Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Elotuzumab: Anti-CS1 Antibody for Multiple Myeloma

Elotuzumab (also known as HuLuc63) is a humanized monoclonal antibody and is currently being studied for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Which do you think is easier to say: Elotuzumab or HuLuc63? Why do cancer therapies need to have such complicated names?

According to PDL BioPharma:
HuLuc63 is a novel humanized antibody that binds to CS1, a cell surface glycoprotein that is highly expressed on myeloma cells but minimally expressed on normal cells. HuLuc63 may induce anti-tumor effects through antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity activity on myeloma cells. Recent preclinical data highlight in vitro and in vivo studies of HuLuc63 and support advancement into the clinic. Developed by PDL BioPharma researchers, HuLuc63 is presently under phase I clinical investigation in relapsed multiple myeloma to evaluate the safety of this novel antibody in this important hematologic malignancy.
Last year, the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) announced the initiation of a multi-center, open-label, dose-escalation Phase Ib study that includes a three-drug combination study of elotuzumab, plus REVLIMID (lenalidomide), plus dexamethasone for the treatment of multiple myeloma in patients who are experiencing a relapse. Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute, Washington University, and St. Vincent's Comprehensive Cancer Center of Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers of New York will evaluate the maximum tolerated dose of elotuzumab in combination with label dosing of lenalidomide and dexamethasone.

Targeted therapies are becoming the way of the future in the world of oncology. It's quite exciting to see how these agents act on specific molecular markers such as glycoprotein receptors. Medical students who have a strong interest in oncology should make sure they're really paying attention when they take their molecular biology courses (course 7.28 for you MIT undergraduate students).

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and PDL BioPharma announced an agreement for the global development and commercialization of elotuzumab (HuLuc63).

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