• Method validation and preliminary qualification of pharmacodynamic biomarkers employed to evaluate the clinical efficacy of an antisense compound (AEG35156) targeted to the X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein XIAP.

      Cummings, Jeffrey; Ranson, Malcolm R; Lacasse, Eric; Ganganagari, J R; St-Jean, M; Jayson, Gordon C; Durkin, J; Dive, Caroline; Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, University of Manchester, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 4BX, England, UK. jcummings@picr.man.ac.uk (2006-07-03)
      Data are presented on pharmacodynamic (PD) method validation and preliminary clinical qualification of three PD biomarker assays. M65 Elisa, which quantitates different forms of circulating cytokeratin 18 (CK18) as putative surrogate markers of both apoptotic and nonapoptotic tumour cell death, was shown to be highly reproducible: calibration curve linearity r2 = 0.996, mean accuracy > 91% and mean precision < 3%, n = 27. Employing recombinant (r) CK18 and caspase cleaved CK18 (CK18 Asp396 neo-epitope) as external standards, kit to kit reproducibly was < 6% (n = 19). rCK18 was stable in plasma for 4 months at -20 degrees C and -80 degrees C, for 4 weeks at 4 degrees C and had a half-life of 2.3 days at 37 degrees C. Cytokeratin 18 Asp396 NE, the M30 Apoptosense Elisa assay antigen, was stable in plasma for 6 months at -20 degrees C and -80 degrees C, for 3 months at 4 degrees C, while its half-life at 37 degrees C was 3.8 days. Within-day variations in endogenous plasma concentrations of the M30 and M65 antigens were assessed in two predose blood samples collected from a cohort of 15 ovarian cancer patients receiving carboplatin chemotherapy and were shown to be no greater than the variability associated with methods themselves. Between-day fluctuations in circulating levels of the M30 and M65 antigens and in XIAP mRNA levels measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells by quantitative (q) RT-PCR were evaluated in two predose blood samples collected with a 5- to 7-day gap from 23 patients with advanced cancer enrolled in a phase I trial. The mean variation between the two pretreatment values ranged from 13 to 14 to 25%, respectively, for M65, M30 and qRT-PCR. These data suggest that the M30 and M65 Elisa's and qRT-PCR as PD biomarker assays have favourable performance characteristics for further investigation in clinical trials of anticancer agents which induce tumour apoptosis/necrosis or knockdown of the anti-apoptotic protein XIAP.
    • Phase I trial of AEG35156 administered as a 7-day and 3-day continuous intravenous infusion in patients with advanced refractory cancer.

      Dean, Emma J; Jodrell, Duncan; Connolly, Kate; Danson, Sarah; Jolivet, Jacques; Durkin, J; Morris, Stephen; Jowle, Debra; Ward, Timothy H; Cummings, Jeffrey; et al. (2009-04-01)
      PURPOSE: To establish the maximum-tolerated dose and evaluate tolerability, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamic effects, and antitumor activity of AEG35156, a second-generation antisense to X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) protein, in patients with advanced refractory malignant tumors. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This was a first-in-man, open-label, phase I dose-escalation study. AEG35156 was administered by continuous intravenous infusion over 7 days (7DI) or 3 days (3DI) of a 21-day treatment cycle. Dose escalation started at 48 mg/m(2)/d and continued until consistent dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) was observed. RESULTS: Thirty-eight patients were entered in seven cohorts. Grade 3 to 4 adverse events were uncommon and were predominantly abnormal laboratory values: elevated ALT, thrombocytopenia, and lymphopenia. DLTs comprised elevated hepatic enzymes, hypophosphatemia, and thrombocytopenia. The maximum-tolerated doses were defined as 125 mg/m(2)/d for the 7DI regimen and < or = 213 mg/m(2)/d for the 3DI schedule. AEG35156 area under the plasma concentration curve and peak plasma concentration increased proportionally with dose. Suppression of XIAP mRNA levels was maximal at 72 hours (mean suppression, 21%), and this coincided with a dramatic decrease in circulating tumor cells in a patient with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Two further patients had unconfirmed partial responses. Circulating biomarkers of cell death and apoptosis altered in association with drug infusion and toxicity. CONCLUSION: In this first-in-man study, AEG35156 was well tolerated, with predictable toxicities, pharmacokinetic properties, and clinical evidence of antitumor activity in patients with refractory lymphoma, melanoma, and breast cancer. Phase I/II trials of AEG35156 chemotherapy combinations are ongoing in patients with pancreatic, breast, non-small-cell lung cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, lymphoma, and solid tumors for which docetaxel is indicated.
    • Validation of pharmacodynamic assays to evaluate the clinical efficacy of an antisense compound (AEG 35156) targeted to the X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein XIAP.

      Cummings, Jeffrey; Ward, Timothy H; Lacasse, Eric; Lefebvre, C; St-Jean, M; Durkin, J; Ranson, Malcolm R; Dive, Caroline; Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 4BX, UK. jcummings@picr.man.ac.uk (2005-02-14)
      The inhibitor of apoptosis protein, XIAP, is frequently overexpressed in chemoresistant human tumours. An antisense oligonucleotide (AEG 35156/GEM 640) that targets XIAP has recently entered phase I trials in the UK. Method validation data are presented on three pharmacodynamic assays that will be utilised during this trial. Quantitative RT-PCR was based on a Taqman assay and was confirmed to be specific for XIAP. Assay linearity extended over four orders of magnitude. MDA-MB-231/U6-E1 cells and clone X-G4 stably expressing an RNAi vector against XIAP were chosen as high and low XIAP expression quality controls (QCs). Within-day and between-day coefficients of variation (CVs) in precision for cycle threshold (CT) and delta CT values (employing GAPDH and beta 2 microglobulin as housekeepers) were always less than 10%. A Western blotting technique was validated using a GST-XIAP fusion protein as a standard and HeLa cells and SF268 (human glioblastoma) cells as high and low XIAP expression QCs. Specificity of the final choice of antibody for XIAP was evaluated by analysing a panel of cell lines including clone X-G4. The assay was linear over a 29-fold range of protein concentration and between-day precision was 29% for the low QC and 23% for the high QC when normalised to GAPDH. XIAP protein was also shown to be stable at -80 degrees C for at least 60 days. M30-Apoptosense plasma Elisa detects a caspase-cleaved fragment of cytokeratin 18 (CK18), believed to be a surrogate marker for tumour cell apoptosis. Generation of an independent QC was achieved through the treatment of X-G4 cells with staurosporine and collection of media. Measurements on assay precision and kit-to-kit QC were always less than 10%. The M30 antigen (CK18-Asp396) was stable for 3 months at -80 degrees C, while at 37 degrees C it had a half-life of 80-100 h in healthy volunteer plasma. Results from the phase I trial are eagerly awaited.