US20120189635A1 - Methods for Treating or Preventing Malaria by Administering an Antibody that Specifically Binds Angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) - Google Patents

Methods for Treating or Preventing Malaria by Administering an Antibody that Specifically Binds Angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) Download PDF

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US20120189635A1
US20120189635A1 US13417372 US201213417372A US2012189635A1 US 20120189635 A1 US20120189635 A1 US 20120189635A1 US 13417372 US13417372 US 13417372 US 201213417372 A US201213417372 A US 201213417372A US 2012189635 A1 US2012189635 A1 US 2012189635A1
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antibody
amino acid
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Gavin Thurston
Christopher Daly
Lisa Purcell Ngambo
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Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc
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Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc
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    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C07ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
    • C07KPEPTIDES
    • C07K16/00Immunoglobulins [IGs], e.g. monoclonal or polyclonal antibodies
    • C07K16/18Immunoglobulins [IGs], e.g. monoclonal or polyclonal antibodies against material from animals or humans
    • C07K16/22Immunoglobulins [IGs], e.g. monoclonal or polyclonal antibodies against material from animals or humans against growth factors ; against growth regulators
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61KPREPARATIONS FOR MEDICAL, DENTAL, OR TOILET PURPOSES
    • A61K31/00Medicinal preparations containing organic active ingredients
    • A61K31/33Heterocyclic compounds
    • A61K31/395Heterocyclic compounds having nitrogen as a ring hetero atom, e.g. guanethidine, rifamycins
    • A61K31/495Heterocyclic compounds having nitrogen as a ring hetero atom, e.g. guanethidine, rifamycins having six-membered rings with two or more nitrogen atoms as the only ring heteroatoms, e.g. piperazine or tetrazines
    • A61K31/505Pyrimidines; Hydrogenated pyrimidines, e.g. trimethoprim
    • A61K31/513Pyrimidines; Hydrogenated pyrimidines, e.g. trimethoprim having oxo groups directly attached to the heterocyclic ring, e.g. cytosine
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61KPREPARATIONS FOR MEDICAL, DENTAL, OR TOILET PURPOSES
    • A61K39/00Medicinal preparations containing antigens or antibodies
    • A61K39/395Antibodies; Immunoglobulins; Immune serum, e.g. antilymphocytic serum
    • A61K39/39533Antibodies; Immunoglobulins; Immune serum, e.g. antilymphocytic serum against materials from animals
    • A61K39/3955Antibodies; Immunoglobulins; Immune serum, e.g. antilymphocytic serum against materials from animals against proteinaceous materials, e.g. enzymes, hormones, lymphokines
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61KPREPARATIONS FOR MEDICAL, DENTAL, OR TOILET PURPOSES
    • A61K45/00Medicinal preparations containing active ingredients not provided for in groups A61K31/00 - A61K41/00
    • A61K45/06Mixtures of active ingredients without chemical characterisation, e.g. antiphlogistics and cardiaca
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61KPREPARATIONS FOR MEDICAL, DENTAL, OR TOILET PURPOSES
    • A61K39/00Medicinal preparations containing antigens or antibodies
    • A61K2039/505Medicinal preparations containing antigens or antibodies comprising antibodies
    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C07ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
    • C07KPEPTIDES
    • C07K2317/00Immunoglobulins specific features
    • C07K2317/20Immunoglobulins specific features characterized by taxonomic origin
    • C07K2317/21Immunoglobulins specific features characterized by taxonomic origin from primates, e.g. man
    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C07ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
    • C07KPEPTIDES
    • C07K2317/00Immunoglobulins specific features
    • C07K2317/20Immunoglobulins specific features characterized by taxonomic origin
    • C07K2317/24Immunoglobulins specific features characterized by taxonomic origin containing regions, domains or residues from different species, e.g. chimeric, humanized or veneered
    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C07ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
    • C07KPEPTIDES
    • C07K2317/00Immunoglobulins specific features
    • C07K2317/30Immunoglobulins specific features characterized by aspects of specificity or valency
    • C07K2317/33Crossreactivity, e.g. for species or epitope, or lack of said crossreactivity
    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C07ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
    • C07KPEPTIDES
    • C07K2317/00Immunoglobulins specific features
    • C07K2317/30Immunoglobulins specific features characterized by aspects of specificity or valency
    • C07K2317/34Identification of a linear epitope shorter than 20 amino acid residues or of a conformational epitope defined by amino acid residues
    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C07ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
    • C07KPEPTIDES
    • C07K2317/00Immunoglobulins specific features
    • C07K2317/70Immunoglobulins specific features characterized by effect upon binding to a cell or to an antigen
    • C07K2317/73Inducing cell death, e.g. apoptosis, necrosis or inhibition of cell proliferation
    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C07ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
    • C07KPEPTIDES
    • C07K2317/00Immunoglobulins specific features
    • C07K2317/70Immunoglobulins specific features characterized by effect upon binding to a cell or to an antigen
    • C07K2317/76Antagonist effect on antigen, e.g. neutralization or inhibition of binding
    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C07ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
    • C07KPEPTIDES
    • C07K2317/00Immunoglobulins specific features
    • C07K2317/90Immunoglobulins specific features characterized by (pharmaco)kinetic aspects or by stability of the immunoglobulin
    • C07K2317/92Affinity (KD), association rate (Ka), dissociation rate (Kd) or EC50 value
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02ATECHNOLOGIES FOR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02A50/00TECHNOLOGIES FOR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE in human health protection
    • Y02A50/30Against vector-borne diseases, e.g. mosquito-borne, fly-borne, tick-borne or waterborne diseases whose impact is exacerbated by climate change
    • Y02A50/38Medical treatment of vector-borne diseases characterised by the agent
    • Y02A50/408Medical treatment of vector-borne diseases characterised by the agent the vector-borne disease being caused by a protozoa
    • Y02A50/411Medical treatment of vector-borne diseases characterised by the agent the vector-borne disease being caused by a protozoa of the genus Plasmodium, i.e. Malaria
    • Y02A50/412Medical treatment of vector-borne diseases characterised by the agent the vector-borne disease being caused by a protozoa of the genus Plasmodium, i.e. Malaria the medicinal preparation containing antigens or antibodies, e.g. vaccines, antisera

Abstract

The present invention provides methods for treating or preventing malaria by administering to a patient in need thereof a pharmaceutical composition comprising an antibody that specifically binds human angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2).

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. appl. Ser. No. 12/843,905, filed on Jul. 27, 2010, which claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) of U.S. provisional application No. 61/229,418, filed on Jul. 29, 2009; and 61/295,194, filed on Jan. 15, 2010, the disclosures of which are herein incorporated by reference in their entireties.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to antibodies, and antigen-binding fragments thereof, which are specific for angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), and uses thereof.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Angiogenesis is the biological process whereby new blood vessels are formed. Aberrant angiogenesis is associated with several disease conditions including, e.g., proliferative retinopathies, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. In addition, it is well established that angiogenesis is critical for tumor growth and maintenance. Angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) is a ligand for the Tie-2 receptor (Tie-2) and has been shown to play a role in angiogenesis. Ang-2 is also referred to in the art as Tie-2 ligand. (U.S. Pat. No. 5,643,755; Yancopoulos et al., 2000, Nature 407:242-248).
  • Antibodies and other peptide inhibitors that bind to Ang-2 are mentioned in, e.g., U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,166,185; 7,521,053; 7,205,275; 2006/0018909 and 2006/0246071. There is a need in the art for novel Ang-2 modulating agents, including Ang-2 antibodies, that can be used to treat diseases and conditions caused by or exacerbated by angiogenesis.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention provides methods for treating or preventing malaria by administering to a patient in need thereof an antibody that specifically binds Ang-2, or an antigen-binding fragment of an antibody that specifically binds Ang-2.
  • The present inventors, in view of various lines of evidence and investigation, have recognized a need for new Ang-2 inhibitors, including anti-Ang-2 antibodies which do not bind to or antagonize the related molecule Ang-1. For example, previous studies have demonstrated or suggested a beneficial role for Ang-1 in hemostasis (see, e.g., Li et al., 2001, Thrombosis and Haemostasis 85:191-374) and in protecting the adult vasculature against plasma leakage (see, e.g., Thurston et al., 2000, Nature Medicine 6:460-463; Thurston et al., 1999, Science 286:2511-2514). Thus, the present inventors recognized that, in certain anti-angiogenic therapeutic situations, it may be beneficial to preserve Ang-1 activity. Accordingly, the present invention provides antibodies which bind specifically to Ang-2 but do not substantially bind to Ang-1. The present invention also includes antibodies that block the interaction between Ang-2 and its receptor Tie-2 but do not substantially block the interaction between Ang-1 and Tie-2. The antibodies of the invention are useful, inter alia, for inhibiting the angiogenesis-promoting activities of Ang-2 and for treating diseases and disorders caused by or related to the process of angiogenesis.
  • The antibodies of the invention can be full-length (for example, an IgG1 or IgG4 antibody) or may comprise only an antigen-binding portion (for example, a Fab, F(ab′)2 or scFv fragment), and may be modified to affect functionality, e.g., to eliminate residual effector functions.
  • In one embodiment, the invention comprises an antibody or antigen-binding fragment of an antibody comprising a heavy chain variable region (HCVR) having an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 2, 18, 22, 26, 42, 46, 50, 66, 70, 74, 90, 94, 98, 114, 118, 122, 138, 142, 146, 162, 166, 170, 186, 190, 194, 210, 214, 218, 234, 238, 242, 258, 262, 266, 282, 286, 290, 306, 310, 314, 330, 334, 338, 354, 358, 362, 378, 382, 386, 402, 406, 410, 426, 430, 434, 450, 454, 458, 474, 478, 482, 498, 502, 506, 514, and 516, or a substantially similar sequence thereof having at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 98% or at least 99% sequence identity. In one embodiment, the antibody or antigen-binding portion of an antibody comprises a HCVR having an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 18, 42, 66, 162, 210, 266, and 434.
  • In one embodiment, the invention comprises an antibody or antigen-binding fragment of an antibody comprising a light chain variable region (LCVR) having an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 10, 20, 24, 34, 44, 48, 58, 68, 72, 82, 92, 96, 106, 116, 120, 130, 140, 144, 154, 164, 168, 178, 188, 192, 202, 212, 216, 226, 236, 240, 250, 260, 264, 274, 284, 288, 298, 308, 312, 322, 332, 336, 346, 356, 360, 370, 380, 384, 394, 404, 408, 418, 428, 432, 442, 452, 456, 466, 476, 480, 490, 500, and 504, or a substantially similar sequence thereof having at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 98% or at least 99% sequence identity. In one embodiment, the antibody or antigen-binding portion of an antibody comprises a LCVR having an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 20, 44, 68, 164, 212, 274, and 442.
  • In specific embodiments, the antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof comprises a HCVR and LCVR (HCVR/LCVR) amino acid sequence pair selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 2/10, 18/20, 22/24, 26/34, 42/44, 46/48, 50/58, 66/68, 70/72, 74/82, 90/92, 94/96, 98/106, 114/116, 118/120, 122/130, 138/140, 142/144, 146/154, 162/164, 166/168, 170/178, 186/188, 190/192, 194/202, 210/212, 214/216, 218/226, 234/236, 238/240, 242/250, 258/260, 262/264, 266/274, 282/284, 286/288, 290/298, 306/308, 310/312, 314/322, 330/332, 334/336, 338/346, 354/356, 358/360, 362/370, 378/380, 382/384, 386/394, 402/404, 406/408, 410/418, 426/428, 430/432, 434/442, 450/452, 454/456, 458/466, 474/476, 478/480, 482/490, 498/500, and 502/504. In one embodiment, the antibody or fragment thereof comprises a HCVR and LCVR selected from the amino acid sequence pairs of SEQ ID NO: 18/20, 42/44, 66/68, 162/164, 210/212, 266/274, and 434/442.
  • In a next aspect, the invention provides an antibody or antigen-binding fragment of an antibody comprising a heavy chain CDR3 (HCDR3) domain having an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 8, 32, 56, 80, 104, 128, 152, 176, 200, 224, 248, 272, 296, 320, 344, 368, 392, 416, 440, 464, 488, and 512, or a substantially similar sequence thereof having at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 98% or at least 99% sequence identity; and a light chain CDR3 (LCDR3) domain selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 16, 40, 64, 88, 112, 136, 160, 184, 208, 232, 256, 280, 304, 328, 352, 376, 400, 424, 448, 472, and 496, or a substantially similar sequence thereof having at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 98% or at least 99% sequence identity.
  • In certain embodiments, the antibody or antigen-binding portion of an antibody comprises a HCDR3/LCDR3 amino acid sequence pair selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 8/16, 32/40, 56/64, 80/88, 104/112, 128/136, 152/160, 176/184, 200/208, 224/232, 248/256, 272/280, 296/304, 320/328, 344/352, 368/376, 392/400, 416/424, 440/448, 464/472, and 488/496. In one embodiment, the antibody or antigen-binding portion of an antibody comprises a HCDR3/LCDR3 amino acid sequence pair selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 8/16, 32/40, 56/64, 152/160, 200/208, 272/280, and 440/448. Non-limiting examples of anti-Ang-2 antibodies having these HCDR3/LCDR3 pairs are the antibodies designated H1H685, H1H690, H1H691, H1H696, H1H706, H1M724, and H2M744, respectively.
  • In a further embodiment, the invention comprises an antibody or fragment thereof further comprising a HCDR1 domain having an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 4, 28, 52, 76, 100, 124, 148, 172, 196, 220, 244, 268, 292, 316, 340, 364, 388, 412, 436, 460, 484, and 508, or a substantially similar sequence thereof having at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 98% or at least 99% sequence identity; a heavy chain CDR2 (HCDR2) domain having an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 6, 30, 54, 78, 102, 126, 150, 174, 198, 222, 246, 270, 294, 318, 342, 366, 390, 414, 438, 462, 486, and 510, or a substantially similar sequence thereof having at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 98% or at least 99% sequence identity; LCDR1 domain having an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 12, 36, 60, 84, 108, 132, 156, 180, 204, 228, 252, 276, 300, 324, 348, 372, 396, 420, 444, 468, and 492, or a substantially similar sequence thereof having at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 98% or at least 99% sequence identity; and a LCDR2 domain having an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 14, 38, 62, 86, 110, 134, 158, 182, 206, 230, 254, 278, 302, 326, 350, 374, 398, 422, 446, 470, and 494, or a substantially similar sequence thereof having at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 98% or at least 99% sequence identity.
  • Certain non-limiting, exemplary antibodies and antigen-binding fragments of the invention comprise HCDR1, HCDR2, HCDR3, LCDR1, LCDR2 and LCDR3 domains, respectively, selected from the group consisting of: (i) SEQ ID NO: 4, 6, 8, 12, 14 and 16 (e.g., H1H685); (ii) SEQ ID NO: 28, 30, 32, 36, 38 and 40 (e.g., H1H690); (iii) SEQ ID NO: 52, 54, 56, 60, 62 and 64 (e.g., H1H691); (iv) SEQ ID NO: 148, 150, 152, 156, 158 and 160 (e.g., H1H696); (v) SEQ ID NO: 196, 198, 200, 204, 206 and 208 (e.g., H1H706); (vi) SEQ ID NO: 268, 270, 272, 276, 278 and 280 (e.g., H1M724); and (vii) SEQ ID NO: 436, 438, 440, 444, 446 and 448 (e.g., H2M744).
  • In a related embodiment, the invention comprises an antibody or antigen-binding fragment of an antibody which specifically binds Ang-2, wherein the antibody or fragment comprises the heavy and light chain CDR domains (i.e., CDR1, CDR2 and CDR3) contained within heavy and light chain variable domain sequences selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 2/10, 18/20, 22/24, 26/34, 42/44, 46/48, 50/58, 66/68, 70/72, 74/82, 90/92, 94/96, 98/106, 114/116, 118/120, 122/130, 138/140, 142/144, 146/154, 162/164, 166/168, 170/178, 186/188, 190/192, 194/202, 210/212, 214/216, 218/226, 234/236, 238/240, 242/250, 258/260, 262/264, 266/274, 282/284, 286/288, 290/298, 306/308, 310/312, 314/322, 330/332, 334/336, 338/346, 354/356, 358/360, 362/370, 378/380, 382/384, 386/394, 402/404, 406/408, 410/418, 426/428, 430/432, 434/442, 450/452, 454/456, 458/466, 474/476, 478/480, 482/490, 498/500, and 502/504. In one embodiment, the antibody or fragment thereof comprises the CDR sequences contained within HCVR and LCVR selected from the amino acid sequence pairs of SEQ ID NO: 18/20, 42/44, 66/68, 162/164, 210/212, 266/274, and 434/442.
  • In another aspect, the invention provides nucleic acid molecules encoding anti-Ang-2 antibodies or fragments thereof. Recombinant expression vectors carrying the nucleic acids of the invention, and host cells into which such vectors have been introduced, are also encompassed by the invention, as are methods of producing the antibodies by culturing the host cells under conditions permitting production of the antibodies, and recovering the antibodies produced.
  • In one embodiment, the invention provides an antibody or fragment thereof comprising a HCVR encoded by a nucleic acid sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 1, 17, 21, 25, 41, 45, 49, 65, 69, 73, 89, 93, 97, 113, 117, 121, 137, 141, 145, 161, 165, 169, 185, 189, 193, 209, 213, 217, 233, 237, 241, 257, 261, 265, 281, 285, 289, 305, 309, 313, 329, 333, 337, 353, 357, 361, 377, 381, 385, 401, 405, 409, 425, 429, 433, 449, 453, 457, 473, 477, 481, 497, 501, 505, 513, and 515, or a substantially identical sequence having at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 98%, or at least 99% identity thereto. In one embodiment, the antibody or fragment thereof comprises a HCVR encoded by a nucleic acid sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 17, 41, 65, 161, 209, 265, and 433.
  • In one embodiment, the invention provides an antibody or fragment thereof comprising a LCVR encoded by a nucleic acid sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 9, 19, 23, 33, 43, 47, 57, 67, 71, 81, 91, 95, 105, 115, 119, 129, 139, 143, 153, 163, 167, 177, 187, 191, 201, 211, 215, 225, 235, 239, 249, 259, 263, 273, 283, 287, 297, 307, 311, 321, 331, 335, 345, 355, 359, 369, 379, 383, 393, 403, 407, 417, 427, 431, 441, 451, 455, 465, 475, 479, 489, 499, and 503, or a substantially identical sequence having at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 98%, or at least 99% identity thereto. In one embodiment, the antibody or fragment thereof comprises a LCVR encoded by a nucleic acid sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 19, 43, 67, 163, 211, 273, and 441.
  • In one embodiment, the invention provides an antibody or antigen-binding fragment of an antibody comprising a HCDR3 domain encoded by a nucleotide sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 7, 31, 55, 79, 103, 127, 151, 175, 199, 223, 247, 271, 295, 319, 343, 367, 391, 415, 439, 463, 487, and 511, or a substantially identical sequence having at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 98%, or at least 99% identity thereto; and a LCDR3 domain encoded by a nucleotide sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 15, 39, 63, 87, 111, 135, 159, 183, 207, 231, 255, 279, 303, 327, 351, 375, 399, 423, 447, 471, and 495, or a substantially identical sequence having at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 98%, or at least 99% identity thereto. In one embodiment, the antibody or fragment thereof comprises HCDR3 and LCDR3 sequences encoded by the nucleic acid sequence pairs selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 7/15, 31/39, 55/63, 151/159, 199/207, 271/279, and 439/447.
  • In a further embodiment, the antibody or fragment thereof further comprises: a HCDR1 domain encoded by a nucleotide sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 3, 27, 51, 75, 99, 123, 147, 171, 195, 219, 243, 267, 291, 315, 339, 363, 387, 411, 435, 459, 483, and 507, or a substantially identical sequence having at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 98%, or at least 99% identity thereto; a HCDR2 domain encoded by a nucleotide sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 5, 29, 53, 77, 101, 125, 149, 173, 197, 221, 245, 269, 293, 317, 341, 365, 389, 413, 437, 461, 485, and 509, or a substantially identical sequence having at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 98%, or at least 99% identity thereto; a LCDR1 domain encoded by a nucleotide sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 11, 35, 59, 83, 107, 131, 155, 179, 203, 227, 251, 275, 299, 323, 347, 371, 395, 419, 443, 467, and 491, or a substantially identical sequence having at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 98%, or at least 99% identity thereto; and a LCDR2 domain encoded by a nucleotide sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NO: 13, 37, 61, 85, 109, 133, 157, 181, 205, 229, 253, 277, 301, 325, 349, 373, 397, 421, 445, 469, and 493, or a substantially identical sequence having at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 98%, or at least 99% identity thereto.
  • In one embodiment, the antibody or fragment thereof comprises the heavy and light chain CDR sequences encoded by the nucleic acid sequences of SEQ ID NO: 17 and 19; SEQ ID NO: 41 and 43; SEQ ID NO: 65 and 67; SEQ ID NO: 161 and 163; SEQ ID NO: 209 and 211; SEQ ID NO: 265 and 273; or SEQ ID NO: 433 and 441.
  • The invention encompasses anti-Ang-2 antibodies having a modified glycosylation pattern. In some applications, modification to remove undesirable glycosylation sites may be useful. For example, the present invention encompasses modified versions of any antibody set forth herein wherein the modified version lacks a fucose moiety present on the oligosaccharide chain, for example, to increase antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) function (see Shield et al. (2002) JBC 277:26733). In other applications, modification of galactosylation can be made in order to modify complement dependent cytotoxicity (CDC).
  • In another aspect, the invention provides a pharmaceutical composition comprising a recombinant human antibody or fragment thereof which specifically binds Ang-2 and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier or diluent. In a related aspect, the invention features a composition which is a combination of an Ang-2 inhibitor and a second therapeutic agent. In one embodiment, the Ang-2 inhibitor is an antibody or fragment thereof. In one embodiment, the second therapeutic agent is any agent that is advantageously combined with an Ang-2 inhibitor. Exemplary agents that may be advantageously combined with an Ang-2 inhibitor include, without limitation, any agent that inhibits or reduces angiogenesis, other cancer therapeutic agents, anti-inflammatory agents, cytokine inhibitors, growth factor inhibitors, anti-hematopoietic factors, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antiviral agents, and antibiotics.
  • In yet another aspect, the invention provides methods for inhibiting Ang-2 activity using the anti-Ang-2 antibody or antigen-binding portion of the antibody of the invention, wherein the therapeutic methods comprise administering a therapeutically effective amount of a pharmaceutical composition comprising an antibody or antigen-binding fragment of an antibody of the invention. The disorder treated is any disease or condition which is improved, ameliorated, inhibited or prevented by removal, inhibition or reduction of Ang-2 activity. Preferably, the anti-Ang-2 antibody or antibody fragment of the invention is useful to treat any disease or condition caused by, associated with, or perpetuated by the process of angiogenesis. In certain embodiments of the invention, the anti-Ang-2 antibodies or antigen-binding portions thereof are useful for the treatment of cancer. In the context of cancer therapies, the anti-Ang-2 antibodies of the invention or antigen-binding portions thereof can be administered alone or in combination with other anti-cancer therapeutic antibodies, chemotherapeutic agents and/or radiation therapy. In other embodiments of the present invention, the anti-Ang-2 antibodies or antigen-binding fragments thereof are useful for the treatment of one or more eye disorders, e.g., age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, etc., and/or one or more inflammatory or infectious diseases.
  • Other embodiments will become apparent from a review of the ensuing detailed description.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
  • FIG. 1 is an alignment of the last 88 C-terminal amino acids of human Ang-2 (residues 409 to 496 of SEQ ID NO:518) with the corresponding amino acid sequence of human Ang-1 (SEQ ID NO:531). Residues that differ between hAng-1 and hAng-2 are indicated by white text and black shading. Asterisks (*) indicate the amino acids of hAng-2 which were shown to interact with human Tie-2 by crystal structure analysis. See Barton et al., Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 13:524-532 (2006). Triangles (▴) indicate the Tie-2-interacting amino acid positions that differ between hAng-2 and hAng-1.
  • FIG. 2 (Panels A-C) depict the results of Western blots which illustrate the extent to which Ang-2 binding molecules inhibit, or fail to inhibit, Ang-1-induced Tie-2 phosphorylation.
  • FIG. 3 is a summary of the Ang-2FD-mFc point mutant binding experiment of Example 13, showing the amino acid changes which resulted in greater than a five-fold reduction in T½ of dissociation (depicted by solid circles ) relative to wild-type for the various antibodies and peptibodies tested.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Before the present invention is described, it is to be understood that this invention is not limited to particular methods and experimental conditions described, as such methods and conditions may vary. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only, and is not intended to be limiting, since the scope of the present invention will be limited only by the appended claims.
  • Unless defined otherwise, 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. As used herein, the term “about,” when used in reference to a particular recited numerical value, means that the value may vary from the recited value by no more than 1%. For example, as used herein, the expression “about 100” includes 99 and 101 and all values in between (e.g., 99.1, 99.2, 99.3, 99.4, etc.).
  • Although any methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the present invention, the preferred methods and materials are now described. All patents, applications and non-patent publications mentioned in this specification are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.
  • Definitions
  • As used herein, the term “angiopoietin-2” or “Ang-2”, unless specified as being from a non-human species (e.g., “mouse Ang-2,” “monkey Ang-2,” etc.), refers to human Ang-2 or a biologically active fragment thereof (e.g., a fragment of the Ang-2 protein which is capable of inducing angiogenesis in vitro or in vivo). Human Ang-2 is encoded by the nucleic acid sequence shown in SEQ ID NO:517 and has the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:518. The amino acid sequences of mouse and monkey Ang-2 proteins are available from the NCBI protein sequence database under Accession Nos. NP031452 and BAE89705.1, respectively.
  • The term “angiopoietin-1” or “Ang-1”, unless specified as being from a non-human species (e.g., “mouse Ang-1,” “monkey Ang-1,” etc.), refers to human Ang-1 or a biologically active fragment thereof. Human Ang-1 has the amino acid sequence as set forth in the NCBI protein sequence database under Accession No. AAB50557. The term “Tie-2” (also referred to in the art as “TEK”) unless specified as being from a non-human species (e.g., “mouse Tie-2,” “monkey Tie-2,” etc.), refers to human Tie-2 or a biologically active fragment thereof. Human Tie-2 has the amino acid sequence as set forth in the NCBI protein sequence database under Accession No. AAA61130.
  • The term “antibody”, as used herein, is intended to refer to immunoglobulin molecules comprising four polypeptide chains, two heavy (H) chains and two light (L) chains inter-connected by disulfide bonds, as well as multimers thereof (e.g., IgM). Each heavy chain comprises a heavy chain variable region (abbreviated herein as HCVR or VH) and a heavy chain constant region. The heavy chain constant region comprises three domains, CH1, CH2 and CH3. Each light chain comprises a light chain variable region (abbreviated herein as LCVR or VL) and a light chain constant region. The light chain constant region comprises one domain (CL1). The VH and VL regions can be further subdivided into regions of hypervariability, termed complementarity determining regions (CDRs), interspersed with regions that are more conserved, termed framework regions (FR). Each VH and VL is composed of three CDRs and four FRs, arranged from amino-terminus to carboxy-terminus in the following order: FR1, CDR1, FR2, CDR2, FR3, CDR3, FR4. In different embodiments of the invention, the FRs of the anti-Ang-2 antibody (or antigen-binding portion thereof) may be identical to the human germline sequences, or may be naturally or artificially modified. An amino acid consensus sequence may be defined based on a side-by-side analysis of two or more CDRs.
  • The term “antibody,” as used herein, also includes antigen-binding fragments of full antibody molecules. The terms “antigen-binding portion” of an antibody, “antigen-binding fragment” of an antibody, and the like, as used herein, include any naturally occurring, enzymatically obtainable, synthetic, or genetically engineered polypeptide or glycoprotein that specifically binds an antigen to form a complex. Antigen-binding fragments of an antibody may be derived, e.g., from full antibody molecules using any suitable standard techniques such as proteolytic digestion or recombinant genetic engineering techniques involving the manipulation and expression of DNA encoding antibody variable and optionally constant domains. Such DNA is known and/or is readily available from, e.g., commercial sources, DNA libraries (including, e.g., phage-antibody libraries), or can be synthesized. The DNA may be sequenced and manipulated chemically or by using molecular biology techniques, for example, to arrange one or more variable and/or constant domains into a suitable configuration, or to introduce codons, create cysteine residues, modify, add or delete amino acids, etc.
  • Non-limiting examples of antigen-binding fragments include: (i) Fab fragments; (ii) F(ab′)2 fragments; (iii) Fd fragments; (iv) Fv fragments; (v) single-chain Fv (scFv) molecules; (vi) dAb fragments; and (vii) minimal recognition units consisting of the amino acid residues that mimic the hypervariable region of an antibody (e.g., an isolated complementarity determining region (CDR)). Other engineered molecules, such as diabodies, triabodies, tetrabodies and minibodies, are also encompassed within the expression “antigen-binding fragment,” as used herein.
  • An antigen-binding fragment of an antibody will typically comprise at least one variable domain. The variable domain may be of any size or amino acid composition and will generally comprise at least one CDR which is adjacent to or in frame with one or more framework sequences. In antigen-binding fragments having a VH domain associated with a VL domain, the VH and VL domains may be situated relative to one another in any suitable arrangement. For example, the variable region may be dimeric and contain VH-VH, VH-VL or VL-VL dimers. Alternatively, the antigen-binding fragment of an antibody may contain a monomeric VH or VL domain.
  • In certain embodiments, an antigen-binding fragment of an antibody may contain at least one variable domain covalently linked to at least one constant domain. Non-limiting, exemplary configurations of variable and constant domains that may be found within an antigen-binding fragment of an antibody of the present invention include: (i) VH-CH1; (ii) VH-CH2; (iii) VH-CH3; (iv) VH-CH1-CH2; (v) VH-CH1-CH2-CH3; (vi) VH-CH2-CH3; (vii) VH-CL; (viii) VL-CH1; (ix) VL-CH2; (x) VL-CH3; (xi) VL-CH1-CH2; (Xii) VL-CH1-CH2-CH3; (Xiii) VL-CH2-CH3; and (xiv) VL-CL. In any configuration of variable and constant domains, including any of the exemplary configurations listed above, the variable and constant domains may be either directly linked to one another or may be linked by a full or partial hinge or linker region. A hinge region may consist of at least 2 (e.g., 5, 10, 15, 20, 40, 60 or more) amino acids which result in a flexible or semi-flexible linkage between adjacent variable and/or constant domains in a single polypeptide molecule. Moreover, an antigen-binding fragment of an antibody of the present invention may comprise a homo-dimer or hetero-dimer (or other multimer) of any of the variable and constant domain configurations listed above in non-covalent association with one another and/or with one or more monomeric VH or VL domain (e.g., by disulfide bond(s)).
  • As with full antibody molecules, antigen-binding fragments may be monospecific or multispecific (e.g., bispecific). A multispecific antigen-binding fragment of an antibody will typically comprise at least two different variable domains, wherein each variable domain is capable of specifically binding to a separate antigen or to a different epitope on the same antigen. Any multispecific antibody format, including the exemplary bispecific antibody formats disclosed herein, may be adapted for use in the context of an antigen-binding fragment of an antibody of the present invention using routine techniques available in the art.
  • The constant region of an antibody is important in the ability of an antibody to fix complement and mediate cell-dependent cytotoxicity. Thus, the isotype of an antibody may be selected on the basis of whether it is desirable for the antibody to mediate cytotoxicity.
  • The term “human antibody”, as used herein, is intended to include antibodies having variable and constant regions derived from human germline immunoglobulin sequences. The human antibodies of the invention may include amino acid residues not encoded by human germline immunoglobulin sequences (e.g., mutations introduced by random or site-specific mutagenesis in vitro or by somatic mutation in vivo), for example in the CDRs and in particular CDR3. However, the term “human antibody”, as used herein, is not intended to include antibodies in which CDR sequences derived from the germline of another mammalian species, such as a mouse, have been grafted onto human framework sequences.
  • The term “recombinant human antibody”, as used herein, is intended to include all human antibodies that are prepared, expressed, created or isolated by recombinant means, such as antibodies expressed using a recombinant expression vector transfected into a host cell (described further below), antibodies isolated from a recombinant, combinatorial human antibody library (described further below), antibodies isolated from an animal (e.g., a mouse) that is transgenic for human immunoglobulin genes (see e.g., Taylor et al. (1992) Nucl. Acids Res. 20:6287-6295) or antibodies prepared, expressed, created or isolated by any other means that involves splicing of human immunoglobulin gene sequences to other DNA sequences. Such recombinant human antibodies have variable and constant regions derived from human germline immunoglobulin sequences. In certain embodiments, however, such recombinant human antibodies are subjected to in vitro mutagenesis (or, when an animal transgenic for human Ig sequences is used, in vivo somatic mutagenesis) and thus the amino acid sequences of the VH and VL regions of the recombinant antibodies are sequences that, while derived from and related to human germline VH and VL sequences, may not naturally exist within the human antibody germline repertoire in vivo.
  • Human antibodies can exist in two forms that are associated with hinge heterogeneity. In one form, an immunoglobulin molecule comprises a stable four chain construct of approximately 150-160 kDa in which the dimers are held together by an interchain heavy chain disulfide bond. In a second form, the dimers are not linked via inter-chain disulfide bonds and a molecule of about 75-80 kDa is formed composed of a covalently coupled light and heavy chain (half-antibody). These forms have been extremely difficult to separate, even after affinity purification.
  • The frequency of appearance of the second form in various intact IgG isotypes is due to, but not limited to, structural differences associated with the hinge region isotype of the antibody. A single amino acid substitution in the hinge region of the human IgG4 hinge can significantly reduce the appearance of the second form (Angal et al. (1993) Molecular Immunology 30:105) to levels typically observed using a human IgG1 hinge. The instant invention encompasses antibodies having one or more mutations in the hinge, CH2 or CH3 region which may be desirable, for example, in production, to improve the yield of the desired antibody form.
  • An “isolated antibody”, as used herein, is intended to refer to an antibody that is substantially free of other antibodies having different antigenic specificities (e.g., an isolated antibody that specifically binds human Ang-2 or a human Ang-2 fragment is substantially free of antibodies that specifically bind antigens other than human Ang-2). The term “specifically binds,” or the like, means that an antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof forms a complex with an antigen that is relatively stable under physiologic conditions. Specific binding can be characterized by a KD of about 1×10−8 M or less. Methods for determining whether two molecules specifically bind are well known in the art and include, for example, equilibrium dialysis, surface plasmon resonance, and the like. An isolated antibody that specifically binds human Ang-2 may, however, have cross-reactivity to other antigens, such as Ang-2 molecules from other species. Moreover, an isolated antibody may be substantially free of other cellular material and/or chemicals.
  • A “neutralizing” or “blocking” antibody, as used herein, is intended to refer to an antibody whose binding to Ang-2 blocks the interaction between Ang-2 and its receptor (Tie-2) and/or results in inhibition of at least one biological function of Ang-2. The inhibition caused by an Ang-2 neutralizing or blocking antibody need not be complete so long as it is detectable using an appropriate assay. Exemplary assays for detecting Ang-2 inhibition are described elsewhere herein.
  • The fully-human anti-Ang-2 antibodies disclosed herein may comprise one or more amino acid substitutions, insertions and/or deletions in the framework and/or CDR regions of the heavy and light chain variable domains as compared to the corresponding germline sequences. Such mutations can be readily ascertained by comparing the amino acid sequences disclosed herein to germline sequences available from, for example, public antibody sequence databases. The present invention includes antibodies, and antigen-binding fragments thereof, which are derived from any of the amino acid sequences disclosed herein, wherein one or more amino acids within one or more framework and/or CDR regions are back-mutated to the corresponding germline residue(s) or to a conservative amino acid substitution (natural or non-natural) of the corresponding germline residue(s) (such sequence changes are referred to herein as “germline back-mutations”). A person of ordinary skill in the art, starting with the heavy and light chain variable region sequences disclosed herein, can easily produce numerous antibodies and antigen-binding fragments which comprise one or more individual germline back-mutations or combinations thereof. In certain embodiments, all of the framework and/or CDR residues within the VH and/or VL domains are mutated back to the germline sequence. In other embodiments, only certain residues are mutated back to the germline sequence, e.g., only the mutated residues found within the first 8 amino acids of FR1 or within the last 8 amino acids of FR4, or only the mutated residues found within CDR1, CDR2 or CDR3. Furthermore, the antibodies of the present invention may contain any combination of two or more germline back-mutations within the framework and/or CDR regions, i.e., wherein certain individual residues are mutated back to the germline sequence while certain other residues that differ from the germline sequence are maintained. Once obtained, antibodies and antigen-binding fragments that contain one or more germline back-mutations can be easily tested for one or more desired property such as, improved binding specificity, increased binding affinity, improved or enhanced antagonistic or agonistic biological properties (as the case may be), reduced immunogenicity, etc. Antibodies and antigen-binding fragments obtained in this general manner are encompassed within the present invention.
  • The present invention also includes anti-Ang-2 antibodies comprising variants of any of the HCVR, LCVR, and/or CDR amino acid sequences disclosed herein having one or more conservative substitutions. For example, the present invention includes anti-Ang-2 antibodies having HCVR, LCVR, and/or CDR amino acid sequences with, e.g., 10 or fewer, 8 or fewer, 6 or fewer, 4 or fewer, etc. conservative amino acid substitutions relative to any of the HCVR, LCVR, and/or CDR amino acid sequences disclosed herein. In one embodiment, the antibody comprises an HCVR having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:18 with 8 or fewer conservative amino acid substitutions. In another embodiment, the antibody comprises an HCVR having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:18 with 6 or fewer conservative amino acid substitutions. In another embodiment, the antibody comprises an HCVR having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:18 with 4 or fewer conservative amino acid substitutions. In another embodiment, the antibody comprises an HCVR having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:18 with 2 or fewer conservative amino acid substitutions. In one embodiment, the antibody comprises an LCVR having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:20 with 8 or fewer conservative amino acid substitutions. In another embodiment, the antibody comprises an LCVR having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:20 with 6 or fewer conservative amino acid substitutions. In another embodiment, the antibody comprises an LCVR having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:20 with 4 or fewer conservative amino acid substitutions. In another embodiment, the antibody comprises an LCVR having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:20 with 2 or fewer conservative amino acid substitutions.
  • The term “surface plasmon resonance”, as used herein, refers to an optical phenomenon that allows for the analysis of real-time interactions by detection of alterations in protein concentrations within a biosensor matrix, for example using the BIAcore™ system (Biacore Life Sciences division of GE Healthcare, Piscataway, N.J.).
  • The term “KD”, as used herein, is intended to refer to the equilibrium dissociation constant of a particular antibody-antigen interaction.
  • The term “epitope” refers to an antigenic determinant that interacts with a specific antigen binding site in the variable region of an antibody molecule known as a paratope. A single antigen may have more than one epitope. Thus, different antibodies may bind to different areas on an antigen and may have different biological effects. Epitopes may be either conformational or linear. A conformational epitope is produced by spatially juxtaposed amino acids from different segments of the linear polypeptide chain. A linear epitope is one produced by adjacent amino acid residues in a polypeptide chain. In certain circumstance, an epitope may include moieties of saccharides, phosphoryl groups, or sulfonyl groups on the antigen.
  • The term “substantial identity” or “substantially identical,” when referring to a nucleic acid or fragment thereof, indicates that, when optimally aligned with appropriate nucleotide insertions or deletions with another nucleic acid (or its complementary strand), there is nucleotide sequence identity in at least about 95%, and more preferably at least about 96%, 97%, 98% or 99% of the nucleotide bases, as measured by any well-known algorithm of sequence identity, such as FASTA, BLAST or Gap, as discussed below. A nucleic acid molecule having substantial identity to a reference nucleic acid molecule may, in certain instances, encode a polypeptide having the same or substantially similar amino acid sequence as the polypeptide encoded by the reference nucleic acid molecule.
  • As applied to polypeptides, the term “substantial similarity” or “substantially similar” means that two peptide sequences, when optimally aligned, such as by the programs GAP or BESTFIT using default gap weights, share at least 95% sequence identity, even more preferably at least 98% or 99% sequence identity. Preferably, residue positions which are not identical differ by conservative amino acid substitutions. A “conservative amino acid substitution” is one in which an amino acid residue is substituted by another amino acid residue having a side chain (R group) with similar chemical properties (e.g., charge or hydrophobicity). In general, a conservative amino acid substitution will not substantially change the functional properties of a protein. In cases where two or more amino acid sequences differ from each other by conservative substitutions, the percent sequence identity or degree of similarity may be adjusted upwards to correct for the conservative nature of the substitution. Means for making this adjustment are well-known to those of skill in the art. See, e.g., Pearson (1994) Methods Mol. Biol. 24: 307-331. Examples of groups of amino acids that have side chains with similar chemical properties include (1) aliphatic side chains: glycine, alanine, valine, leucine and isoleucine; (2) aliphatic-hydroxyl side chains: serine and threonine; (3) amide-containing side chains: asparagine and glutamine; (4) aromatic side chains: phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan; (5) basic side chains: lysine, arginine, and histidine; (6) acidic side chains: aspartate and glutamate, and (7) sulfur-containing side chains are cysteine and methionine. Preferred conservative amino acids substitution groups are: valine-leucine-isoleucine, phenylalanine-tyrosine, lysine-arginine, alanine-valine, glutamate-aspartate, and asparagine-glutamine. Alternatively, a conservative replacement is any change having a positive value in the PAM250 log-likelihood matrix disclosed in Gonnet et al. (1992) Science 256: 1443-1445. A “moderately conservative” replacement is any change having a nonnegative value in the PAM250 log-likelihood matrix.
  • Sequence similarity for polypeptides, which is also referred to as sequence identity, is typically measured using sequence analysis software. Protein analysis software matches similar sequences using measures of similarity assigned to various substitutions, deletions and other modifications, including conservative amino acid substitutions. For instance, GCG software contains programs such as Gap and Bestfit which can be used with default parameters to determine sequence homology or sequence identity between closely related polypeptides, such as homologous polypeptides from different species of organisms or between a wild type protein and a mutein thereof. See, e.g., GCG Version 6.1. Polypeptide sequences also can be compared using FASTA using default or recommended parameters, a program in GCG Version 6.1. FASTA (e.g., FASTA2 and FASTA3) provides alignments and percent sequence identity of the regions of the best overlap between the query and search sequences (Pearson (2000) supra). Another preferred algorithm when comparing a sequence of the invention to a database containing a large number of sequences from different organisms is the computer program BLAST, especially BLASTP or TBLASTN, using default parameters. See, e.g., Altschul et al. (1990) J. Mol. Biol. 215:403-410 and Altschul et al. (1997) Nucleic Acids Res. 25:3389-402.
  • Preparation of Human Antibodies
  • Methods for generating monoclonal antibodies, including fully human monoclonal antibodies are known in the art. Any such known methods can be used in the context of the present invention to make human antibodies that specifically bind to human Ang-2 and which possess one or more of the antigen-binding and/or functional characteristics of any of the exemplary anti-Ang-2 antibodies disclosed herein.
  • Using VELOCIMMUNE™ technology or any other known method for generating monoclonal antibodies, high affinity chimeric antibodies to Ang-2 are initially isolated having a human variable region and a mouse constant region. As in the experimental section below, the antibodies are characterized and selected for desirable characteristics, including affinity, selectivity, epitope, etc. The mouse constant regions are replaced with a desired human constant region to generate the fully human antibody of the invention, for example wild-type or modified IgG1 or IgG4. While the constant region selected may vary according to specific use, high affinity antigen-binding and target specificity characteristics reside in the variable region.
  • Bioequivalents
  • The anti-Ang-2 antibodies and antibody fragments of the present invention encompass proteins having amino acid sequences that vary from those of the described antibodies, but that retain the ability to bind human Ang-2. Such variant antibodies and antibody fragments comprise one or more additions, deletions, or substitutions of amino acids when compared to parent sequence, but exhibit biological activity that is essentially equivalent to that of the described antibodies. Likewise, the anti-Ang-2 antibody-encoding DNA sequences of the present invention encompass sequences that comprise one or more additions, deletions, or substitutions of nucleotides when compared to the disclosed sequence, but that encode an anti-Ang-2 antibody or antibody fragment that is essentially bioequivalent to an anti-Ang-2 antibody or antibody fragment of the invention. Examples of such variant amino acid and DNA sequences are discussed above.
  • Two antigen-binding proteins, or antibodies, are considered bioequivalent if, for example, they are pharmaceutical equivalents or pharmaceutical alternatives whose rate and extent of absorption do not show a significant difference when administered at the same molar dose under similar experimental conditions, either single does or multiple dose. Some antibodies will be considered equivalents or pharmaceutical alternatives if they are equivalent in the extent of their absorption but not in their rate of absorption and yet may be considered bioequivalent because such differences in the rate of absorption are intentional and are reflected in the labeling, are not essential to the attainment of effective body drug concentrations on, e.g., chronic use, and are considered medically insignificant for the particular drug product studied.
  • In one embodiment, two antigen-binding proteins are bioequivalent if there are no clinically meaningful differences in their safety, purity, and potency.
  • In one embodiment, two antigen-binding proteins are bioequivalent if a patient can be switched one or more times between the reference product and the biological product without an expected increase in the risk of adverse effects, including a clinically significant change in immunogenicity, or diminished effectiveness, as compared to continued therapy without such switching.
  • In one embodiment, two antigen-binding proteins are bioequivalent if they both act by a common mechanism or mechanisms of action for the condition or conditions of use, to the extent that such mechanisms are known.
  • Bioequivalence may be demonstrated by in vivo and in vitro methods. Bioequivalence measures include, e.g., (a) an in vivo test in humans or other mammals, in which the concentration of the antibody or its metabolites is measured in blood, plasma, serum, or other biological fluid as a function of time; (b) an in vitro test that has been correlated with and is reasonably predictive of human in vivo bioavailability data; (c) an in vivo test in humans or other mammals in which the appropriate acute pharmacological effect of the antibody (or its target) is measured as a function of time; and (d) in a well-controlled clinical trial that establishes safety, efficacy, or bioavailability or bioequivalence of an antibody.
  • Bioequivalent variants of anti-Ang-2 antibodies of the invention may be constructed by, for example, making various substitutions of residues or sequences or deleting terminal or internal residues or sequences not needed for biological activity. For example, cysteine residues not essential for biological activity can be deleted or replaced with other amino acids to prevent formation of unnecessary or incorrect intramolecular disulfide bridges upon renaturation.
  • Biological and Therapeutic Characteristics of the Antibodies
  • In general, the antibodies of the instant invention bind to human Ang-2 with a KD of less than 100 pM, typically with a KD of less than 50 pM, and in certain embodiments, with a KD of less than 40 pM, when measured by binding to antigen either immobilized on solid phase or in solution phase.
  • In addition, certain exemplary anti-Ang-2 antibodies of the invention may exhibit one or more of the following characteristics: (1) ability to bind to human Ang-2 but not to mouse Ang-2; (2) ability to bind to human Ang-2 and to mouse Ang-2; (3) ability to bind to human Ang-2 but not to human Ang-1, -3 or -4; (4) ability to bind to human Ang-2 but not to mouse Ang-1, -3 or -4; (5) ability to bind to human Ang-2 and to human Ang-1, -3 or -4; (6) ability to bind to human Ang-2 and to mouse Ang-1, -3 or -4; (7) ability to block binding of human Ang-2 to human Tie-2; (8) ability to block binding of human Ang-2 to mouse Tie-2; (9) ability to block binding of mouse Ang-2 to human Tie-2; (10) ability to block binding of mouse Ang-2 to mouse Tie-2; (11) ability to block binding of human Ang-1 to human Tie-2; (12) ability to block binding of human Ang-1 to mouse Tie-2; (13) ability to block binding of mouse Ang-1 to human Tie-2; (14) ability to block binding of mouse Ang-1 to mouse Tie-2; (15) ability to inhibit human Ang-2-induced phosphorylation of human Tie-2; (16) ability to inhibit human Ang-2-induced phosphorylation of mouse Tie-2; (17) ability to inhibit mouse Ang-2-induced phosphorylation of human Tie-2; (18) ability to inhibit mouse Ang-2 induced phosphorylation of mouse Tie-2; (19) ability to inhibit human Ang-1-induced phosphorylation of human Tie-2; (20) ability to inhibit human Ang-1-induced phosphorylation of mouse Tie-2; (21) ability to inhibit mouse Ang-1-induced phosphorylation of human Tie-2; (22) ability to inhibit mouse-Ang-1-induced phosphorylation of mouse Tie-2; (23) ability to inhibit in vivo angiogenesis in an experimental model (e.g., angiogenesis induced by a Matrigel plug containing MCF-7 cells implanted subcutaneously into nude mice); and/or (24) ability to inhibit or decrease tumor volume in a mouse xenograft model.
  • The present invention also includes antibodies that bind with high affinity to a construct comprising the Ang-2 fibronectin-like domain but lacking the Ang-2 N-terminal coiled-coil domain (such constructs are referred to herein as “Ang-2FD”). Exemplary Ang-2FD constructs include human Ang-2FD (SEQ ID NO:519), mouse Ang-2FD (SEQ ID NO:520), and monkey Ang-2FD (SEQ ID NO:521). The human, mouse and monkey Ang-2FD constructs may be monomeric or dimeric. Ang-2FD constructs may also include other non-Ang-2 amino acid sequences such as a human or mouse Fc domain linked to the Ang-2FD molecules. Another exemplary Ang-2FD construct is referred to herein as “hBA2” (or human “bow-Ang2”) which is a tetramer of human Ang-2 fibrinogen-like domains associated with one another via a human or mouse Fc domain to form a bow-tie-like configuration. Typically, hBA2 consists of two Ang-2 dimers, wherein each Ang-2 dimer contains two Ang-2 fibronectin-like domains connected to one another via an Fc domain. Exemplary hBA2 components include the polypeptides designated hBA2-hIgG1 (SEQ ID NO:522) and hBA2-mIgG2a (SEQ ID NO:523). Unexpectedly, certain anti-Ang-2 antibodies of the present invention were found to bind to Ang-2FD constructs with much higher affinities than an known Ang-2 control antibody (see Examples set forth herein).
  • High affinity binding, in the context of anti-Ang-2 antibody binding to a human or mouse dimeric Ang-2FD construct, means that the anti-Ang-2 antibody binds the human or mouse dimeric Ang-2FD with a KD of less than 300 pM. For example, anti-Ang-2 antibodies that bind with high affinity to human or mouse dimeric Ang-2FD include antibodies that bind to human or mouse dimeric Ang-2-FD with a KD of less than 300 pM, less than 250 pM, less than 200 pM, less than 190 pM, less than 180 pM, less than 170 pM, less than 160 pM, less than 150 pM, less than 140 pM, less than 130 pM, less than 120 pM, less than 110 pM, less than 100 pM, less than 90 pM, less than 80 pM, less than 70 pM, less than 60 pM or less than 50 pM, as measured at 25° C. in a surface Plasmon resonance assay.
  • High affinity binding, in the context of anti-Ang-2 antibody binding to a monkey dimeric Ang-2FD construct, means that the anti-Ang-2 antibody binds the monkey dimeric Ang-2FD with a KD of less than 500 pM. For example, anti-Ang-2 antibodies that bind with high affinity to monkey dimeric Ang-2FD include antibodies that bind to monkey Ang-2-FD with a KD of less than 500 pM, less than 450 pM, less than 400 pM, less than 350 pM, less than 300 pM, less than 250 pM, less than 200 pM, less than 190 pM, less than 180 pM, less than 170 pM, less than 160 pM, less than 150 pM, less than 140 pM, less than 130 pM, less than 120 pM, less than 110 pM, less than 100 pM, less than 90 pM, or less than 80 pM, as measured at 25° C. in a surface Plasmon resonance assay.
  • High affinity binding, in the context of anti-Ang-2 antibody binding to a human monomeric Ang-2FD construct, means that the anti-Ang-2 antibody binds the human monomeric Ang-2FD with a KD of less than 40 nM. For example, anti-Ang-2 antibodies that bind with high affinity to human monomeric Ang-2FD include antibodies that bind to human monomeric Ang-2-FD with a KD of less than 40 nM, less than 30 nM, less than 25 nM, less than 20 nM, less than 15 nM, less than 10 nM, less than 9 nM, less than 8 nM, less than 7 nM, less than 6 nM, less than 5 nM, less than 4 nM, less than 3 nM, less than 2 nM, less than 1 nM, less than 0.9 nM, less than 0.8 nM, less than 0.7 nM, or less than 0.6 nM as measured at 25° C. in a surface Plasmon resonance assay.
  • High affinity binding, in the context of anti-Ang-2 antibody binding to a hBA2 construct, means that the anti-Ang-2 antibody binds the hBA2 with a KD of less than 80 pM. For example, anti-Ang-2 antibodies that bind with high affinity to hBA2 include antibodies that bind to hBA2 with a KD of less than 80 pM, less than 75 pM, less than 70 pM, less than 65 pM, less than 60 pM, less than 55 pM, less than 50 pM, less than 45 pM, less than 40 pM, less than 35 pM, less than 30 pM, less than 25 pM, less than 20 pM, less than 18 pM, less than 16 pM, less than 14 pM, or less than 12 pM, as measured at 25° C. in a surface Plasmon resonance assay.
  • The present invention includes antibodies that bind Ang-2 but do not substantially bind Ang-1. As used herein, an antibody “does not substantially bind Ang-1” if the antibody, when tested for binding to Ang-1 in a surface plasmon resonance assay in which the antibody is captured on a surface and full-length wild-type human Ang-1 at a concentration of about 25 nM is injected over the captured antibody surface at a flowrate of about 60 pl/min for about 3 minutes at 25° C., exhibits a KD of greater than about 1 nM, e.g., a KD of greater than about 5 nM, greater than about 10 nM, greater than about 50 nM, greater than about 100 nM, greater than about 150 nM, greater than about 200 nM, greater than about 250 nM, greater than about 300 nM, greater than about 350 nM, greater than about 400 nM, greater than about 450 nM, greater than about 500 nM, or more. (See, e.g., Example 4). In addition, an antibody “does not substantially bind Ang-1” if the antibody fails to exhibit any binding to Ang-1 when tested in such an assay or equivalent thereof.
  • The present invention also includes antibodies that block the binding of Ang-2 to Tie-2 but do not substantially block the binding of Ang-1 to Tie-2. As used herein, an antibody “does not substantially block the binding of Ang-1 to Tie-2” if, when the antibody is premixed with Ang-1 antigen at a ratio of about 100:1 (antibody:antigen) and allowed to incubate at 25° C. for about 60 minutes and then the equilibrated mixture is tested for binding to Tie-2 by surface plasmon resonance over a Tie-2-coated surface (5 μl/min for 5 min. at 25° C.), the amount of Ang-1 bound to Tie-2 is at least 50% the amount of Ang-1 bound to Tie-2 in the presence of an irrelevant control molecule. (See, e.g., Example 6). For example, if the amount of Ang-1 bound to Tie-2 following preincubation with an antibody is at least about 50%, at least about 55%, at least about 60%, at least about 65%, at least about 70%, at least about 75%, at least about 80%, at least about 85%, at least about 90%, at least about 95%, or about 100% the amount of Ang-1 that binds to Tie-2 following preincubation with an irrelevant control molecule under the above noted experimental conditions, then the antibody is deemed to “not substantially block the binding of Ang-1 to Tie-2.”
  • Moreover, the present invention includes antibodies that block or substantially attenuate a biological activity of Ang-2 (e.g., Ang-2-mediated phosphorylation of Tie-2; Ang-2-induced angiogenesis; etc.) but do not block or substantially attenuate the corresponding biological activity of Ang-1 (e.g., Ang-1-mediated phosphorylation of Tie-2; Ang-1-induced angiogenesis; etc). Assays and tests useful for determining whether an antibody satisfies one or more of the characteristics listed above will be readily known and easily practiced by persons of ordinary skill in the art and/or can be fully ascertained from the present disclosure. For example, the experimental procedures detailed below can be used to determine whether a given antibody binds or does not bind to Ang-2 and/or Ang-1; blocks or does not block binding of Ang-2 and/or Ang-1 to Tie-2; inhibits or does not inhibit Ang-2- and/or Ang-1-mediated phosphorylation of Tie-2; etc.
  • Epitope Mapping and Related Technologies
  • To screen for antibodies that bind to a particular epitope (e.g., those which block binding of IgE to its high affinity receptor), a routine cross-blocking assay such as that described “Antibodies,” Harlow and Lane (Cold Spring Harbor Press, Cold Spring Harb., N.Y.) can be performed. Other methods include alanine scanning mutants, peptide blots (Reineke (2004) Methods Mol Biol 248:443-63), or peptide cleavage analysis. In addition, methods such as epitope excision, epitope extraction and chemical modification of antigens can be employed (Tomer (2000) Protein Science 9: 487-496).
  • The term “epitope” refers to a site on an antigen to which B and/or T cells respond. B-cell epitopes can be formed both from contiguous amino acids or noncontiguous amino acids juxtaposed by tertiary folding of a protein. Epitopes formed from contiguous amino acids are typically retained on exposure to denaturing solvents, whereas epitopes formed by tertiary folding are typically lost on treatment with denaturing solvents. An epitope typically includes at least 3, and more usually, at least 5 or 8-10 amino acids in a unique spatial conformation.
  • Modification-Assisted Profiling (MAP), also known as Antigen Structure-based Antibody Profiling (ASAP) is a method that categorizes large numbers of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against the same antigen according to the similarities of the binding profile of each antibody to chemically or enzymatically modified antigen surfaces (US 2004/0101920). Each category may reflect a unique epitope either distinctly different from or partially overlapping with epitope represented by another category. This technology allows rapid filtering of genetically identical antibodies, such that characterization can be focused on genetically distinct antibodies. When applied to hybridoma screening, MAP may facilitate identification of rare hybridoma clones that produce mAbs having the desired characteristics. MAP may be used to sort the anti-Ang-2 antibodies of the invention into groups of antibodies binding different epitopes.
  • Anti-Ang-2 antibodies can bind to an epitope within the amino-terminal coiled-coil domain or within the carboxy-terminal fibrinogen-like domain (“FD”). In preferred embodiments of the present invention, the anti-Ang-2 antibodies and antigen binding fragments thereof bind to an epitope within the FD.
  • The amino acids within the FD of Ang-2 that interact with Tie-2 have been ascertained from crystal structure analysis. See Barton et al., Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 13:524-532 (May 2006). With regard to antibodies that block the binding of Ang-2 to Tie-2 but do not substantially block binding of Ang-1 to Tie-2 (e.g., H1H685P, see Examples 5 and 6 below), the epitope to which such antibodies bind may include one or more amino acids of Ang-2 that (a) interact with Tie-2 and (b) are non-identical to the corresponding amino acid in Ang-1. (See FIG. 1). Thus, the epitope to which such Ang-2 preferential antibodies bind may include one or more of the following amino acids of hAng-2 (SEQ ID NO:518): S-417; K-432; I-434; N-467; F-469; Y-475; or S-480. For example, the present inventors have discovered that antibodies which interact with amino acids F-469, Y-475, and S-480 of Ang-2 (SEQ ID NO:518) preferentially interact with Ang-2 over Ang-1, and this preferential binding may have therapeutic benefits. Thus, the present invention includes anti-Ang-2 antibodies which specifically bind human angiopoietin-2 (hAng-2) but do not substantially bind hAng-1, wherein the antibodies bind an epitope on hAng-2 (SEQ ID NO:518) comprising amino acids F-469, Y-475, and S-480. Similarly, the present invention includes anti-Ang-2 antibodies which block the binding of hAng-2 to hTie-2 but do not substantially block the binding of hAng-1 to hTie-2, wherein the antibodies bind an epitope on hAng-2 (SEQ ID NO:518) comprising amino acids F-469, Y-475, and S-480.
  • The present invention includes anti-Ang-2 antibodies that bind to the same epitope as any of the specific exemplary antibodies described herein (e.g., H1H685, H1H690, H1H691, H1H696, H1H706, H1M724 and/or H2M744). Likewise, the present invention also includes anti-Ang-2 antibodies that compete for binding to Ang-2 with any of the specific exemplary antibodies described herein (e.g., H1H685, H1H690, H1H691, H1H696, H1H706, H1M724 and/or H2M744).
  • One can easily determine whether an antibody binds to the same epitope as, or competes for binding with, a reference anti-Ang-2 antibody by using routine methods known in the art. For example, to determine if a test antibody binds to the same epitope as a reference anti-Ang-2 antibody of the invention, the reference antibody is allowed to bind to an Ang-2 protein or peptide under saturating conditions. Next, the ability of a test antibody to bind to the Ang-2 molecule is assessed. If the test antibody is able to bind to Ang-2 following saturation binding with the reference anti-Ang-2 antibody, it can be concluded that the test antibody binds to a different epitope than the reference anti-Ang-2 antibody. On the other hand, if the test antibody is not able to bind to the Ang-2 molecule following saturation binding with the reference anti-Ang-2 antibody, then the test antibody may bind to the same epitope as the epitope bound by the reference anti-Ang-2 antibody of the invention. Additional routine experimentation (e.g., peptide mutation and binding analyses) can then be carried out to confirm whether the observed lack of binding of the test antibody is in fact due to binding to the same epitope as the reference antibody or if steric blocking (or another phenomenon) is responsible for the lack of observed binding. Experiments of this sort can be performed using ELISA, RIA, Biacore, flow cytometry or any other quantitative or qualitative antibody-binding assay available in the art. In accordance with certain embodiments of the present invention, two antibodies bind to the same (or overlapping) epitope if, e.g., a 1-, 5-, 10-, 20- or 100-fold excess of one antibody inhibits binding of the other by at least 50% but preferably 75%, 90% or even 99% as measured in a competitive binding assay (see, e.g., Junghans et al., Cancer Res. 1990:50:1495-1502). Alternatively, two antibodies are deemed to bind to the same epitope if essentially all amino acid mutations in the antigen that reduce or eliminate binding of one antibody reduce or eliminate binding of the other. Two antibodies are deemed to have “overlapping epitopes” if only a subset of the amino acid mutations that reduce or eliminate binding of one antibody reduce or eliminate binding of the other.
  • To determine if an antibody competes for binding with a reference anti-Ang-2 antibody, the above-described binding methodology is performed in two orientations: In a first orientation, the reference antibody is allowed to bind to an Ang-2 molecule under saturating conditions followed by assessment of binding of the test antibody to the Ang-2 molecule. In a second orientation, the test antibody is allowed to bind to an Ang-2 molecule under saturating conditions followed by assessment of binding of the reference antibody to the Ang-2 molecule. If, in both orientations, only the first (saturating) antibody is capable of binding to the Ang-2 molecule, then it is concluded that the test antibody and the reference antibody compete for binding to Ang-2. As will be appreciated by a person of ordinary skill in the art, an antibody that competes for binding with a reference antibody may not necessarily bind to the same epitope as the reference antibody, but may sterically block binding of the reference antibody by binding an overlapping or adjacent epitope.
  • Species Selectivity and Species Cross-Reactivity
  • According to certain embodiments of the invention, the anti-Ang-2 antibodies bind to human Ang-2 but not to Ang-2 from other species. Alternatively, the anti-Ang-2 antibodies of the invention, in certain embodiments, bind to human Ang-2 and to Ang-2 from one or more non-human species. For example, the Ang-2 antibodies of the invention may bind to human Ang-2 and may bind or not bind, as the case may be, to one or more of mouse, rat, guinea pig, hamster, gerbil, pig, cat, dog, rabbit, goat, sheep, cow, horse, camel, cynomologous, marmoset, rhesus or chimpanzee Ang-2.
  • Immunoconjugates
  • The invention encompasses anti-Ang-2 monoclonal antibodies conjugated to a therapeutic moiety (“immunoconjugate”), such as a cytotoxin, a chemotherapeutic drug, an immunosuppressant or a radioisotope. Cytotoxic agents include any agent that is detrimental to cells. Examples of suitable cytotoxic agents and chemotherapeutic agents for forming immunoconjugates are known in the art, see for example, WO 05/103081).
  • Multispecific Antibodies
  • The antibodies of the present invention may be monospecific, bispecific, or multispecific. Multispecific mAbs may be specific for different epitopes of one target polypeptide or may contain antigen-binding domains specific for more than one target polypeptide. See, e.g., Tutt et al. (1991) J. Immunol. 147:60-69. The anti-Ang-2 antibodies of the present invention, or portions thereof, can be linked to or co-expressed with another functional molecule, e.g., another peptide or protein, to form a multispecific molecule. For example, an antibody or fragment thereof can be functionally linked (e.g., by chemical coupling, genetic fusion, noncovalent association or otherwise) to one or more other molecular entities, such as another antibody or antibody fragment, to produce a bispecific or a multispecific antibody with a second binding specificity.
  • An exemplary bi-specific antibody format that can be used in the context of the present invention involves the use of a first immunoglobulin (Ig) CH3 domain and a second Ig CH3 domain, wherein the first and second Ig CH3 domains differ from one another by at least one amino acid, and wherein at least one amino acid difference reduces binding of the bispecific antibody to Protein A as compared to a bi-specific antibody lacking the amino acid difference. In one embodiment, the first Ig CH3 domain binds Protein A and the second Ig CH3 domain contains a mutation that reduces or abolishes Protein A binding such as an H95R modification (by IMGT exon numbering; H435R by EU numbering). The second CH3 may further comprise a Y96F modification (by IMGT; Y436F by EU). Further modifications that may be found within the second CH3 include: D16E, L18M, N44S, K52N, V57M, and V82I (by IMGT; D356E, L358M, N384S, K392N, V397M, and V4221 by EU) in the case of IgG1 antibodies; N44S, K52N, and V82I (IMGT; N384S, K392N, and V4221 by EU) in the case of IgG2 antibodies; and Q15R, N44S, K52N, V57M, R69K, E79Q, and V821 (by IMGT; Q355R, N384S, K392N, V397M, R409K, E419Q, and V4221 by EU) in the case of IgG4 antibodies. Variations on the bi-specific antibody format described above are contemplated within the scope of the present invention.
  • Therapeutic Formulation and Administration
  • The invention provides therapeutic compositions comprising the anti-Ang-2 antibodies or antigen-binding fragments thereof of the present invention. The therapeutic compositions in of the present invention may further comprise one or more pharmaceutically acceptable carriers, excipients, and other agents that are incorporated into formulations to provide improved transfer, delivery, tolerance, and the like (herein collectively referred to as “pharmaceutically acceptable carriers or diluents”). A multitude of appropriate formulations can be found in the formulary known to all pharmaceutical chemists: Remington's Pharmaceutical Sciences, Mack Publishing Company, Easton, Pa. These formulations include, for example, powders, pastes, ointments, jellies, waxes, oils, lipids, lipid (cationic or anionic) containing vesicles (such as LIPOFECTIN™), DNA conjugates, anhydrous absorption pastes, oil-in-water and water-in-oil emulsions, emulsions carbowax (polyethylene glycols of various molecular weights), semi-solid gels, and semi-solid mixtures containing carbowax. See also Powell et al. “Compendium of excipients for parenteral formulations” PDA, 1998, J Pharm Sci Technol 52:238-311.
  • The dose of antibody may vary depending upon the age and the size of a subject to be administered, target disease, conditions, route of administration, and the like. The preferred dose is typically calculated according to body weight or body surface area. When an antibody of the present invention is used for treating a condition or disease associated with Ang-2 activity in an adult patient, it may be advantageous to intravenously administer the antibody of the present invention normally at a single dose of about 0.01 to about 20 mg/kg body weight, more preferably about 0.02 to about 7, about 0.03 to about 5, or about 0.05 to about 3 mg/kg body weight. Depending on the severity of the condition, the frequency and the duration of the treatment can be adjusted. Effective dosages and schedules for administering Ang-2 antibodies may be determined empirically; for example, patient progress can be monitored by periodic assessment, and the dose adjusted accordingly. Moreover, interspecies scaling of dosages can be performed using well-known methods in the art (e.g., Mordenti et al., 1991, Pharmaceut. Res. 8:1351).
  • Various delivery systems are known and can be used to administer the pharmaceutical composition of the invention, e.g., encapsulation in liposomes, microparticles, microcapsules, recombinant cells capable of expressing the mutant viruses, receptor mediated endocytosis (see, e.g., Wu et al. 1987, J. Biol. Chem. 262:4429-4432). Methods of introduction include, but are not limited to, intradermal, intramuscular, intraperitoneal, intravenous, subcutaneous, intranasal, epidural, and oral routes. The composition may be administered by any convenient route, for example by infusion or bolus injection, by absorption through epithelial or mucocutaneous linings (e.g., oral mucosa, rectal and intestinal mucosa, etc.) and may be administered together with other biologically active agents. Administration can be systemic or local.
  • A pharmaceutical composition of the present invention can be delivered, e.g., subcutaneously or intravenously with a standard needle and syringe. In addition, with respect to subcutaneous delivery, a pen delivery device readily has applications in delivering a pharmaceutical composition of the present invention. Such a pen delivery device can be reusable or disposable. A reusable pen delivery device generally utilizes a replaceable cartridge that contains a pharmaceutical composition. Once all of the pharmaceutical composition within the cartridge has been administered and the cartridge is empty, the empty cartridge can readily be discarded and replaced with a new cartridge that contains the pharmaceutical composition. The pen delivery device can then be reused. In a disposable pen delivery device, there is no replaceable cartridge. Rather, the disposable pen delivery device comes prefilled with the pharmaceutical composition held in a reservoir within the device. Once the reservoir is emptied of the pharmaceutical composition, the entire device is discarded.
  • Numerous reusable pen and autoinjector delivery devices have applications in the subcutaneous delivery of a pharmaceutical composition of the present invention. Examples include, but certainly are not limited to AUTOPEN™ (Owen Mumford, Inc., Woodstock, UK), DISETRONIC™ pen (Disetronic Medical Systems, Burghdorf, Switzerland), HUMALOG MIX 75/25TM pen, HUMALOG™ pen, HUMALIN 70/30™ pen (Eli Lilly and Co., Indianapolis, Ind.), NOVOPEN™ I, II and III (Novo Nordisk, Copenhagen, Denmark), NOVOPEN JUNIOR™ (Novo Nordisk, Copenhagen, Denmark), BD™ pen (Becton Dickinson, Franklin Lakes, N.J.), OPTIPEN™ OPTIPEN PRO™, OPTIPEN STARLET™, and OPTICLIK™ (sanofi-aventis, Frankfurt, Germany), to name only a few. Examples of disposable pen delivery devices having applications in subcutaneous delivery of a pharmaceutical composition of the present invention include, but certainly are not limited to the SOLOSTAR™ pen (sanofi-aventis), the FLEXPEN™ (Novo Nordisk), and the KWIKPEN™ (Eli Lilly).
  • For the treatment of eye disorders, the antibodies and antigen-binding fragments of the invention may be administered, e.g., by eye drops, subconjunctival injection, subconjunctival implant, intravitreal injection, intravitreal implant, sub-Tenon's injection or sub-Tenon's implant.
  • The pharmaceutical composition can be also delivered in a vesicle, in particular a liposome (see Langer 1990 Science 249:1527-1533; Treat et al. (1989) in Liposomes in the Therapy of Infectious Disease and Cancer, Lopez-Berestein and Fidler (eds.), Liss, New York, pp. 353-365; Lopez-Berestein, ibid., pp. 317-327; see generally ibid.).
  • In certain situations, the pharmaceutical composition can be delivered in a controlled release system. In one embodiment, a pump may be used (see Langer, supra; Sefton 1987 CRC Crit. Ref. Biomed. Eng. 14:201). In another embodiment, polymeric materials can be used. In yet another embodiment, a controlled release system can be placed in proximity of the composition's target, thus requiring only a fraction of the systemic dose (see, e.g., Goodson, 1984, in Medical Applications of Controlled Release, supra, vol. 2, pp. 115-138).
  • The injectable preparations may include dosage forms for intravenous, subcutaneous, intracutaneous and intramuscular injections, drip infusions, etc. These injectable preparations may be prepared by methods publicly known. For example, the injectable preparations may be prepared, e.g., by dissolving, suspending or emulsifying the antibody or its salt described above in a sterile aqueous medium or an oily medium conventionally used for injections. As the aqueous medium for injections, there are, for example, physiological saline, an isotonic solution containing glucose and other auxiliary agents, etc., which may be used in combination with an appropriate solubilizing agent such as an alcohol (e.g., ethanol), a polyalcohol (e.g., propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol), a nonionic surfactant [e.g., polysorbate 80, HCO-50 (polyoxyethylene (50 mol) adduct of hydrogenated castor oil)], etc. As the oily medium, there are employed, e.g., sesame oil, soybean oil, etc., which may be used in combination with a solubilizing agent such as benzyl benzoate, benzyl alcohol, etc. The injection thus prepared is preferably filled in an appropriate ampoule.
  • Advantageously, the pharmaceutical compositions for oral or parenteral use described above are prepared into dosage forms in a unit dose suited to fit a dose of the active ingredients. Such dosage forms in a unit dose include, for example, tablets, pills, capsules, injections (ampoules), suppositories, etc. The amount of the aforesaid antibody contained is generally about 5 to about 500 mg per dosage form in a unit dose; especially in the form of injection, it is preferred that the aforesaid antibody is contained in about 5 to about 100 mg and in about 10 to about 250 mg for the other dosage forms.
  • Therapeutic Uses of the Antibodies
  • The antibodies of the invention are useful, inter alia, for the treatment, prevention and/or amelioration of any disease or disorder associated with Ang-2 activity, including diseases or disorders associated with angiogenesis. The antibodies and antigen-binding fragments of the present invention may be used to treat, e.g., primary and/or metastatic tumors arising in the brain and meninges, oropharynx, lung and bronchial tree, gastrointestinal tract, male and female reproductive tract, muscle, bone, skin and appendages, connective tissue, spleen, immune system, blood forming cells and bone marrow, liver and urinary tract, and special sensory organs such as the eye. In certain embodiments, the antibodies and antigen-binding fragments of the invention are used to treat one or more of the following cancers: renal cell carcinoma, pancreatic carcinoma, breast cancer, prostate cancer, malignant gliomas, osteosarcoma, colorectal cancer, malignant mesothelioma, multiple myeloma, ovarian cancer, small cell lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, synovial sarcoma, thyroid cancer, or melanoma.
  • The antibodies and antigen-binding fragments of the present invention may also be useful for the treatment of one or more eye disorders. Exemplary eye disorders that can be treated with the antibodies and antigen-binding fragments of the invention include, e.g., age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and other eye disorders associated with choroidal neovascularization, vascular leak, retinal edema and inflammation. Additionally, the anti-Ang-2 antibodies of the invention may be administered as an adjuvant to glaucoma surgery to prevent early hem- and lymphangiogenesis and macrophage recruitment to the filtering bleb after glaucoma surgery, and improve clinical outcome.
  • In other embodiments of the present invention, the antibodies or antigen-binding fragments are used to treat hypertension, diabetes (including non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus), psoriasis, arthritis (including rheumatoid arthritis), asthma, sepsis, kidney disease and edema associated with injury, stroke or tumor.
  • Ang-2 expression has been shown to correlate with the severity of various inflammatory and/or infectious diseases (see, e.g., Siner et al., 2009, Shock 31:348-353; Yeo et al., 2008, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA):105:17097-17102). Accordingly, the anti-Ang-2 antibodies of the present invention can be used to treat, prevent or ameliorate one or more inflammatory or infectious diseases. Exemplary infectious diseases that can be treated, prevented or ameliorated by administration of the anti-Ang-2 antibodies of the invention include, but are not limited to:, viral hemorrhagic fevers (e.g., dengue fever), rickettsial infection, toxic shock syndrome, sepsis, hepatitis C, Bartonella bacilliformis infection, leishmaniasis, mycobacterial infection, and Epstein-Barr virus infection.
  • The present invention, in particular, provides methods for treating or preventing malaria (Plasmodium falciparum infection). For example, the methods of the present invention are useful for the treatment or prevention of severe malaria and/or cerebral malaria. The methods according to this aspect of the invention comprise administering to a subject a pharmaceutical composition comprising an anti-Ang-2 antibody of the invention, or an antigen-binding fragment thereof. The methods according to this aspect of the invention can be used to treat a patient who has been infected with a Plasmodium species (e.g., P. falciparum, P. ovale, P. malariae, P. vivax, etc.) or who has been identified as exhibiting one or more clinical symptoms of malaria, and/or who exhibits one or more biomarkers associated with malaria [see e.g., WO 2012/016333]). The methods of the present invention are also useful for the prevention of malaria. For example, the present invention includes methods comprising administering a pharmaceutical composition comprising an anti-Ang-2 antibody of the invention, or an antigen-binding fragment thereof to a patient who is at risk of being infected or exposed to a parasite associated with malaria.
  • Combination Therapies
  • Combination therapies may include an anti-Ang-2 antibody of the invention and, for example, another Ang-2 antagonist (e.g., an anti-Ang-2 antibody, peptibody, or CovX-body such as CVX-060 (see U.S. Pat. No. 7,521,425)). The anti-Ang-2 antibodies of the invention may also be administered together with another anti-angiogenic agent such as, e.g., a VEGF antagonist (e.g., a VEGF-Trap, see, e.g., U.S. 7,087,411 (also referred to herein as a “VEGF-inhibiting fusion protein”), anti-VEGF antibody (e.g., bevacizumab), a small molecule kinase inhibitor of VEGF receptor (e.g., sunitinib, sorafenib or pazopanib), an anti-DLL4 antibody (e.g., an anti-DLL4 antibody disclosed in US 2009/0142354 such as REGN421), etc.), or with an antagonist of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) (e.g., anti-EGFR antibody or small molecule inhibitor of EGFR activity). Other agents that may be beneficially administered in combination with the anti-Ang-2 antibodies of the invention include cytokine inhibitors, including small-molecule cytokine inhibitors and antibodies that bind to cytokines such as IL-1, IL-2, IL-3, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8, IL-9, IL-11, IL-12, IL-13, IL-17, IL-18, or to their respective receptors. The present invention also includes therapeutic combinations comprising any of the anti-Ang-2 antibodies mentioned herein and an inhibitor of one or more of VEGF, DLL4, EGFR, or any of the aforementioned cytokines, wherein the inhibitor is an aptamer, an antisense molecule, a ribozyme, an siRNA, a peptibody, a nanobody or an antibody fragment (e.g., Fab fragment; F(ab′)2 fragment; Fd fragment; Fv fragment; scFv; dAb fragment; or other engineered molecules, such as diabodies, triabodies, tetrabodies, minibodies and minimal recognition units). The anti-Ang-2 antibodies of the invention may also be administered in combination with antivirals, antibiotics, analgesics, corticosteroids and/or NSAIDs. The anti-Ang-2 antibodies of the invention may also be administered as part of a treatment regimen that also includes radiation treatment and/or conventional chemotherapy. When combined with one or more additional agents, the anti-Ang-2 antibodies of the invention may be administered prior to, simultaneous with (e.g., in the same formulation or in separate formulations), or subsequent to the administration of the other agent(s).
  • Diagnostic Uses of the Antibodies
  • The anti-Ang-2 antibodies of the present invention may also be used to detect and/or measure Ang-2 in a sample, e.g., for diagnostic purposes. For example, an anti-Ang-2 antibody, or fragment thereof, may be used to diagnose a condition or disease characterized by aberrant expression (e.g., over-expression, under-expression, lack of expression, etc.) of Ang-2. Exemplary diagnostic assays for Ang-2 may comprise, e.g., contacting a sample, obtained from a patient, with an anti-Ang-2 antibody of the invention, wherein the anti-Ang-2 antibody is labeled with a detectable label or reporter molecule. Alternatively, an unlabeled anti-Ang-2 antibody can be used in diagnostic applications in combination with a secondary antibody which is itself detectably labeled.
  • The detectable label or reporter molecule can be a radioisotope, such as 3H, 14C, 32P, 35S, or 125I; a fluorescent or chemiluminescent moiety such as fluorescein isothiocyanate, or rhodamine; or an enzyme such as alkaline phosphatase, 3-galactosidase, horseradish peroxidase, or luciferase. Specific exemplary assays that can be used to detect or measure Ang-2 in a sample include enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), radioimmunoassay (RIA), and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS).
  • EXAMPLES
  • The following examples are put forth so as to provide those of ordinary skill in the art with a complete disclosure and description of how to make and use the methods and compositions of the invention, and are not intended to limit the scope of what the inventors regard as their invention. Efforts have been made to ensure accuracy with respect to numbers used (e.g., amounts, temperature, etc.) but some experimental errors and deviations should be accounted for. Unless indicated otherwise, parts are parts by weight, molecular weight is average molecular weight, temperature is in degrees Centigrade, and pressure is at or near atmospheric.
  • Example 1 Generation of Human Antibodies to Human Ang-2
  • Human Ang-2 antigen was administered directly, with an adjuvant to stimulate the immune response, to a VELOCIMMUNE® mouse comprising DNA encoding human Immunoglobulin heavy and kappa light chain variable regions. The antibody immune response was monitored by an Ang-2-specific immunoassay. When a desired immune response was achieved splenocytes were harvested and fused with mouse myeloma cells to preserve their viability and form hybridoma cell lines. The hybridoma cell lines were screened and selected to identify cell lines that produce Ang-2-specific antibodies. Using this technique several anti-Ang-2 chimeric antibodies (i.e., antibodies possessing human variable domains and mouse constant domains) were obtained; exemplary antibodies generated in this manner were designated as follows: H1M724, H1M727, H1M728, H2M730, H1M732, H1M737, H2M742, H2M743, H2M744, H1M749, H2M750 and H1M810.
  • Anti-Ang-2 antibodies were also isolated directly from antigen-positive B cells without fusion to myeloma cells, as described in U.S. 200710280945A1. Using this method, several fully human anti-Ang-2 antibodies (i.e., antibodies possessing human variable domains and human constant domains) were obtained; exemplary antibodies generated in this manner were designated as follows: H1H685, H1H690, H1H691, H1H693, H1H694, H1H695, H1H696, H1H704, H1H706 and H1H707.
  • The biological properties of the exemplary anti-Ang-2 antibodies generated in accordance with the methods of this Example are described in detail in the Examples set forth below.
  • Example 2 Variable Gene Utilization Analysis
  • To analyze the structure of antibodies produced, the nucleic acids encoding antibody variable regions were cloned and sequenced. From the nucleic acid sequence and predicted amino acid sequence of the antibodies, gene usage was identified for each heavy chain variable region (HCVR) and light chain variable region (LCVR) (Table 1).
  • TABLE 1
    HCVR LCVR Antibody Identifier
    Antibody VH DH JH VK JK HCVR/LCVR SEQ ID NOs
    H1H685 3-13  3-16 4 3-20 1  2/10
    H1H690 3-23 4-4 3 3-11 4 26/34
    H1H691 3-9   4-17 6 3-20 4 50/58
    H1H693 3-23 4-4 3 1-12 1 74/82
    H1H694 3-15 6-6 4 1-5  1  98/106
    H1H695 3-33  5-12 6 3-15 5 122/130
    H1H696 3-11  4-17 4 1-16 4 146/154
    H1H704 3-33 6-6 4 1-16 5 170/178
    H1H706 3-33 3-3 3 1-16 1 194/202
    H1H707 3-33 3-3 3 3-20 4 218/226
    H1M724 3-33 3-3 5 1-17 4 266/274
    H1M727 1-18 3-3 6 2-28 2 338/346
    H1M728 3-7   6-19 4 1-5  1 290/298
    H2M730 3-7   6-13 4 1-5  1 362/370
    H1M732 3-15 1-7 4 1-17 3 242/250
    H2M742 3-23 5-5 5 2-28 4 386/394
    H2M743 3-23 2-8 4 1-12 4 410/418
    H2M744 1-18 4-4 5 1-12 4 434/442
    H1M749 3-33 5-5 4 3-15 1 314/322
    H2M750 3-33 6-6 4 1-16 4 458/466
    H1M810 3-23 3-3 3 1-12 1 482/490
  • Table 2 sets forth the heavy and light chain variable region amino acid sequence pairs of selected anti-Ang-2 antibodies and their corresponding antibody identifiers. The N, P and G designations refer to antibodies having heavy and light chains with identical CDR sequences but with sequence variations in regions that fall outside of the CDR sequences (i.e., in the framework regions). Thus, N, P and G variants of a particular antibody have identical CDR sequences within their heavy and light chain variable regions but contain modifications within the framework regions.
  • TABLE 2
    HCVR/ HCVR/ HCVR/
    LCVR LCVR LCVR
    SEQ ID SEQ ID SEQ ID
    Name NOs Name NOs Name NOs
    H1H685N  2/10 H1H685P 18/20 H1H685G 22/24
    H1H690N 26/34 H1H690P 42/44 H1H690G 46/48
    H1H691N 50/58 H1H691P 66/68 H1H691G 70/72
    H1H693N 74/82 H1H693P 90/92 H1H693G 94/96
    H1H694N 98/106 H1H694P 114/116 H1H694G 118/120
    H1H695N 122/130 H1H695P 138/140 H1H695G 142/144
    H1H696N 146/154 H1H696P 162/164 H1H696G 166/168
    H1H704N 170/178 H1H704P 186/188 H1H704G 190/192
    H1H706N 194/202 H1H706P 210/212 H1H706G 214/216
    H1H707N 218/226 H1H707P 234/236 H1H707G 238/240
    H1M724N 266/274 H1M724P 282/284 H1M724G 286/288
    H1M727N 338/346 H1M727P 354/356 H1M727G 358/360
    H1M728N 290/298 H1M728P 306/308 H1M728G 310/312
    H2M730N 362/370 H2M730P 378/380 H2M730G 382/384
    H1M732N 242/250 H1M732P 258/260 H1M732G 262/264
    H1M737N 506/X*  H1M737P 514/X*  H1M737G 516/X* 
    H2M742N 386/394 H2M742P 402/404 H2M742G 406/408
    H2M743N 410/418 H2M743P 426/428 H2M743G 430/432
    H2M744N 434/442 H2M744P 450/452 H2M744G 454/456
    H1M749N 314/322 H1M749P 330/332 H1M749G 334/336
    H2M750N 458/466 H2M750P 474/476 H2M750G 478/480
    H1M810N 482/490 H1M810P 498/500 H1M810G 502/504
    *The amino acid sequence of the LCVR of H1M737 is not shown.
  • Control Constructs Used in the Following Examples
  • Various control constructs (anti-Ang-2 antibodies and anti-Ang-2 peptibodies) were included in the following experiments for comparative purposes. The control constructs are designated as follows: Control I: a human anti-Ang-2 antibody with heavy and light chain variable domains having the amino acid sequences of the corresponding domains of “Ab536(THW),” as set forth in US 2006/0018909 (see also Oliner et al., 2004, Cancer Cell 6:507-516); Control II: a peptibody that binds human Ang-2 having the amino acid sequence of “2XCon4(C),” as set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 7,205,275, (see also Oliner et al., 2004, Cancer Cell 6:507-516); Control III: a peptibody that binds human Ang-2 having the amino acid sequence of “L1-7,” as set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 7,138,370; Control IV: a human anti-Ang-2 antibody with heavy and light chain variable regions having the amino acid sequences of the corresponding domains of “3.19.3” as set forth in US 2006/0246071; and Control V: a human anti-Ang-2 antibody with heavy and light chain variable regions having the amino acid sequences of the corresponding domains of “MEDI1/5” as set forth in WO 2009/097325. (Not all control constructs were used in every Example). In the tables that follow, the notations “Ab” and “Pb” are included to identify antibody and peptibody controls, respectively (i.e., Control 1=Ab; Control II=Pb; Control III=Pb; Control IV=Ab; and Control V=Ab).
  • Example 3 Antigen Binding Affinity Determination
  • Equilibrium dissociation constants (KD values) for the binding of selected purified Ang-2 antibodies to dimeric fibrinogen-like domain of human (SEQ ID NO: 519), mouse (Mus musculus; SEQ ID NO: 520) and monkey (Macca fascicularis; SEQ ID NO: 521) Ang-2 (Ang-2FD) conjugated to human IgG1 (SEQ ID NO:528) were determined by surface kinetics using a real-time biosensor surface plasmon resonance assay. Antibody was captured on a goat anti-mouse IgG polyclonal antibody surface, a goat anti-human κ polyclonal antibody (Southern Biotech, Birmingham, Ala.) surface or a goat anti-human IgG polyclonal antibody (Jackson Immuno Research Lab, West Grove, Pa.) surface created through direct amine coupling to a BIACORE™ CM5 sensor chip to form a captured antibody surface. Varying concentrations (ranging from 50 nM to 6.25 nM) of protein were injected at 100 μl/min over captured antibody surface for 90 seconds. Antigen-antibody binding and dissociation were monitored in real time at room temperature. Kinetic analysis was performed to calculate KD and half-life of antigen/antibody complex dissociation. The results are summarized in Table 3 below.
  • TABLE 3
    Dimeric Dimeric Dimeric
    Human Ang-2FD Mouse Ang-2FD Monkey Ang-2FD
    Antibody KD (pM) T1/2 (min) KD (pM) T1/2 (min) KD (pM) T1/2 (min)
    H1M724N 179 42.7 694 16 730 25.7
    H1M728N 137 58.4 5650 9.9 1580 69.5
    H2M730N 210 47 842 36.6
    H1M732N 484 35.5 1700 21.4 7330 24.1
    H1M737N 251 34.5 1740 6.3 3810 16
    H2M742N 295 38 610 30.8 6170 28.5
    H2M743N 154 167 882 195.2 234 169.2
    H2M744N 98.9 109.1 143 223.1 500 281.7
    H2M749N 165 42.9 529 25.5 1500 40.9
    H2M750N 362 32.2 1470 23
  • The above experiment was repeated using selected purified anti-Ang-2 antibodies cloned onto human IgG1. The results are summarized in Table 4 below.
  • TABLE 4
    Dimeric Dimeric Dimeric
    Human Ang-2FD Mouse Ang-2FD Monkey Ang-2FD
    Antibody KD (pM) T1/2 (min) KD (pM) T1/2 (min) KD (pM) T1/2 (min)
    H1H685P 71.4 229.4 148 128.7 99.4 177.1
    H1H690P 79 126.1 91.3 105.2 55.6 195.2
    H1H691P 220 38.5 220 43.8 290 41
    H1H693P 500 37.1 446 63.7 1170 17.6
    H1H694P 126 265.6 237 166.5 356 85.6
    H1H695P 245 147 347 124.2 440 84.1
    H1H696P 289 38.8 402 37.6 354 36.6
    H1H704P 331 86.1 484 61.9 818 33.5
    H1H706P 201 50.4 357 47 164 53.3
    H1H707P 262 26.6 328 34.4 283 22.3
    H1H724N 115 107 185 84 239 173
    H1H728N 162 81 5760 20 2000 77
    H1H730N 234 62 97.1 90 3400 87
    H1H732N 386 57 529 51 439 118
    H1H742N 186 65 276 58 683 93
    H1H743N 88.2 254 124 233 96.5 780
    H1H744N 114 127 158 115 346 164
    H1H749N 118 109 177 96 407 143
    H1H750N 164 127 218 121 199 244
    Control I 339 34.8 339 47.1 537 27.1
    (Ab)
  • Additional binding experiments were conducted using selected anti-Ang-2 antibodies at two different temperatures to further assess cross-species affinity. Each selected antibody or control construct was captured at a flow rate of 40 μL/min for 1 minute on a goat anti-human kappa polyclonal antibody surface created through direct chemical coupling to a BIACORE™ chip to form a captured antibody surface. Human, monkey and mouse Ang-2FD-Fc at a concentration of 25 nM or 0.78 nM was injected over the captured antibody surface at a flowrate of 60 μL/min for 3 minutes, and antigen-antibody dissociation was monitored in real time for 20 minutes at either 25° C. or 37° C.
  • Results are summarized in Tables 5 (25° C. binding) and 6 (37° C. binding) below.
  • TABLE 5
    Binding at 25° C.
    Dimeric Dimeric Dimeric
    Human Ang-2FD-mFc Mouse Ang-2FD-hFc Monkey Ang-2FD-hFc
    Antibody KD (Molar) T1/2 (min) KD (Molar) T1/2 (min) KD (Molar) T1/2 (min)
    H1H685P 1.17E−11 227 6.51E−11 208 2.20E−11 275
    H1H744N 1.16E−10 23 3.85E−10 33 2.44E−10 24
    Control I (Ab) 1.07E−09 15 1.07E−09 15 1.03E−09 4
    Control IV (Ab) 1.27E−11 269 4.02E−11 289 1.55E−11 342
  • TABLE 6
    Binding at 37° C.
    Dimeric Dimeric Dimeric
    Human Ang-2FD-mFc Mouse Ang-2FD-hFc Monkey Ang-2FD-hFc
    Antibody KD (Molar) T1/2 (min) KD (Molar) T1/2 (min) KD (Molar) T1/2 (min)
    H1H685P 2.70E−11 60 9.39E−11 64 7.21E−11 65
    H1H744N 1.05E−10 18 2.15E−10 26 3.20E−10 11
    Control I (Ab) 3.90E−10 12
    Control IV (Ab) 9.91E−12 184  5.40E−11 119  4.74E−11 107 
  • In another experiment, KD values for selected purified antibodies that bind to a human “bow-Ang-2” tetrameric construct (“hBA2”) were determined (using the methods described above). hBA2 consists of two dimers, each dimer containing two Ang-2 fibronectin-like domains connected to one another by a human Fc domain. The amino acid sequence of the dimer constituents of hBA2 is represented by SEQ ID NO:522. The results are summarized in Table 7 below.
  • TABLE 7
    hBA2
    Antibody KD (pM) T1/2 (min)
    H1H685P 11.9 587.2
    H1H690P 17.9 299.3
    H1H691P 106 50.6
    H1H693P 299 28.7
    H1H694P 68.4 111.3
    H1H695P 40.1 254.3
    H1H696P 111 51.5
    H1H704P 93.9 117.7
    H1H706P 79.1 63.9
    H1H707P 75.2 51.4
    H1H724N 23.3 323
    H1H728N 41.8 185
    H1H730N 55.9 152
    H1H732N 132 73
    H1H742N 72.1 87
    H1H743N 9.71 1118
    H1H744N 17.2 442
    H1H749N 32.5 235
    H1H750N 36.9 284
    Control I (Ab) 83 57.5
  • In yet another experiment, KD values for selected purified antibodies that bind to wild-type human Ang-2 (hAng-2-WT; SEQ ID NO: 518) and the fibrinogen-like domain of human Ang2 (hAng-2FD) were determined (as described above). The results are summarized in Table 8 below.
  • TABLE 8
    Monomeric hAng-2FD hAng-2-WT
    Antibody KD (nM) T1/2 (min) KD (pM) T1/2 (min)
    H1M724N 1.75 17.4 33.1 568
    H1M728N 1.17 33.9 33.8 725
    H2M730N 2.06 24.4 49.2 519
    H1M732N 6.13 18.7 131 333
    H1M737N 2.82 13.1 59.3 282
    H2M742N 4.81 18.0 67.9 437
    H2M743N 0.399 156.7 14.3 2366
    H2M744N 0.475 89.3 28.9 846
    H2M749N 1.38 27.9 49 479
    H2M750N 4.42 21.5 40.8 991
    H1H685P 0.578 55 47.6 1000
    H1H691P 11 0.57 19.1 684.6
    H1H690P 0.594 25.16 12.4 1568
    H1H693P 44.8 0.61 425 100
    H1H694P 7.89 9.85 158 209.7
    H1H695P 1.12 50.59 31.1 1770.7
    H1H696P 38.4 0.20 40.3 642.7
    H1H704P 0.39 3.31 36.2 747.6
    H1H706P 11 1.02 27.4 661.9
    H1H707P 145 77.1 217.4
    H1H724N 2.4 13.34 22.6 895
    H1H728N 1.18 5.86 43 566
    H1H730N 2.84 3.44 47.5 534
    H1H732N 264 0.22 202 264
    H1H742N 486 2.29 44.9 666
    H1H743N 2.35 33.03 9.48 3927
    H1H744N 1.02 42.14 30.8 837
    H1H749N 1.13 33.48 12.5 1833
    H1H750N 0.787 30.20 9.5 4442
    Control I (Ab) 44.5 0.03 47.6 512
    Control II (Pb) 90 44.7 334.8
  • Additional experiments were conducted to measure the binding properties of selected anti-Ang-2 antibodies to monomeric hAng-2FD at 25° C. and 37° C. Each selected antibody or control construct was captured at a flow rate of 40 μL/min for 1 minute on a goat anti-human IgG polyclonal antibody surface created through direct chemical coupling to a BIACORE™ chip to form a captured antibody surface. Human Ang-2FD at a concentration of 500 nM or 7.8 nM was injected over the captured antibody surface at a flowrate of 60 μL/min for 3 minutes, and antigen-antibody dissociation was monitored in real time for 20 minutes at either 25° C. or 37° C.
  • Results are summarized in Tables 9 (25° C.) and 10 (37° C.) below. N/D=not determined.
  • TABLE 9
    Binding to monomeric hAng-2FD at 25° C.
    ka (Ms−1) kd (s−1) KD (Molar)
    H1H685P 2.44E+05 7.96E−05 3.36E−10 145 minutes
    H1H744N 2.92E+05 1.24E−04 4.24E−10  93 minutes
    Control I (Ab) 4.00E+05 5.10E−02 1.28E−07  14 seconds
    Control II (Pb) steady-state steady-state 9.00E−08 steady-state
    Control III (Pb) 5.40E+05 6.30E−02 1.17E−07  11 seconds
    Control IV 2.84E+05 3.56E−02 1.25E−07  19 seconds
    (Ab)
  • TABLE 10
    Binding to monomeric hAng-2FD at 37° C.
    ka (Ms−1) kd (s−1) KD (Molar)
    H1H685P 4.06E+05 1.39E−04 3.42E−10 83 minutes
    H1H744N 3.86E+05 5.48E−04 1.42E−09 21 minutes
    Control I (Ab) steady-state steady-state 1.51E−07 steady-state
    Control II (Pb) N/D N/D N/D N/D
    Control III (Pb) steady-state steady-state 2.94E−07 steady-state
    Control IV steady-state steady-state 9.40E−08 steady-state
    (Ab)
  • As shown in this Example, several of the anti-Ang-2 antibodies generated in accordance with the methods of Example 1 bound to Ang-2 constructs with equivalent or higher affinities than the controls. For example, antibodies H1H685, H1H690, H1H724 and H1H744 bound to dimeric human Ang-2-FD with KD's of 71.4, 79, 115, and 114 pM, respectively, whereas Control I antibody bound to dimeric human Ang-2-FD with a KD of 339 pM (see Table 4). Similarly, antibodies H1H685, H1H690, H1H724 and H1H744 bound to human BA2 (a tetrameric Ang-2 fibrinogen-like domain construct) with KD's of 11.9, 17.9, 23.3 and 17.2 pM, respectively, whereas Control I antibody bound to hBA2 with a KD of 83 pM (see Table 7). Thus, as compared to the control constructs, many of the antibodies of the invention exhibit enhanced binding to Ang-2. Antibody H1H685P showed especially robust binding properties to Ang-2 as compared to the control constructs.
  • Example 4 Preferential Binding to Ang-2 Over Ang-1
  • Binding experiments (plasmon resonance assays) were conducted to ascertain whether selected antibodies bound to both Ang-2 and Ang-1 or if they preferentially bound to Ang-2 only. Each selected antibody or control construct was captured at a flow rate of 40 pL/min for 1 minute on a goat anti-human IgG polyclonal antibody surface created through direct chemical coupling to a BIACORE™ chip to form a captured antibody surface. Full-length wild-type human Ang-1 or Ang-2 at a concentration of 25 nM or 0.78 nM were injected over the captured antibody surface at a flowrate of 60 pL/min for 3 minutes, and antigen-antibody dissociation was monitored in real time for 20 minutes at either 25° C. or 37° C.
  • The results of these experiments are summarized in Tables 11-14 below. N/D=not determined. “No binding” means that no detectable binding was observed under the particular experimental conditions used in these experiments.
  • Binding to hAng-2-WT at 25° C.
    ka (Ms−1) kd (s−1) KD (Molar) T½ (minutes)
    Table 11a
    H1H685P 6.59E+05 1.60E−05 2.42E−11 722
    H1H744N 7.65E+05 2.57E−05 3.35E−11 450
    Control I (Ab) 4.74E+05 2.26E−05 4.76E−11 512
    Control II (Pb) 7.73E+05 3.45E−05 4.47E−11 335
    Control III (Pb) 3.29E+05 1.98E−05 6.01E−11 584
    Control IV (Ab) 3.80E+06 2.74E−04 7.22E−11 42
    Table 11b
    H1H685P 1.15E+05 8.50E−06 7.39E−11 1359
    Control II (Pb) 8.30E+04 5.41E−05 6.52E−10 213
    Control V (Ab) 1.12E+05 2.66E−05 2.73E−10 434
  • Binding to hAng-1-WT at 25° C.
    ka (Ms−1) kd (s−1) KD (Molar) (minutes)
    Table 12a
    H1H685P No binding No binding No binding No binding
    H1H744N 4.10E+05 3.81E−05 9.30E−11 303
    Control I (Ab) 4.55E+05 2.49E−05 5.47E−11 464
    Control II (Pb) 4.53E+05 3.54E−05 7.82E−11 326
    Control III (Pb) No binding No binding No binding No binding
    Control IV 6.60E+05 1.11E−04 1.68E−10 105
    (Ab)
    Table 12b
    H1H685P No binding No binding No binding No binding
    Control II (Pb) 3.04E+05 2.51E−05 8.26E−11 460
    Control V (Ab) 2.75E+05 6.68E−05 2.43E−10 173
  • Binding to hAng-2-WT at 37° C.
    ka (Ms−1) kd (s−1) KD (Molar) T½ (minutes)
    Table 13a
    H1H685P 8.54E+05 3.76E−05 4.40E−11 707
    H1H744N 7.01E+05 2.43E−04 3.47E−10 48
    Table 13b
    H1H685P 1.36E+05 2.16E−05 1.59E−10 535
    Control II (Pb) 3.79E+04 1.17E−04 3.09E−09 99
    Control V (Ab) 9.42E+04 7.92E−05 8.41E−10 146
  • Binding to hAng-1-WT at 37° C.
    ka (Ms−1) kd (s−1) KD (Molar) (minutes)
    Table 14a
    H1H685P No binding No binding No binding No binding
    H1H744N 1.47E+06 5.20E−05 3.12E−11 222
    Control III (Pb) No binding No binding No binding No binding
    Table 14b
    H1H685P No binding No binding No binding No binding
    Control II (Pb) 2.81E+05 4.35E−05 1.55E−10 266
    Control V (Ab) 4.42E+05 5.47E−05 1.24E−10 211
  • These results show that H1H685P is unique among the antibodies tested in this experiment in that it binds with high affinity to Ang-2 but does not bind to Ang-1. The only other construct that exhibits binding to Ang-2 but not to Ang-1 is Control III. It should be emphasized, however, that Control III is a peptibody and that all of the other antibodies tested in this experiment bound to both Ang-2 and Ang-1. The selectivity for Ang-2 binding may confer therapeutic benefits on H1H685P that are not possessed by antibodies that bind to both Ang-2 and Ang-1.
  • Example 5 Inhibition of Ang-2 Binding to Human Tie-2
  • Tie-2 is a natural receptor for Ang-2. Anti-Ang-2 antibodies were tested for their ability to block Ang-2 binding to human Tie-2 (hTie-2). hTie-2-mFc (a chimeric construct consisting of human Tie-2 conjugated to mouse IgG; SEQ ID NO:525) was coated onto 96-well plates at a concentration of 2 μg/ml and incubated overnight followed by washing four times in wash buffer (PBS with 0.05% Tween-20). The plate was then blocked with PBS (Irvine Scientific, Santa Ana, Calif.) containing 0.5% BSA (Sigma-Aldrich Corp., St. Louis, Mo.) for one hour at room temperature. In a separate plate, purified anti-Ang-2 antibodies, at a starting concentration of 50 nM, were serially diluted by a factor of three across the plate. Human, mouse or monkey Ang-2FD protein conjugated to human IgG (Ang-2FD-hFc) were added to final concentrations of 2 nM, 8 nM, or 2 nM respectively and incubated for one hour at room temperature. The antibody/Ang-2FD-Fc mixture was then added to the plate containing hTie-2-mFc and incubated for one hour at room temperature. Detection of Ang-2FD-hFc bound to hTie-2-mFc protein was determined with Horse-Radish Peroxidase (HRP) conjugated to a-human IgG antibody (Jackson Immuno Research Lab, West Grove, Pa.) and developed by standard colorimetric response using tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) substrate (BD Biosciences, San Jose, Calif.). Absorbance was read at OD450 for 0.1 sec. Percent blocking of Ang-2FD-hFc binding to hTie-2-mFc by 16.67 nM of selected anti-Ang-2 antibodies is shown in Table 15.
  • TABLE 15
    Percent Blocking of Ang-2FD Binding to Tie-2
    Human Mouse Monkey
    Antibody Ang-2FD-hFc Ang-2FD-hFc Ang-2FD-hFc
    H1M724N 99.5 96.6 95.2
    H1M728N 98.5 83.9 97.1
    H2M730N 98.9 55.0 97.3
    H1M732N 97.7 90.9 95.8
    H1M737N 99.1 95.4 90.5
    H2M742N 99.6 98.6 94.1
    H2M743N 99.6 98.4 95.1
    H2M744N 99.5 98.4 95.5
    H2M749N 99.5 97.3 97.4
    H2M750N 99.4 53.7 97.4
    Control I (Ab) 94.5 90.2 96.9
  • In a similar experiment, selected purified anti-Ang-2 antibodies cloned onto human IgG1 were tested for their ability to block Ang-2FD binding to hTie-2 (as described above). Percent blocking of Ang-2FD-hFc binding to hTie-2-mFc by 16.67 nM of selected anti-Ang-2 antibodies is shown in Table 16. NT: not tested.
  • TABLE 16
    Percent Blocking of Ang-2FD Binding to Tie-2
    Human Mouse Monkey
    Antibody Ang-2FD-hFc Ang-2FD-hFc Ang-2FD-hFc
    H1H685P 93.8 97.1 62.2
    H1H690P 97.2 98.0 99.6
    H1H691P 97.4 96.7 99.8
    H1H693P 73.9 63.6 NT
    H1H694P 79.8 36.0 NT
    H1H695P 98.4 97.6 NT
    H1H696P 98.2 94.9 99.2
    H1H704P 97.0 41.8 NT
    H1H706P 97.1 95.9 99.8
    H1H707P 95.1 93.8 NT
    H1H724N 96.6 97.1 96.6
    H1H744N 97.9 97.6 96.2
    Control I (Ab) 97.3 82.2 98.5
  • In another experiment, selected purified anti-Ang-2 antibodies were tested for their ability to block binding of 20 pM biotinylated hBA2 to hTie-2 (as described above). For this experiment, human Tie-2 conjugated to a histidine tag (hTie-2-His; SEQ ID NO:526) was used in a similar fashion to the hTie-2-mFc described above. Antibody concentrations from 5 nM were serially diluted three-fold. An IC50 (Inhibitory Concentration) value was generated by calculating the amount of antibody required to block 50% of the signal from the binding of biotin-hBA2 to Tie-2. An average IC50 value for each antibody was calculated based on two separate experiments. The results are summarized in Table 17. NB: no blocking observed at 5 nM concentration.
  • TABLE 17
    Biotin - hBA2
    Antibody Average IC50 (pM)
    H1M724N 9.72
    H1M728N 14.05
    H2M730N 14.60
    H1M732N 82.17
    H1M737N 13.01
    H2M742N 9.65
    H2M743N 11.01
    H2M744N 11.43
    H2M749N 6.43
    H2M750N 8.83
    Control I (Ab) 30.23
    Control II (Pb) 7.75
    Control III (Pb) 16.49
  • In a similar experiment, selected purified anti-Ang-2 antibodies cloned onto human IgG1 were tested for their ability to block binding of biotinylated hBA2 to hTie-2 (as described above). The results are shown in Table 18. NB: no blocking observed at 5 nM concentration.
  • TABLE 18
    Biotin - hBA2
    Antibody IC50 (pM)
    H1H685P 20
    H1H690P 17
    H1H691P 13
    H1H693P NB
    H1H694P NB
    H1H695P 59
    H1H696P 22
    H1H704P 56
    H1H706P  8
    H1H707P 22
    H1H724N  4
    H1H744N 25
  • This Example illustrates that several of the anti-Ang-2 antibodies generated in accordance with the methods of Example 1 blocked the interaction between the Ang-2 fibrinogen-like domain and its receptor (TIE-2) to an equivalent or greater extent than the control antibody. For example, antibodies H1H690, H1H691, H1H695, H1H696, H1H704, H1H706, H1H707, H1H724 and H1H744 each caused greater than 95% blocking of human, mouse and monkey Ang-2FD constructs to the TIE-2 receptor, similar to the results observed with the control constructs (see Table 16).
  • Example 6 Inhibition of Full-Length Ang-2 and Ang-1 Binding to Human Tie-2
  • Tie-2 is a receptor for Ang-1 as well as Ang-2. Therefore, in the present Example, the ability of certain anti-Ang-2 antibodies to block binding of Ang-2 or Ang-1 to human Tie-2 was measured and compared.
  • The ELISA experiments shown in this Example were conducted in a similar manner to the experiments of Example 5. Briefly, hTie-2-mFc (a chimeric construct consisting of human Tie-2 conjugated to mouse IgG; SEQ ID NO:525) was coated onto 96-well plates at a concentration of 2 μg/ml and incubated overnight followed by washing four times in wash buffer (PBS with 0.05% Tween-20). The plate was then blocked with PBS (Irvine Scientific, Santa Ana, Calif.) containing 0.5% BSA (Sigma-Aldrich Corp., St. Louis, Mo.) for one hour at room temperature. In a separate plate, purified anti-Ang-2 antibodies and control constructs, at a starting concentration of 300 nM, were serially diluted by a factor of three across the plate. Full-length human Ang-2 or Ang-1 protein conjugated to 6× histidine tag (R&D Systems, Minneapolis, Minn.) were added to a final concentration of 0.6 nM and incubated for one hour at room temperature. The antibody/antigen mixture was then added to the plate containing hTie-2-mFc and incubated for one hour at room temperature. Detection of Ang-2-His or Ang-1-His bound to hTie-2-mFc protein was determined with Horse-Radish Peroxidase (HRP) conjugated to a-Penta-His antibody (Qiagen, Valencia, Ccalif.) and developed by standard colorimetric response using tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) substrate (BD Biosciences, San Jose, Calif.). Absorbance was read at OD450 for 0.1 sec. An IC50 (Inhibitory Concentration) value was generated by calculating the amount of antibody required to block 50% of the signal from the binding of human Ang-2 or Ang-1 to Tie-2. The results, expressed in terms of IC50 are shown in Table 19, columns (1) and (2). The extent to which the antibodies or control constructs block the hAng-2/Tie-2 interaction relative to the hAng-1/Tie-2 interaction is reflected in the fold difference in IC50 shown in column (3); that is, a higher number in column (3) indicates a greater capacity to block the hAng-2/Tie-2 interaction than the hAng-1/Tie-2 interaction.
  • TABLE 19
    (3)
    Fold
    Difference in
    (1) (2) hAng-1 Blocking
    Blocking Blocking IC50 Compared
    hAng-2 WT to hAng-1 WT to to h-Ang-2
    Antibody Tie-2 IC50 (M) Tie-2 IC50 (M) Blocking IC50*
    H1H685P 1.294E−10 >3.000E−07 >2318
    H1H744N 7.871E−11 1.872E−07 2378
    Control I (Ab) 9.372E−11 6.171E−08 658
    Control II (Pb) 3.096E−11 5.509E−11 1.8
    Control III (Pb) 1.626E−10 >1.000E−06 >6150
    Control IV (Ab) 1.476E−10 4.252E−09 28.8
    *Calculated by dividing the hAng-1 blocking IC50 (column 2) by the hAng-2 blocking IC50 (column 1).
  • In an effort to further assess the ability of selected anti-hAng-2 antibodies to block the binding of Ang-1 to Tie-2, a biosensor surface plasmon resonance experiment was conducted. In this experiment, a human Tie-2 full-length extracellular domain construct (hTie-2-mFc-ecto) was amine-coupled on a BIACORE™ chip to create a receptor coated surface. Selected anti-hAng-2 antibodies and control constructs, at 1 μM (100-fold excess over antigen), were premixed with 10 nM of hAng-1-WT, followed by 60 minutes incubation at 25° C. to allow antibody-antigen binding to reach equilibrium to form equilibrated solutions. The equilibrated solutions were injected over the receptor surfaces at 5 μL/min for 5 minutes at 25° C. Changes in resonance units (RU) due to the binding of the hAng-1-WT to hTie-2-mFc were determined. An irrelevant peptibody construct with no binding to hAng-1 was included in this experiment to establish the 0% blocking baseline, and a human Tie-2-mFc construct was used as a positive control for blocking. The amount of Ang-1 bound to Tie-2 following antibody preincubation, expressed as a percentage of the amount of Ang-1 bound to Tie-2 following negative control preincubation, is shown in Table 20. (A greater amount of Ang-1 binding to Tie-2 signifies a lower degree of antibody blocking).
  • TABLE 20
    Percent of
    Negative Control
    Antibody RU (average) Binding
    Negative Control 169 100
    (irrelevant
    peptibody)
    hTie-2-mFc 71 42
    H1H685P 137 81
    H1H744N 57 34
    H1H691P 117 69
    H1H706P 140 83
    H1H724N 57 34
    Control I (Ab) 48 28
    Control II (Pb) 48 28
    Control III (Pb) 160 95
  • The foregoing experiment was repeated using different amounts of Ang-2 blockers and controls. In particular, a human Tie-2 full-length extracellular domain construct (hTie-2-mFc-ecto) was amine-coupled on a BIACORE™ chip to create a receptor-coated surface. Selected anti-hAng-2 antibodies and control constructs (50 or 150 nM) were mixed with hAng-2-WT (25 nM) followed by 60 minutes incubation at 25° C. to allow antibody-antigen binding to reach equilibrium. The equilibrated solutions were injected over the receptor surfaces at 10 μL/min for 5 minutes at 25° C. To evaluate the ability of the selected anti-hAng-2 antibodies to block Ang-1-WT binding to hTie-2, a similar procedure was followed except the antibodies were tested at three concentrations (50, 100 or 1000 nM) and incubated with 10 nM of hAng-1-WT. Changes in resonance units (RU) due to the binding of the Ang-2-WT or hAng-1-WT to hTie-2-mFc were determined. An irrelevant antibody with no binding to either angiopoietin was included in these experiments to establish the 0% blocking baseline, and a human Tie-2-mFc construct was used as a positive control for blocking. Results are summarized in Tables 21 (hAng-1 applied to a hTie-2 surface) and 22 (hAng-2 applied to a hTie-2 surface).
  • TABLE 21
    (hAng-1 WT)
    Amount of Antibody or Control
    50 nM 100 nM 1000 nM
    Percent of Percent of Percent of
    Specific Neg. Ctrl Specific Neg. Ctrl Specific Neg. Ctrl
    Antibody Bound RU Binding Bound RU Binding Bound RU Binding
    Negative Control 316 100 307 100 276 100
    (irrelevant antibody)
    hTie-2-mFc 70 22 39 13 −47 0
    H1H685P 299 95 291 95 289 105
    Control II (Pb) 8 2.5 4 1.3 −1 0
    Control V (Ab) 150 48 114 37 29 11
  • TABLE 22
    (hAng-2 WT)
    Amount of Antibody or Control
    50 nM 150 nM
    Percent of Percent of
    Specific Neg. Ctrl Specific Neg. Ctrl
    Antibody Bound RU Binding Bound RU Binding
    Negative Control 281 100 278 100
    (irrelevant antibody)
    hTie-2-mFc 97 35 82 30
    H1H685P 12 4.3 12 4.3
    Control II (Pb) 10 3.6 10 3.6
    Control V (Ab) 12 4.3 12 4.3
  • The results obtained from these experiments are in agreement with previous results which showed that H1H685P preferentially binds to Ang-2 over Ang-1 (see Example 4). In particular, the results from this Example show that several anti-Ang-2 antibodies (e.g., H1H685P and H1H706P) do not significantly block the binding of human Ang-1 to human Tie-2, even though, in other experiments, it was demonstrated that these antibodies potently blocked the interaction between Ang-2 and Tie-2 (see Example 5, Table 16). Moreover, in these experiments none of the control constructs, except for the Control III peptibody, exhibited the same degree of preferential binding/blocking of Ang-2 over Ang-1 as the exemplary anti-Ang-2 antibodies of the present invention, such as H1H685P.
  • Example 7 Inhibition of Ang-2-Mediated Tie-2 Phosphorylation by anti-Ang-2 Antibodies
  • The inventors of the present invention have demonstrated that Ang-2 expression can be induced in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) by the transcription factor FOXO1 (Daly et al. 2006 PNAS 103:15491). Further, the inventors have shown that infection of HUVECs with an adenovirus encoding FOXO1 results in expression and secretion of Ang-2, followed by activation of Tie-2 phosphorylation (Daly et al. 2006 PNAS 103:15491).
  • Anti-Ang-2 antibodies were tested for their ability to inhibit Tie-2 phosphorylation. Briefly, 7×105 HUVECs (Vec Technologies, Rensselaer, N.Y.) were plated in 6 cm cell culture dishes in 3.5 ml of MCDB131 Complete medium (Vec Technologies, Rensselaer, N.Y.). The following day, the cells were washed with Opti-MEM (Invitrogen Corp., Carlsbad, Calif.) and fed with 2 ml of Opti-MEM. Recombinant adenoviruses encoding either green fluorescent protein (GFP; control) or human FOXO1 (Daly et al. 2004 Genes Dev. 18:1060) were added to the cells at a concentration of 10 pfu/cell and incubated for four hours. Cells were then washed with MCDB131 and fed with 2 ml of MCDB131 containing anti-Ang-2 antibodies at a concentration of 0.5 μg/ml. At twenty hours post infection, cells were lysed and subjected to Tie-2 immunoprecipitation as described by Daly et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103:15491-15496 (2006). Immunoglobulin was collected on protein A/G beads (Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Santa Cruz, Calif.) for one hour. Beads were washed with cold lysis buffer and resuspended in SDS sample buffer for analysis by western blot with antibodies specific for phosphotyrosine (Millipore, Billerica, Mass.) or Tie-2. Signals were detected using HRP-conjugated secondary antibodies and ECL reagents (GE Healthcare, Piscataway, N.J.). X-Ray films were scanned and the phospho-Tie-2 and Tie-2 signals were quantified using ImageJ software. The phospho-Tie-2/Tie-2 ratios were used to determine the % inhibition for each anti-Ang-2 antibody (i.e. Percent inhibition=Reduction in phospho-Tie-2/Tie-2 as compared to control). For example, a reduction in Tie-2 phosphorylation to the level observed in the control sample is considered to be 100% inhibition. Relative inhibition (+, ++, +++) for each anti-Ang-2 antibody tested according to the percent inhibition observed (25-50%, 50-75%, 75-100%, respectively) is shown in Table 23.
  • TABLE 23
    Inhibition of
    Antibody Tie-2 phosphorylation
    H1H685P +++
    H1H690P +++
    H1H691P +++
    H1H693P +++
    H1H694P ++
    H1H695P +++
    H1H696P +++
    H1H704P +++
    H1H706P +++
    H1H707P +++
    H1M724N +++
    H1M728N ++
    H1M732N ++
    H1M742N ++
    H1M743N +++
    H1M744N +++
    H1M749N ++
    H1M750N +++
    Control I (Ab) +
    Control II (Pb) +++
  • As demonstrated in this Example, the anti-Ang-2 antibodies generated in accordance with the methods of Example 1 inhibited Tie-2 phosphorylation to a greater extent than the Control I antibody. Especially robust inhibition was observed with antibodies H1H685, H1H690, H1H691, H1H693, H1H695, H1H696, H1H704, H1H706, H1H707, H1M724, H1M744 and H1M750.
  • Example 8 Inhibition of Ang-1-Mediated Tie-2 Phosphorylation
  • As shown in the previous Example, Ang-2 can mediate the phosphorylation of Tie-2. Ang-1 is also capable of promoting Tie-2 phosphorylation. In the present Example, the ability of selected anti-Ang-2 antibodies to block Ang-1-mediated phosphorylation of Tie-2 was assessed.
  • EA.hy926 cells (Edgell et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 80:3734-3737 (1983)) were plated at 5×106 cells per 10 cm dish in 10 ml DMEM with 10% FBS, HAT, L-glutamine and penicillin/streptomycin. After 24 hours, cells were serum-starved for 1 hour in 10 ml DMEM+1 mg/ml BSA. Cells were then stimulated for 10 minutes with 500 ng/ml of recombinant human Ang-1 (R&D Systems) in the presence of either an irrelevant isotype control antibody (“9E10”) at 400 nM or the anti-Ang-2 antibody H1H685P, or control agents (Control I, Control II, Control IV, or Control V) at concentrations ranging from 10 to 400 nM.
  • Following incubation, cells were lysed and Tie-2 was immunoprecipitated as described by Daly et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103:15491-15496 (2006). Immune complexes were collected by incubation with protein A/G beads (Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Santa Cruz, Calif.) for 60 min. Beads were washed with cold lysis buffer and bound proteins were eluted by heating in SDS sample buffer. Samples were then subjected to Western blot analysis with monoclonal antibodies against Tie-2 or phosphotyrosine (clone 4G10, Millipore, Billerica, Mass.). Results are shown in FIG. 2.
  • Signals were detected using HRP-conjugated secondary antibodies and ECL reagents (GE Healthcare, Piscataway, N.J.). X-ray films were scanned and the phospho-Tie-2 and Tie-2 signals were quantified using ImageJ software. The phospho-Tie-2/Tie-2 ratios were used to determine the % inhibition for each antibody or peptibody. Percent inhibition=reduction in phospho-Tie-2/Tie-2 as compared to the control sample (400 nM isotype control antibody).
  • In the presence of the control antibody 9E10, Ang-1 strongly activated Tie-2 phosphorylation (FIG. 2, panel A—compare lanes 2 and 3 vs lane 1). All of the control agents that were tested significantly inhibited Tie-2 phosphorylation, with complete inhibition occurring at 50 nM for Control II (FIG. 2, panel B-lane 17), 100 nM for Control IV (FIG. 2, panel A-lane 11) and 200 nM for Control I (FIG. 2, panel B-lane 24) and Control V (FIG. 2, panel C-lane 9). By contrast, H1H685P had no significant inhibitory effect even at 400 nM (FIG. 2, panel A-lanes 4-8). These results provide additional confirmation of the specificity of H1H685P for Ang-2 over Ang-1.
  • Example 9 Inhibition of Tumor Growth by Anti-Ang-2 Antibodies
  • The effect of selected purified anti-Ang-2 antibodies on tumor growth was determined using two tumor cell lines.
  • PC3 (Human prostate cancer cell line) Briefly, 5×106 PC3 cells in 100 μl of growth factor-reduced Matrigel (BD Biosciences) were injected subcutaneously into the flanks of 6-8 week old male NCr nude mice (Taconic, Hudson, N.Y.). After tumor volumes reached an average of about 200 mm3, mice were randomized into groups for treatment. Mice in each treatment group were administered an anti-Ang-2 antibody, Fc protein, or control construct, at a concentration of 10 mg/kg via intraperitoneal injection twice per week for approximately three weeks (Table 24) or at concentrations of 2.5, 12.5, or 25 mg/kg via subcuataneous injection twice per week for approximately three weeks (Table 25). Tumor volumes were measured twice per week over the course of the experiment and tumor weights were measured upon excision of tumors at the conclusion of the experiment. Averages (mean +/− standard deviation) of tumor weight and growth were calculated for each treatment group. Percent decrease of tumor weight and growth were calculated from comparison to Fc protein measurements. Results are summarized in Tables 24 and 25.
  • TABLE 24
    % Decrease Avg Tumor % Decrease
    Avg Tumor in Tumor Growth in Tumor
    Antibody Weight (g) Weight (mm3) Growth
    Fc protein 0.66 ± 0.26 509 ± 213
    Control I (Ab) 0.47 ± 0.23 29 300 ± 242 41
    H1H724N 0.55 ± 0.07 17 392 ± 169 23
    H1H744N 0.43 ± 0.20 35 259 ± 212 49
    H1H685P 0.44 ± 0.12 33 305 ± 143 40
    H1H691P 0.59 ± 0.07 11 485 ± 141 5
    H1H706P 0.52 ± 0.14 21 329 ± 125 35
  • TABLE 25
    Avg Tumor % Decrease in
    Antibody Growth (mm3) Tumor Growth
    Fc protein 1031 ± 485 
    Control II (Pb) 356 ± 196 65
    (2.5 mg/kg)
    Control II (Pb) 360 ± 162 65
    (12.5 mg/kg)
    Control II (Pb) 527 ± 218 49
    (25 mg/kg)
    H1H685P 308 ± 274 70
    (2.5 mg/kg)
    H1H685P 550 ± 150 47
    (12.5 mg/kg)
    H1H685P 413 ± 208 60
    (25 mg/kg)
  • As shown above, antibodies H1H744N and H1H685P demonstrated especially marked anti-tumor activity in the PC3 mouse tumor model as compared to the control constructs.
  • The results of similar experiments using the PC3 mouse tumor model and different experimental antibodies (dosed at 2 mg/kg, twice per week) are shown in Tables 26 and 27.
  • TABLE 26
    % %
    Decrease Decrease
    Avg Tumor in Tumor Avg Tumor in Tumor
    Antibody Weight (g) Weight Growth (mm3) Growth
    Fc protein 0.626 ± 0.156 356 ± 93 
    Control I (Ab) 0.347 ± 0.093 45 250 ± 145 30
    H2M742N 0.407 ± 0.076 35 220 ± 102 38
    H2M743N 0.372 ± 0.122 41 179 ± 169 50
  • TABLE 27
    % Decrease Avg Tumor
    Avg Tumor in Tumor Growth % Decrease in
    Antibody Weight (g) Weight (mm3) Tumor Growth
    Fc protein 0.552 ± 0.211 473 ± 202
    H1M749N 0.383 ± 0.275 31 220 ± 261 54
    H1M750N 0.348 ± 0.128 37 227 ± 195 52
  • COLO 205 (Human colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line) Briefly, 2×106 COLO 205 cells in 100 μl of serum-free medium were injected subcutaneously into the flank of 6-8 week old male NCr nude mice (Taconic, Hudson, N.Y.). After tumor volumes reached an average of about 150 mm3, mice were randomized into groups for treatment with antibody or Fc protein. Mice in each treatment group were administered an anti-Ang-2 antibody or Fc protein at a concentration of 4 mg/kg via intraperitoneal injection twice per week for approximately two weeks. Tumor volumes were measured twice per week over the course of the experiment and tumor weights were measured upon excision of tumors at the conclusion of the experiment. Averages (mean +/− standard deviation) of tumor weight and growth were calculated for each treatment group. “Avg. Tumor Growth” represents the average growth from the time of treatment initiation (when tumors were approximately 150 mm3). Percent decrease of tumor weight and growth are calculated from comparison to Fc protein measurements. Results are summarized in Table 28.
  • TABLE 28
    %
    Decrease Avg Tumor % Decrease
    Avg Tumor in Tumor Growth in Tumor
    Antibody Weight (g) Weight (mm3) Growth
    Fc protein 0.847 ± 0.180 731 ± 249
    Control I (Ab) 0.503 ± 0.090 41 367 ± 121 50
    Control II (Pb) 0.608 ± 0.085 28 492 ± 82  33
    H1M724N 0.531 ± 0.103 37 336 ± 125 54
    H2M742N 0.576 ± 0.057 32 427 ± 92  42
    H2M744N 0.491 ± 0.051 42 409 ± 162 44
    H1M749N 0.603 ± 0.142 29 449 ± 169 39
  • A similar experiment was carried out to assess the effect of H1H685P, in particular, on COLO 205 tumor growth. Briefly, 2×106 COLO 205 cells in 100 μl of serum-free medium were implanted subcutaneously into the right hind flank of 9-11 week-old male SCID CB17 mice. When the tumors reached˜125 mm3, mice were randomized into 5 groups (n=7-8 mice/group) and treated twice per week with Fc protein (15 mg/kg), H1H685P (5 or 25 mg/kg) or Control II (5 or 25 mg/kg) for a period of 19 days. Tumor volumes were measured twice per week over the course of the experiment and tumor weights were measured upon excision of tumors at the end of the experiment. Averages of tumor weight and growth from the beginning of treatment were calculated for each group. Percent decrease of tumor weight and growth are calculated from comparison to the Fc control group. The results are shown in Table 29.
  • TABLE 29
    %
    De-
    % Avg crease
    Antibody Decrease Tumor in
    Concen- Avg Tumor in Tumor Growth Tumor
    Antibody tration Weight (g) Weight (mm3) Growth
    Fc protein 25 mg/kg 0.800 ± 0.108 675 ± 93 
    Control II  5 mg/kg 0.481 ± 0.091 40 288 ± 85  57
    (Pb)
    Control II 25 mg/kg 0.393 ± 0.136 51 267 ± 155 60
    (Pb)
    H1H685P  5 mg/kg 0.458 ± 0.125 43 370 ± 114 45
    H1H685P 25 mg/kg 0.430 ± 0.139 46 295 ± 160 56
  • As with the PC3 mouse tumor model, several of the antibodies of the invention, including H1H685P, exhibited substantial anti-tumor activities in the COLO 205 mouse model that were at least equivalent to the anti-tumor activities exhibited by the control molecules.
  • Example 10 Inhibition of Tumor Growth and Perfusion by A Combination of an Anti-Ang-2 Antibody and a VEGF Inhibitor
  • To determine the effect of combining an anti-Ang-2 antibody with a VEGF inhibitor on the growth of COLO 205 xenografts, 2×106 cells were implanted subcutaneously into the right hind flank of 6-8 week-old female SCID mice. When the tumors reached an average volume of ˜350 mm3, mice were randomized into 4 groups (n=6 mice/group) and treated with: human Fc protein (7.5 mg/kg), H1H685P (5 mg/kg), VEGF Trap (see U.S. Pat. No. 7,087,411) (2.5 mg/kg) or the combination of H1H685P+VEGF Trap. Mice were given a total of 3 doses over 10 days of treatment. Tumor volumes were measured twice per week over the course of the experiment. Averages of tumor growth from the start of treatment (mean +/− standard deviation) were calculated for each treatment group. Percent decrease of tumor growth was calculated from comparison to the Fc control group. The results are shown in Table 30. Note that in the VEGF Trap and in the H1H685P+VEGF Trap groups the average tumor size was smaller at the end of treatment than at the beginning, i.e., tumor regression was observed.
  • TABLE 30
    Avg Tumor % Decrease in
    Antibody Growth (mm3) Tumor Growth
    Fc protein 366 ± 65 
    H1H685P 74 ± 77 80
    VEGF Trap −62 ± 44  117
    H1H685P + VEGF Trap −221 ± 131  160
  • The results of this experiment demonstrate that the combination of H1H685P+VEGF Trap causes a decrease in tumor growth that is greater than the percent decrease in tumor growth caused by either component alone.
  • To provide additional evidence of combination efficacy, the effect of the H1H685P+VEGF Trap combination on the growth of MMT tumors was assessed. 0.5×106 MMT cells were implanted subcutaneously into the right hind flank of 6-8 week-old female SCID mice. When the tumors reached an average volume of ˜400 mm3, mice were randomized into 4 groups (n=11 mice/group) and treated with: human Fc protein (17.5 mg/kg), H1H685P (12.5 mg/kg), VEGF Trap (5 mg/kg) or the combination of H1H685P+VEGF Trap. The Fc and H1H685P groups were given 3 doses over 9 days. The VEGF Trap and combination groups were given 4 doses over 12 days. Tumor volumes were measured twice per week over the course of the experiment and tumor weights were measured upon excision of tumors at the end of the experiment (due to their large size, tumors from the Fc and H1H685P groups were collected 3 days before tumors from the VEGF Trap and combination groups). Averages (mean +/− standard deviation) of tumor growth from the beginning of treatment and of tumor weight were calculated for each group. Percent decrease of tumor weight and growth are calculated from comparison to the Fc control group. The results are shown in Table 31.
  • TABLE 31
    % Decrease Avg Tumor % Decrease
    Avg Tumor in Tumor Growth in Tumor
    Antibody Weight (g) Weight (mm3) Growth
    Fc protein 1.591 ± 0.265 1337 ± 273
    H1H685P 1.409 ± 0.314 11 1135 ± 306 15
    VEGF Trap 0.889 ± 0.141 44  536 ± 179 60
    H1H685P + 0.599 ± 0.066 62 215 ± 92 84
    VEGF Trap
  • These results confirm the enhanced tumor inhibiting effect of H1H685P+VEGF Trap relative to the single agent treatments.
  • To determine whether the combination of H1H685P+VEGF Trap has a greater effect on tumor vessel function than the single agents, a micro-ultrasound (VisualSonics' Vevo 770 imaging system) was used to assess changes in tumor perfusion. COLO 205 tumors were grown to ˜125 mm3 and mice were then treated for 24 hrs with H1H685P, VEGF Trap or the combination of both agents. Following treatment, tumor vessel perfusion was determined based on contrast-enhanced micro-ultrasound 2D image acquisition and analysis of a “wash-in” curve, which represents the amount of contrast agent entering the tumor. Average (mean +/− standard deviation) tumor perfusion was calculated for each group. Percent decrease was calculated from comparison to the Fc control group. The results are shown in Table 32.
  • TABLE 32
    Relative Tumor % Decrease in
    Antibody Perfusion Tumor Perfusion
    Fc protein 8.09 ± 2.16
    H1H685P 6.32 ± 2.81 22
    VEGF Trap 6.99 ± 1.36 14
    H1H685P + VEGF Trap 2.46 ± 0.34 70
  • Consistent with the enhanced effect of the combination treatment on perfusion, anti-CD31 staining of tumor sections demonstrated a more potent effect of the combination on tumor blood vessel density (data not shown). The increased effect of the H1H685P+VEGF Trap combination on the function of the tumor vasculature provides a potential explanation for the enhanced effects of the combination therapy on tumor growth.
  • Example 11. Inhibition of Tumor Growth by a Combination of an Anti-Ang-2 Antibody and a Chemotherapeutic Agent
  • To test the effect of H1H685P in combination with a chemotherapeutic agent on tumor growth, 2.5×106 COLO 205 tumor cells were implanted subcutaneously into the right hind flank of 8-9 week-old male SCID mice. When the tumors reached an average volume of ˜150 mm3 (day 17 after implantation), mice were randomized into 4 groups (n=5 mice/group) and treated as follows: the first group was treated sc with 15 mg/kg hFc and intraperitoneally (ip) with 5-FU vehicle; the second group was treated sc with 15 mg/kg of H1H685P; the third group was treated ip with 75 mg/kg of 5-FU; the fourth group was treated with the combination of 15 mg/kg H1H685P sc plus 75 mg/kg 5-FU ip. Mice received a total of three treatments, administered every 3-4 days. Tumor volumes were measured twice per week over the course of the experiment. Average (mean +/−standard deviation) tumor growth from the beginning of treatment until day 38 was calculated for each group. Percent decrease of tumor growth was calculated from comparison to the control group. The results are shown in Table 33.
  • TABLE 33
    Avg Tumor Growth % Decrease in
    Treatment (mm3) Tumor Growth
    Fc protein + 5-FU  574 ± 110
    vehicle
    H1H685P 405 ± 80 29
    5-FU 313 ± 60 45
    H1H685P + 5-FU 175 ± 78 70
  • The results of this experiment show that the combination of H1H685P and 5-FU caused a greater decrease in tumor growth than either agent administered separately.
  • Example 12 Anti-Ang-2 Antibodies Attenuate Ocular Angiogenesis In Vivo
  • In this Example, the effects of selected anti-Ang-2 antibodies on retinal vascularization in a mouse model was assessed.
  • In one set of experiments wild-type mice were used. In another set, mice expressing a human Ang-2 in place of the wild-type mouse Ang-2 (designated “hu-Ang-2 mice”) were used. The mice at two days of age (P2) were injected subcutaneously with either control Fc or with selected anti-Ang-2 antibodies at a dose of 12.5 mg/kg. Three days later (at P5), pups were euthanized, and eyeballs were enucleated and fixed in 4% PFA for 30 minutes. Retinas were dissected, stained with Griffonia simplicifolia lectin-1 for 3 hours or overnight at 4° C. to visualize the vasculature, and flat-mounted on microscope slides. Images were taken using a Nikon Eclipse 80i microscope camera and analyzed using Adobe Photoshop CS3, Fovea 4.0, and Scion 1.63 software.
  • Areas of the retina covered with superficial vasculature were measured and used as a readout of antibody activity. The reduction in the size of the vascular areas in mice treated with antibody compared to Fc-treated controls is presented in Table 34. The percent reduction in vascular area reflects the anti-angiogenic potency of the antibody. (N/D=not determined)
  • TABLE 34
    % Reduction in Vascular Area
    Relative to Fc Control
    Antibody Wild-Type Mice hAng-2 Mice
    H1H685P 39.7 N/D
    H1H690P 30.7 41.5
    H1H691P 30.4 N/D
    H1H696P 31.1 N/D
    H1H724N 32.2 33.2
    H1H744N 35.8 50.5
    Control I (Ab) 26.9 35.6
  • As shown in this Example, the selected anti-Ang-2 antibodies of the present invention substantially inhibited ocular angiogenesis in vivo, thus reflecting the likely anti-angiogenic potential of these antibodies in other therapeutic contexts.
  • Example 13 Amino Acids of Ang-2 Important for Antibody Binding
  • To further characterize binding between hAng2 and anti-hAng2 mAbs of the invention, seven variant hAng2-FD-mFc proteins were generated, each containing a single point mutation. Amino acids selected for mutation were based on the difference in sequence between hAng-2 and hAng-1 in the region that interacts with hTie-2 (FIG. 1). In particular, amino acids within the fibrinogen-like domain (FD) of Ang-2 which are believed to interact with Tie-2 based on crystal structure analysis, but which differ from the corresponding amino acid in Ang-1, were individually mutated to the corresponding hAng-1 residue. The results of this example indicate the amino acid residues of hAng-2 with which the Ang-2 preferential binding antibodies interact. That is, if a particular residue (or residues) of hAng-2 is/are changed to the corresponding residue of hAng-1, and the binding of an Ang-2 preferential binding antibody is substantially reduced, then it can be concluded that the antibody interacts with that particular residue(s) of hAng-2.
  • In this experiment, each of the seven hAng-2FD-mFc mutant proteins were captured (˜147-283 RU) on an anti-mouse-Fc surface created through direct chemical coupling to a BIACORE™ chip. Then each Ang-2 antibody (or peptibody, as the case may be) at 100 nM was injected over the captured mFc-tagged hAng-2FD protein surface at a flowrate of 50 μl/min for 180 sec, and the dissociation of variant hAng2-FD-mFc and antibody was monitored in real time for 20 min at 25° C. Results are summarized in Tables 35a-35d and FIG. 3.
  • TABLE 35a
    Mutated hAng-2 H1H685P H1H744N
    Amino Acid(s)[1] RU KD (M) T ½ (min) RU KD (M) T ½ (min)
    WT[2] 210.70 2.23E−11 1988 213 3.98E−11 904
    S-417-I 127.65 3.05E−11 1809 127 5.12E−11 1590
    K-432-N 152.68 1.40E−11 4468 137 4.87E−11 1690
    I-434-M 235.95 1.79E−11 3600 213 3.18E−11 2589
    N-467-G 152.25 9.38E−12 6762 139 7.72E−11 1011
    F-469-L 101.16 1.38E−08 4 180 1.95E−10 237
    Y-475-H 181.53 1.96E−10 289 247 3.06E−10 136
    S-480-P 161.13 2.05E−10 289 228 2.25E−11 2129
  • TABLE 35b
    Mutated hAng-2 Control I (Ab) Control II (Pb)
    Amino Acid(s)[1] RU KD (M) T ½ (min) RU KD (M) T ½ (min)
    WT[2] 195.25 4.69E−10 54.33 67.44 4.29E−10 39.86
    S-417-I 142.96 5.79E−10 32.81 49.99 1.88E−10 36.38
    K-432-N 189.69 3.49E−10 51.75 63.21 1.39E−10 42.34
    I-434-M 282.10 4.64E−10 48.80 89.15 1.36E−10 57.09
    N-467-G 180.90 4.61E−10 44.66 60.94 1.54E−10 46.97
    F-469-L 173.01 1.05E−09 25.13 46.73 2.40E−10 36.20
    Y-475-H 170.05 1.15E−08 1.85 74.79 1.40E−10 54.12
    S-480-P 181.32 2.98E−09 13.36 71.90 1.79E−10 45.45
  • TABLE 35c
    Mutated hAng-2 Control III (Pb) Control V (Ab)
    Amino Acid(s)[1] RU KD (M) T ½ (min) RU KD (M) T ½ (min)
    WT[2] 80.33 2.07E−11 170.03 214.48 7.97E−10 48.43
    S-417-I 57.13 5.31E−11 114.81 126.45 2.40E−09 29.17
    K-432-N 79.22 2.88E−11 200.94 149.14 8.48E−10 75.59
    I-434-M 116.22 2.15E−10 62.77 214.75 2.23E−09 31.76
    N-467-G 74.64 8.90E−11 109.07 146.77 1.11E−09 55.66
    F-469-L 72.66 2.74E−10 66.11 131.96 1.37E−08 1.46
    Y-475-H 76.21 6.87E−09 4.11 260.93 2.66E−10 93.22
    S-480-P 77.93 2.78E−09 11.69 177.10 3.47E−09 10.33
  • TABLE 35d
    Negative Control
    Mutated hAng-2 (irrelevant antibody)
    Amino Acid(s)[1] RU KD (M) T½ (min)
    WT[2] 0.81 N/B N/B
    S-417-I −1.21 N/B N/B
    K-432-N −0.38 N/B N/B
    I-434-M −1.31 N/B N/B
    N-467-G −1.09 N/B N/B
    F-469-L 0.32 N/B N/B
    Y-475-H −0.20 N/B N/B
    S-480-P −0.52 N/B N/B
    [1]Amino acid numbering is based on the amino acid numbering of SEQ ID NO: 518.
    [2]WT = wild-type Ang-2FD-mFc construct.
    N/B = no binding observed.
  • For purposes of the present invention, an anti-Ang-2 antibody is deemed to interact with a particular Ang-2 amino acid residue if, when the residue is mutated to the corresponding residue of Ang-1, the T½of dissociation is at least 5-fold less than the T½ of dissociation observed for the wild-type construct under the experimental conditions used in this Example. In view of this definition, antibody H1H685P appears to be unique among the antibodies tested in that it interacts with F469, Y475 and S480. Since H1H685P is also unique because of its strong preferential binding to Ang-2 over Ang-1, it can be concluded that F469, Y475 and S480 comprise an epitope that enables the immunological distinction of Ang-2 from Ang-1. The other antibodies/peptibodies tested in this experiment appear to interact with at most one or two of these residues; i.e., H1H744N and Control I interact with Y475; Control III interacts with Y475 and S480; and Control V interacts with F469. Interestingly, Control II, which was shown to block both Ang-1 and Ang-2 binding to Tie-2 with equal potency, does not interact with any of the Ang-2-specific amino acids identified in this experiment.
  • Example 14 Methods for Treating or Preventing Malaria
  • A. Model of Cerebral Malaria in vivo
  • Experiments are performed to assess the ability of anti-Ang-2 antibodies of the present invention to treat malaria in a mouse model system.
  • Six-week-old female C57BL/6 mice (approximately 20 g) are used in all experiments. After a 7-day rest period, groups of mice are treated with a monoclonal antibody (mAb) at 15 mg/kg on day −1 and then days 1, 4, 7 and 10 post-infection (p.i.) for prophylactic models, or on days 1, 4, 7 and 10 p.i. for therapeutic models. Experimental groups are administered an anti-angiopoietin 2 (Ang-2) mAb that possesses a human IgG1 Fc domain (H1H685P) subcutaneously (s.c.). Control mice receive an isotype-matched control mAb. Mice are injected intraperitoneally (i.p.) on day 0 with 1×106 Plasmodium berghei ANKA (BEI Resources, Manassas, Va.) parasites from an infected donor mouse. Mice are monitored daily for up to 14 days from thin blood smears. In addition, weight and hematocrit are monitored every other day and mice are euthanized once moribund. Experiments are repeated three times to ensure statistical significance. It is expected that mice treated with H1H685P both prophylactically and therapeutically will have higher rates of survival than those treated with a control mAb, but the percent parasitemia of the groups are not expected to differ.
  • B. Monitoring of Disease Parameters
  • Blood is collected via the saphenous vein using heparin and stored as plasma at −80° C. Levels of IFNγ, TNFα, MCP-1, Ang-1, sICAM-1 and vWF are assessed using standardized ELISAs and bead arrays. Tissues (including brain, spleen, liver and/or lung) are collected for histology or mRNA transcript analysis by qPCR for the same markers. In addition, vascular permeability is assessed by the injection of 30 mg/kg Evans blue, via lateral tail vein. Approximately 2h post injection, mice are euthanized, perfused with PBS and the brains collected and placed in formamide for 48 h for Evans blue extraction. For each sample, Evans blue is quantified using a spectrophotometer at 605 nm. It is expected that mice treated with H1H685P both prophylactically and therapeutically will have reduced systemic inflammation and endothelial activation, as evidenced by reduced levels of IFNγ, TNFα, MCP-1, Ang-1, sICAM-1 and vWF compared to those treated with a control mAb. In addition, those animals treated with control mAb both prophylactically and therapeutically will show a loss of blood-brain barrier vascular integrity compared with H1H685P.
  • C. Visualization and Quantification of Parasite Distribution in vivo.
  • Mice are treated and infected as before, except that the animals are infected with a luciferase-expressing strain of P. berghei ANKA (PbGFP-LUCcoN; see Franke-Fayard et al. 2005 Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA 102: 11468). Animals are injected with D-luciferin (100 mg/kg) intradermally, and luciferase activity visualized in live mice using the Xenogen IVIS Spectrum imager. Whole-body, live images are taken on days 3 to 10 and specific organs imaged after euthanasia. Experiments are repeated three times to ensure statistical significance. It is expected that mice treated with H1H685P both prophylactically and therapeutically will have reduced parasite accumulation in the brain compared to those treated with a control mAb.
  • D. Statistical Analysis
  • Survival data is assessed by log-rank test, while all other comparisons are analyzed using a one-way ANOVA with Tukey's Multiple Comparison post-hoc test. A p value of less than 0.05 is considered significant. Analysis is completed using GraphPad Prism (LaJolla, Calif.).
  • The present invention is not to be limited in scope by the specific embodiments describe herein. Indeed, various modifications of the invention in addition to those described herein will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the foregoing description. Such modifications are intended to fall within the scope of the appended claims.

Claims (11)

  1. 1. A method for treating or preventing malaria, the method comprising administering to a patient in need thereof a pharmaceutical composition comprising an isolated antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof that specifically binds human angiopoietin-2 (hAng-2).
  2. 2. The method of claim 1, wherein the patient is identified as being afflicted with cerebral malaria.
  3. 3. The method of claim 1, wherein the antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof specifically binds human angiopoietin-2 (hAng-2) but does not substantially bind hAng-1.
  4. 4. The method of claim 1, wherein the antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof blocks the binding of hAng-2 to hTie-2 but does not substantially block the binding of hAng-1 to hTie-2.
  5. 5. The method of claim 1, wherein the antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof binds an epitope on hAng-2 (SEQ ID NO:518) comprising an amino acid selected from the group consisting of F-469, Y-475, and S-480.
  6. 6. The method of claim 5, wherein the antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof binds an epitope on hAng-2 comprising amino acids F-469, Y-475, and S-480.
  7. 7. The method of claim 6, wherein the antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof comprises the complementarity determining regions (CDRs) of a heavy chain variable region (HCVR) having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:18, and the CDRs of a light chain variable region (LCVR) having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:20.
  8. 8. The method of claim 7, wherein the antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof comprises a heavy chain CDR-1 (HCDR1) having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:4, an HCDR-2 having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:6, an HCDR-3 having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:8, a light chain CDR-1 (LCDR-1) having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:12, an LCDR-2 having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:14, and an LCDR-3 having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:16.
  9. 9. The method of claim 8, wherein the antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof comprises a HCVR having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:18 and a LCVR having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:20.
  10. 10. The method of claim 1, wherein the antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof binds to the same epitope on hAng-2 as an antibody which comprises a heavy chain CDR-1 (HCDR1) having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:4, an HCDR-2 having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:6, an HCDR-3 having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:8, a light chain CDR-1 (LCDR-1) having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:12, an LCDR-2 having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:14, and an LCDR-3 having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:16.
  11. 11. The method of claim 1, wherein the antibody or antigen-binding fragment thereof competes for binding to hAng-2 with an antibody which comprises a heavy chain CDR-1 (HCDR1) having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:4, an HCDR-2 having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:6, an HCDR-3 having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:8, a light chain CDR-1 (LCDR-1) having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:12, an LCDR-2 having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:14, and an LCDR-3 having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:16.
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