-Syndrom, Akne, Sweet-Syndrom, Pemphigus, Morbus Crohn, Colitis ulcerosa, Asthma bronchiale, Überempfindlichkeitspneumonitis, allgemeine Allergien, allergische Rhinitis, allergische Sinusitis, chronisch obstruktive Lungenerkrankung (COPD), Lungenfibrose, Wegener-Granulomatose, Kawasaki-Syndrom, Riesenzellarteriitis, Churg-Strauss-Vaskulitis, Polyarteritis nodosa, Verbrennungen, Transplantat-gegen-Wirt-Krankheit, Wirt-gegen-Transplantat-Reaktionen, Abstoßungsepisoden nach Organ- oder Knochenmarktransplantation, sytemische und lokale Zustände der Vaskulitis im Allgemeinen, systemischer und diskoidaler Lupus erythematodes, Polymyositis und Dermatomyositis, Sklerodermie, Präeklampsie, akute und chronische Pankreatitis, virale Hepatitis, alkoholische Hepatitis, postoperative Entzündungen, Gelenkchirurgie, Chirurgie an Gelenkstrukturen, Mund- oder Zahnchirurgie, minimal-invasive kardiovaskuläre Eingriffe, laparoskopische oder endoskopische intraabdominale und gynäkologische Eingriffe, endoskopische urologische Eingriffe, oder perioperative Entzündungen im Allgemeinen, Alzheimer-Krankheit, Parkinson-Krankheit, Huntington-Krankheit, Bell'sche Lähmung, Creutzfeldt-Jakob-Krankheit, Osteolyse durch Krebs, Entzündung durch Krebs, Schmerzen durch Krebs, Kachexie durch Krebs, Knochenmetastasen, akute und chronische Formen von Schmerzen, nozizeptive oder neuropathische Formen von Schmerzen, Ischiasschmerzen, Kreuzschmerzen, Karpaltunnelsyndrom, komplexes regionales Schmerzsyndrom (CRPS), Gicht, postherpetische Neuralgie, Fibromyalgie, lokale Schmerzzustände, chronische Schmerzsyndrome aufgrund eines metastasierenden Tumors, Dysmenorrhoe, bakterielle, virale oder Pilzsepsis, Tuberkulose, AIDS, Atherosklerose, koronare Herzkrankheit, Bluthochdruck, Dyslipidämie, Herzinsuffizienz und chronische Herzinsuffizienz.
 
15. Der Immunbinder nach einem der Ansprüche 1-4 für die Verwendung als Arzneimittel.
 
16. Der Immunbinder für die Verwendung nach Anspruch 15 zur intramuskulären, intraperitonealen, intrazerebrospinalen, subkutanen, intraartikulären, intrasynovialen, intrathekalen, oralen, topischen oder inhalativen Verabreichung.
 


Revendications

1. Agent de liaison immunologique qui se lie spécifiquement au TNFα humain, l'agent de liaison immunologique comprenant :

(i) une séquence matrice variable de chaîne lourde humaine et des séquences CDR H1, CDR H2 et CDR H3 provenant d'un agent de liaison immunologique de lapin, la matrice de région variable de chaîne lourde humaine ayant une identité d'au moins 90 % à la SEQ ID N° : 89 ou la SEQ ID N° : 90, la matrice de région variable de chaîne lourde humaine comprenant un ou plusieurs des acides aminés suivants : thréonine (T) à la position 24, valine (V) à la position 25, alanine (A) ou glycine (G) à la position 56, lysine (K) à la position 82, thréonine (T) à la position 84, valine (V) à la position 89 et arginine (R) à la position 108 (numérotation AHo) ; et

(ii) une séquence matrice variable de chaîne légère humaine et des séquences CDR L1, CDR L2 et CDR L3 provenant d'un agent de liaison immunologique de lapin, la séquence matrice de région variable de chaîne légère humaine ayant une identité d'au moins 90 % à la SEQ ID N° : 91,

les séquences desdites CDR H1, CDR H2, CDR H3, CDR L1, CDR L2 et CDR L3 provenant d'un agent de liaison immunologique de lapin étant : la SEQ ID N° : 33, la SEQ ID N° : 34, la SEQ ID N° : 35, la SEQ ID N° : 36, la SEQ ID N° : 37 et la SEQ ID N° : 38, respectivement.
 
2. Agent de liaison immunologique selon la revendication 1, l'agent de liaison immunologique comprenant une substitution augmentant la solubilité au niveau des positions aminées de chaîne lourde 12, 103 et 144 (numérotation AHo).
 
3. Agent de liaison immunologique selon la revendication 2, la substitution augmentant la solubilité étant choisie dans le groupe constitué par : (a) sérine (S) à la position 12 ; (b) thréonine (T) à la position 103 ; et (c) thréonine (T) à la position 144.
 
4. Agent de liaison immunologique selon la revendication 1, comprenant :
une région variable de chaîne lourde (VH) ayant une séquence avec une identité d'au moins 90 % à la SEQ ID N° : 77 ou la SEQ ID N° : 79, et une région variable de chaîne légère (VL) ayant une identité d'au moins 90 % à la SEQ ID N° : 78 ou la SEQ ID N° : 80.
 
5. Agent de liaison immunologique selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, qui est un anticorps, scFv, Fab ou Dab.
 
6. Composition comprenant l'agent de liaison immunologique selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, et un véhicule pharmaceutiquement acceptable.
 
7. Composition selon la revendication 6, formulée en vue d'une administration topique, orale, nasale, rectale ou parentérale.
 
8. Molécule d'acide nucléique isolée codant une région variable de chaîne lourde (VH) ou une région variable de chaîne légère (VL) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4.
 
9. Vecteur d'expression comprenant la molécule d'acide nucléique selon la revendication 8.
 
10. Cellule hôte comprenant le vecteur d'expression selon la revendication 9.
 
11. Composition comprenant l'agent de liaison immunologique selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, destinée à être utilisée dans le traitement ou la prévention d'une maladie médiée par le TNFα humain, la maladie médiée par le TNFα étant choisie dans le groupe constitué par des états d'inflammation chroniques ou auto-immuns en général, des troubles inflammatoires d'origine immunitaire en général, une maladie inflammatoire du SNC, des maladies inflammatoires affectant l'œil, une articulation, la peau, les membranes muqueuses, le système nerveux central, le conduit gastro-intestinal, les voies urinaires ou le poumon, des états d'uvéite généraux, une rétinite, une uvéite liée à HLA-B27+, la maladie de Behçet, la sécheresse oculaire, le glaucome, le syndrome de Sjögren, un diabète sucré, une neuropathie diabétique, une résistance à l'insuline, des états d'arthrite en général, la polyarthrite rhumatoïde, l'arthrose, l'arthrite réactionnelle et le syndrome de Reiter, l'arthrite juvénile, la spondylarthrite ankylosante, la sclérose en plaques, le syndrome de Guillain-Barré, une myasthénie grave, une sclérose latérale amyotrophique, une sarcoïdose, une néphrite glomérulaire, une maladie rénale chronique, une cystite, un psoriasis, une polyarthrite psoriasique, une hidrosadénite suppurée, une panniculite, un pyoderma gangrenosum, le syndrome SAPHO, une acné, le syndrome de Sweet, un pemphigus, la maladie de Crohn, une rectocolite hémorragique, un asthme bronchique, une pneumopathie d'hypersensibilité, des allergies en général, une rhinite allergique, une sinusite allergique, une broncopneumopathie chronique obstructive (BPCO), une fibrose pulmonaire, une granulomatose de Wegener, le syndrome de Kawasaki, une artérite à cellules géantes, une vascularite de Churg-Strauss, une polyartérite noueuse, des brûlures, la maladie du greffon contre l'hôte, des réactions de l'hôte vis-à-vis du greffon, des épisodes de rejet consécutives à une greffe d'organe ou de moelle osseuse, des états locaux et systémiques de vascularite en général, le lupus érythémateux systémique et discoïde, la polymyosite et la dermatomyosite, la sclérodermie, la pré-éclampsie, une pancréatite aiguë et chronique, une hépatite virale, une hépatite alcoolique, une inflammation post-opératoire, une chirurgie articulaire, une chirurgie de la structure des articulations, une chirurgie buccale ou dentaire, des interventions cardiovasculaires mini-invasives, des interventions intra-abdominales et gynécologiques laparoscopiques ou endoscopiques, des interventions urologiques endoscopiques, ou une inflammation périopératoire en général, la maladie d'Alzheimer, la maladie de Parkinson, la maladie de Huntington, la paralysie de Bell, la maladie de Creutzfeld-Jakob, une ostéolyse due à un cancer, une inflammation due à un cancer, une douleur due à un cancer, une cachexie due à un cancer, des métastases osseuses, des douleurs aiguës et chroniques, des douleurs nociceptives ou neuropathiques, une sciatique, une douleur lombaire, le syndrome du canal carpien, un syndrome douloureux régional complexe (SDRC), la goutte, une névralgie post-herpétique, une fibromyalgie, des états douloureux locaux, des syndromes douloureux chroniques dus à une tumeur métastatique, une dysménorrhée, une septicémie bactérienne, virale ou due à un champignon, la tuberculose, le SIDA, l'athérosclérose, une maladie coronarienne, une hypertension, une dyslipidémie, une insuffisance cardiaque et une insuffisance cardiaque chronique.
 
12. Utilisation de l'agent de liaison immunologique selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4 dans la production d'un médicament pour le traitement ou la prévention d'une maladie médiée par le TNFα humain.
 
13. Agent de liaison immunologique selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4 destiné à être utilisé dans le traitement ou la prévention d'une maladie médiée par le TNFα humain.
 
14. Utilisation selon la revendication 12, ou agent de liaison immunologique destiné à être utilisé selon la revendication 13, la maladie médiée par le TNFα humain étant choisie dans le groupe constitué par des états d'inflammation chroniques ou auto-immuns en général, des troubles inflammatoires d'origine immunitaire en général, une maladie inflammatoire du SNC, des maladies inflammatoires affectant l'œil, une articulation, la peau, les membranes muqueuses, le système nerveux central, le conduit gastro-intestinal, les voies urinaires ou le poumon, des états d'uvéite généraux, une rétinite, une uvéite liée à HLA-B27+, la maladie de Behçet, la sécheresse oculaire, le glaucome, le syndrome de Sjögren, un diabète sucré, une neuropathie diabétique, une résistance à l'insuline, des états d'arthrite en général, la polyarthrite rhumatoïde, l'arthrose, l'arthrite réactionnelle et le syndrome de Reiter, l'arthrite juvénile, la spondylarthrite ankylosante, la sclérose en plaques, le syndrome de Guillain-Barré, une myasthénie grave, une sclérose latérale amyotrophique, une sarcoïdose, une néphrite glomérulaire, une maladie rénale chronique, une cystite, un psoriasis, une polyarthrite psoriasique, une hidrosadénite suppurée, une panniculite, un pyoderma gangrenosum, le syndrome SAPHO, une acné, le syndrome de Sweet, un pemphigus, la maladie de Crohn, une rectocolite hémorragique, un asthme bronchique, une pneumopathie d'hypersensibilité, des allergies en général, une rhinite allergique, une sinusite allergique, une broncopneumopathie chronique obstructive (BPCO), une fibrose pulmonaire, une granulomatose de Wegener, le syndrome de Kawasaki, une artérite à cellules géantes, une vascularite de Churg-Strauss, une polyartérite noueuse, des brûlures, la maladie du greffon contre l'hôte, des réactions de l'hôte vis-à-vis du greffon, des épisodes de rejet consécutives à une greffe d'organe ou de moelle osseuse, des états locaux et systémiques de vascularite en général, le lupus érythémateux systémique et discoïde, la polymyosite et la dermatomyosite, la sclérodermie, la pré-éclampsie, une pancréatite aiguë et chronique, une hépatite virale, une hépatite alcoolique, une inflammation post-opératoire, une chirurgie articulaire, une chirurgie de la structure des articulations, une chirurgie buccale ou dentaire, des interventions cardiovasculaires mini-invasives, des interventions intra-abdominales et gynécologiques laparoscopiques ou endoscopiques, des interventions urologiques endoscopiques, ou une inflammation périopératoire en général, la maladie d'Alzheimer, la maladie de Parkinson, la maladie de Huntington, la paralysie de Bell, la maladie de Creutzfeld-Jakob, une ostéolyse due à un cancer, une inflammation due à un cancer, une douleur due à un cancer, une cachexie due à un cancer, des métastases osseuses, des douleurs aiguës et chroniques, des douleurs nociceptives ou neuropathiques, une sciatique, une douleur lombaire, le syndrome du canal carpien, un syndrome douloureux régional complexe (SDRC), la goutte, une névralgie post-herpétique, une fibromyalgie, des états douloureux locaux, des syndromes douloureux chroniques dus à une tumeur métastatique, une dysménorrhée, une septicémie bactérienne, virale ou due à un champignon, la tuberculose, le SIDA, l'athérosclérose, une maladie coronarienne, une hypertension, une dyslipidémie, une insuffisance cardiaque et une insuffisance cardiaque chronique.
 
15. Agent de liaison immunologique selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 14 destiné à être utilisé comme produit pharmaceutique.
 
16. Agent de liaison immunologique selon la revendication 15, destiné à des voies d'administration intramusculaire, intrapéritonéale, intracérébrospinale, sous-cutanée, intra-articulaire, intrasynovienne, intrathécale, orale, topique ou par inhalation.
 




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Cited references

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