WO2015109212A1 - Anti-il-2 antibodies and compositions and uses thereof - Google Patents

Anti-il-2 antibodies and compositions and uses thereof Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2015109212A1
WO2015109212A1 PCT/US2015/011794 US2015011794W WO2015109212A1 WO 2015109212 A1 WO2015109212 A1 WO 2015109212A1 US 2015011794 W US2015011794 W US 2015011794W WO 2015109212 A1 WO2015109212 A1 WO 2015109212A1
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Prior art keywords
antibody
seq id
il
sequence
cdr
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PCT/US2015/011794
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French (fr)
Inventor
Isaac J. Rondon
Natasha K. CRELLIN
Paul Bessette
Eleanora TROTTA
Jeffrey A. Bluestone
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Pfizer Inc.
The Regents Of The University Of California
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Priority to US61/928,962 priority
Application filed by Pfizer Inc., The Regents Of The University Of California filed Critical Pfizer Inc.
Publication of WO2015109212A1 publication Critical patent/WO2015109212A1/en

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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
    • C07K16/24Immunoglobulins [IGs], e.g. monoclonal or polyclonal antibodies against material from animals or humans against cytokines, lymphokines or interferons
    • C07K16/244Interleukins [IL]
    • C07K16/246IL-2
    • 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
    • C07K2317/30Immunoglobulins 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
    • C07K2317/60Immunoglobulins specific features characterized by non-natural combinations of immunoglobulin fragments
    • C07K2317/62Immunoglobulins specific features characterized by non-natural combinations of immunoglobulin fragments comprising only variable region components
    • C07K2317/622Single chain antibody (scFv)
    • 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
    • C07K2317/75Agonist effect on antigen
    • 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

Abstract

The present invention provides antibodies, or antigen-binding fragments thereof, which specifically bind to IL-2. The invention further provides a method of obtaining such antibodies and nucleic acids encoding the same. The invention further relates to compositions and therapeutic methods for use of these antibodies for the treatment and/or prevention of autoimmune diseases, disorders or conditions and for immunosuppresion.

Description

ANTI-IL-2 ANTIBODIES

AND COMPOSITIONS AND USES THEREOF

Related Applications

This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional application

61/928,962, filed January 17, 2014, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety.

Sequence Information

The Sequence Listing associated with this application is being submitted electronically via EFS-Web in text format, and is hereby incorporated by reference into the specification. The name of the text file containing the Sequence Listing is

PCFC_924_WO1_Sequence_Listing.txt. The text file is 52,738 bytes in size, and was created on January 9, 2015. Parties to a Joint Research Agreement

The presently claimed invention was made by or on behalf of the below listed parties to a joint research agreement. The joint research agreement was in effect on or before the date the claimed invention was made and the claimed invention was made as a result of activities undertaken within the scope of the joint research agreement. The parties to the joint research agreement are PFIZER INC. and THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA.

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to antibodies, e.g., full length antibodies and antigen binding fragments thereof that specifically bind interleukin-2 (IL-2). The invention further relates to compositions comprising antibodies to IL-2, and methods of using the antibodies as a medicament. The IL-2 antibodies are useful for treating and preventing autoimmune diseases, disorders and conditions and for immunosuppression. Background of the Invention

lnterleukin-2 (IL-2) plays an important role in the immune response and is a potential target for treating diseases associated with the immune response, such as type 1 diabetes (T1 D). T1 D is characterized by a progressive immune-mediated destruction of pancreatic β-cells and associated metabolic dysfunction caused in part by the loss of regulatory T cells (Treg) and their function. Recent studies have shown deficiencies in both the IL-2 receptor and its signaling pathway. In fact, decreased responsiveness to IL-2 measured by STAT5 phosphorylation (pSTAT5) is observed in T1 D patients. There is a long-felt unmet need for novel therapeutics to treat T1 D as well as other

autoimmune diseases, disorders and conditions. The present invention meets these needs.

Summary of the Invention

This application discloses isolated antibodies, or antigen-binding fragments thereof, that specifically bind IL-2.

In certain aspects, the disclosure provides an isolated antibody, or antigen- binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds interleukin-2 (IL-2) and inhibits proliferation of CD8+ cells more than the antibody inhibits the proliferation of regulatory T cells (Treg).

In some embodiments, the isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment inhibits proliferation of CD8+ cells at least two-fold more than the antibody inhibits the proliferation of Tregs.

In certain aspects, the disclosure provides an isolated antibody, or antigen- binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds interleukin-2 (IL-2) and increases the ratio of T regulatory cells (Tregs) to CD8+ or CD4+ or NK cells as measured in a peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) culture assay.

In some embodiments, the isolated antibody is not complexed with IL-2 prior to being administered to the cells.

In some embodiments, the ratio is increased by at least two-fold.

In certain aspects, the disclosure provides an isolated antibody, or antigen- binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds interleukin-2 (IL-2) and enhances T regulatory cell (Treg) proliferation compared with an equivalent amount of isotype control antibody when IL-2 is present at a concentration of less than 1 nM in vitro.

In some embodiments, the antibody inhibits proliferation of CD8+ or CD4+ or NK cells.

In certain aspects, the disclosure provides an isolated antibody, or antigen- binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds interleukin-2 (IL-2) and maintains expression of T regulatory cell (Treg) markers selected from the group consisting of: a) FOXP3 and Helios, b) high expression of CD25, and c) low expression of CD127.

In certain aspects, the disclosure provides an isolated Treg sparing antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds human IL-2 and mouse IL-2.

In some embodiments, the antibody or antigen-binding fragment comprises a heavy chain variable region (VH) comprising: a) a CDR-H3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 4,

6, 8, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 15, 33, 34, or 35; or b) a CDR-H1 , a CDR-H2 and a CDR-H3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 4, 6, 8, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 15, 33, 34, or 35.

In some embodiments, the antibody or antigen-binding fragment comprises a light chain variable region (VL) comprising: a) a CDR-L3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 3, 5,

7, 9, 14, 36 or 37; or b) a CDR-L1 , a CDR-L2 and a CDR-L3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37.

In some embodiments, the antibody is a human antibody.

In certain aspects, the disclosure provides an isolated antibody, or antigen- binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds interleukin-2 (IL-2), comprising a heavy chain variable region (VH) comprising: a) a CDR-H3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 4, 6, 8, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 15, 33, 34, or 35, b) a CDR-H1 , a CDR-H2 and a CDR-H3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 4, 6, 8, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 15, 33, 34, or 35, or c) a VH as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 4, 6, 8, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 15, 33, 34, or 35.

In some embodiments, the isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment further comprises a heavy chain constant region comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:2.

In some embodiments, the isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment further comprises a light chain variable region (VL) comprising: a) a CDR-L3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37, b) a CDR-L1 , a CDR-L2 and a CDR-L3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37, or c) a VL as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37.

In certain aspects, the disclosure provides an isolated antibody, or antigen- binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds IL-2 and comprises: a) a CDR-H1 , CDR- H2 and CDR-H3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 4, 6, 8, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 15, 33, 34, or 35, and b) a CDR-L1 , a CDR-L2 and a CDR-L3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37. In some embodiments, the isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment further comprises a heavy chain constant region comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:2 and a light chain constant region comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:1 .

In certain aspects, the disclosure provides an isolated antibody, or antigen- binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds interleukin-2 (IL-2), comprising a light chain variable region (VL) comprising: a) a CDR-L3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37, b) a CDR-L1 , a CDR-L2 and a CDR-L3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37, or c) a VL as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37.

In some embodiments, the isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment further comprises a light chain constant region comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:1 .

In certain aspects, the disclosure provides an isolated nucleic acid encoding the antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, of the disclosure.

In certain aspects, the disclosure provides an isolated nucleic acid encoding an antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds interleukin-2 (IL-2), wherein said nucleic acid comprises: a) the nucleic acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:18, 20, 22, 24, 29, 41 or 42; b) the nucleic acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:19, 21 , 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 38, 39, or 40; c) a nucleic acid sequence selected from a) and a nucleic acid sequence selected from b), d) a nucleic acid sequence encoding the amino acid sequence of a CDR-H1 , CDR-H2 and CDR-H3 as set forth in SEQ ID NOs: 4, 6, 8, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 15, 33, 34, or 35; e) a nucleic acid sequence encoding the amino acid sequence of CDR-L1 , CDR-L2 and CDR-L3 as set forth in SEQ ID NOs: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37; f) a nucleic acid sequence encoding the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NOs: 4, 6, 8, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 15, 33, 34, or 35; or g) a nucleic acid sequence encoding the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NOs: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37.

In certain aspects, the disclosure provides a vector comprising a nucleic acid of the disclosure.

In certain aspects, the disclosure provides a host cell comprising a nucleic acids or a vector of the disclosure. In some embodiments, the cell is a bacterial cell or a mammalian cell.

In certain aspects, the disclosure provides a method of producing an antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds interleukin-2 (IL-2), said method comprising culturing a host cell of the disclosure under conditions wherein said antibody is expressed, and further comprising isolating said antibody.

In certain aspects, the disclosure provides an isolated antibody, or antigen- binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds interleukin-2 (IL-2), wherein the antibody competes with an antibody of the disclosure for binding to IL-2.

In some embodiments, the antibody comprises: a) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:4, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:3, b) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:6, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:5, c) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:8, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:7, d) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID

NO:10, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:9, e) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:1 1 , and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:3, f) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:12, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:3, g) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:13, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:3, h) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:15, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:14, i) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:33, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:3, j) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:34, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:7, k) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:35, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:7, 1) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:8, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:36, m) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:8, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:37, n) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO: 35, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:37, or o) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO: 8, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:3.

In certain aspects, the disclosure provides a pharmaceutical composition comprising an antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, of the disclosure, and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier or excipient.

In certain aspects, the disclosure provides a method for preventing or treating an autoimmune disease, disorder or condition, said method comprising administering to a subject in need thereof an effective amount of an antibody or a pharmaceutical composition of the disclosure.

In certain aspects, the disclosure provides a method for treating a subject in need of immunosuppression, said method comprising administering to the subject in need thereof an effective amount of an antibody or a pharmaceutical composition of the disclosure.

In some embodiments, the antibody or the pharmaceutical composition of the disclosure is used to prevent or treat an autoimmune disease, disorder or condition.

In some embodiments, the antibody or the pharmaceutical composition of the disclosure is used to treat a subject in need of immunosuppression.

In certain aspects, the antibody, or antigen binding fragment thereof, of the disclosure is used in the manufacture of a medicament for treating an autoimmune disease, disorder or condition.

In certain aspects, the antibody, or antigen binding fragment thereof, of the disclosure is used in the manufacture of a medicament for treating a subject in need of immunosuppression.

In some embodiments, the disease, disorder or condition is at least one selected from the group consisting of: inflammatory responses such as inflammatory skin diseases including psoriasis and dermatitis (e. g. atopic dermatitis); dermatomyositis; systemic scleroderma and sclerosis; responses associated with inflammatory bowel disease (such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis); respiratory distress syndrome (including adult respiratory distress syndrome; ARDS); dermatitis; meningitis;

encephalitis; uveitis; colitis; gastritis; glomerulonephritis; allergic conditions such as eczema and asthma and other conditions involving infiltration of T cells and chronic inflammatory responses; atherosclerosis; leukocyte adhesion deficiency; rheumatoid arthritis; systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE); diabetes mellitus (e. g. Type I diabetes mellitus or insulin dependent diabetes mellitis); multiple sclerosis; Reynaud's syndrome; autoimmune thyroiditis; allergic encephalomyelitis; Sjogren's syndrome; juvenile onset diabetes; and immune responses associated with acute and delayed hypersensitivity mediated by cytokines and T-lymphocytes typically found in tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, polymyositis, granulomatosis and vasculitis; Wegener's disease; pernicious anemia (Addison's disease); diseases involving leukocyte diapedesis; central nervous system (CNS) inflammatory disorder; multiple organ injury syndrome; hemolytic anemia

(including, but not limited to cryoglobinemia or Coombs positive anemia); myasthenia gravis; antigen-antibody complex mediated diseases; anti-glomerular basement membrane disease; antiphospholipid syndrome; allergic neuritis; Graves' disease;

Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome; pemphigoid bullous; pemphigus; autoimmune polyendocrinopathies; vitiligo; Reiter's disease; stiff-man syndrome; Bechet disease; giant cell arteritis; immune complex nephritis; IgA nephropathy; IgM polyneuropathies; immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) or autoimmune thrombocytopenia and autoimmune hemolytic diseases; Hashimoto's thyroiditis; autoimmune hepatitis;

autoimmune hemophilia; autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS);

autoimmune uveoretinitis; Guillain-Barre syndrome; Goodpasture's syndrome; mixed connective tissue disease; autoimmune-associated infertility; polyarteritis nodosa;

alopecia areata; idiopathic myxedema; graft versus host disease; and muscular dystrophy (Duchenne, Becker, Myotonic, Limb-girdle, Facioscapulohumeral, Congenital, Oculopharyngeal, Distal, Emery-Dreifuss).

In certain aspects, the disclosure provides a method of detecting interleukin-2 (IL- 2) in a sample, tissue, or cell using an antibody of the disclosure, comprising contacting the sample, tissue or cell with the antibody and detecting the antibody.

In some embodiments, the disclosure provides an isolated antibody, or antigen- binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds interleukin-2 (IL-2) and a) inhibits proliferation of CD8+ cells by at least two-fold more than it inhibits the proliferation of T regulatory cells (Tregs), b) increases the ratio of Tregs to CD8+ cells in a peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) culture assay by at least two-fold; c) enhances Treg proliferation greater than an isotype control antibody when IL-2 is at a concentration of less than 1 nM in vitro; and/or d) maintains expression of Treg markers selected from the group consisting of:a) FOXP3 and Helios, b) high expression of CD25, and c) low expression of CD127. Brief Description of the Drawings

The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description of the invention, will be better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For the purpose of illustrating the invention there are shown in the drawings embodiment(s). It should be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.

Figures 1A-1 D depict Treg and CD8+ T cell proliferation in the presence of anti- IL-2 mAbs belonging to different functional classes complexed with IL-2. Figure 1A is a graph depicting Treg and CD8+ T cell proliferation in the presence of an anti-IL2 mAb that inhibits IL-2 induced proliferation of both cell types (CD8+ and Treg). Figures 1 B and 1 C are graphs depicting Treg and CD8+ T cell proliferation in the presence of Treg sparing antibodies, 24E5 and 23E6, respectively, which selectively inhibit CD8+ T cell proliferation compared to Treg proliferation. Figure 1 D summarizes the Treg and CD8+ T cell proliferation data for selected anti-IL-2 mAbs.

Figure 2 depicts the effect of treatment with IL-2:anti-IL-2 mAb complexes on CD25 expression in Tregs and CD8+ T cells. Mean fluorescence intensity of CD25 staining was measured and plotted against IL-2 antibody concentration. Activation- induced CD25 expression on CD8+ T cells was inhibited by both inhibitory and Treg- sparing anti-IL-2 mAbs in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment with the anti-IL-2 mAbs did not change the CD25hl phenotype of the Tregs.

Figures 3A-3B depict the inhibition of pAKT and pSTAT5 by different functional classes of IL-2 antibodies complexed with IL-2. Cells were stained with pAKT and pSTAT5 flow cytometry antibodies and plotted as percent positive against anti-IL-2 antibody concentration. EC50 values for pSTAT5 and pAKT inhibition for each antibody are also shown.

Figures 4A-4C summarize the human IL-2 binding kinetics for selected Treg- sparing (Figure 4A), and inhibitory (Figure 4B) anti-IL-2 mAbs and for IL-2 binding to the alpha subunit of the IL-2 receptor (Figure 4C). Figures 4D-4F summarize the mouse IL- 2 binding kinetics for selected Treg-sparing (Figure 4D), and inhibitory (Figure 4E) anti- IL-2 mAbs as well as JES6-1 (a commercially available rat anti-mouse IL-2 monoclonal antibody) (Figure 4F). Figures 5A-5B depict the ability of selected anti-IL-2 mAbs to block the binding of IL-2 receptor fragments to IL-2. Figure 5A depicts IL2Ra binding to IL-2 in the presence of selected anti-IL-2 mAbs and Figure 5B depicts IL2Rb binding to IL-2 in the presence of selected anti-IL-2 mAbs.

Figure 6A depicts the effect of Treg sparing and inhibitory anti-IL-2 antibodies in complex with IL-2, on Treg proliferation in the presence of varying concentrations of IL- 2. Figure 6B depicts the effect of Treg sparing and inhibitory anti-IL-2 antibodies on CD8+ T cell proliferation in the presence of varying concentrations of IL-2.

Figures 7A-7C depict the phenotypic characterization of Tregs after treatment with IL-2:anti-IL-2 mAb complexes. Helios and FOXP3 co-expression, in the presence of a Treg sparing antibody, 24E5, or an isotype control, were measured by staining cells with anti-FOXP3 and -Helios antibodies. A histogram of FOXP3 mean fluorescence intensity in the presence of the Treg sparing antibody or the isotype control is also shown.

Figures 8A-8D depict the Treg sparing effect of anti-IL-2 antibodies in a human

PBMC proliferation assay. Panel A depicts a dot plot showing Helios and FOXP3 expression in the presence of the IL-2 antibody 24E5 or an isotype control. Fold increase of different cell types is plotted against IL-2 antibody concentration for Treg sparing antibodies 24E7 and 16B2, or the isotype control in panels B-D.

Figures 9A-9D depict the effect of IL2:anti-IL-2 mAb complexes on the ratio of

Tregs to CD8+ or CD4+ T cells in a human PBMC proliferation assay. Panels A and B depict representative plots from one donor demonstrating dose response for selected anti-IL-2 antibodies. Panels C and D depicts data from multiple donors (>3) at a single antibody concentration (100 nM). * Indicates significant difference from Isotype

(p<0.05).

Figures 10A-10C depict the effect of anti-IL-2 antibodies on Treg proliferation in a mouse splenocyte assay. Panels A, B, and C depict the fold increase of Tregs, CD8+ or CD4+ T cells in the presence of an isotype control, mAb 16B2, or mAb 24E7,

respectively.

Figures 1 1 A-1 1 D depict the selective sparing of Treg proliferation in vivo in mice.

Dose-dependent response of Tregs, CD4+, CD8+ or NK cells to mAbs 16B2, JES6-1 (a commercially available rat anti-mouse IL-2 monoclonal antibody) complexed with IL-2, or an isotype control, is shown in panels A through D. Figure 12 summarizes the human IL-2 binding kinetics for variants of Treg- sparing anti-IL-2 mAb 16C3.

Figure 13 depicts the effect of 16C3 variant antibodies in complex with IL-2, on Treg proliferation at varying antibody concentrations. The standard 4 day proliferation assays were performed using 1 ng/ml of IL-2.

Figure 14A depicts the effect of anti-IL-2 antibodies in complex with IL-2, on Treg proliferation at varying antibody concentrations. Figure 14B depicts the effect of anti-IL- 2 antibodies on CD8+ T cell proliferation at varying antibody concentrations. The standard 4 day proliferation assays were performed using .5 ng/ml of IL-2.

Figures 15A-15B depict the effect of anti-IL-2 antibodies in complex with IL-2, on

Treg proliferation at varying antibody concentrations in two different experiments. The standard 4 day proliferation assays were performed using 1 ng/ml of IL-2.

Figures 16A-16B depict the effect of anti-IL-2 antibodies on CD8+ T cell proliferation at varying antibody concentrations in two different experiments. The standard 4 day proliferation assays were performed using 1 ng/ml of IL-2.

Figure 17 summarizes the effect of anti-IL-2 antibodies on pSTAT5 signaling in Tregs and CD8+ T cells. pSTAT5 signaling activity is represented as the percentage of the activity in the isotype control. Assays were performed using 1 ng/ml of IL-2.

Detailed Description of the Invention Disclosed herein are antibodies that specifically bind to IL-2 and further, antibodies that inhibit proliferation of non-Treg cells (including effector CD8+, non-Treg CD4+ and NK cells) more than they inhibit proliferation of Treg cells, or increase Treg proliferation compared to an isotype control antibody or increase the ratio of Treg cells to non-Treg cells or maintain Treg markers or a combination thereof. Methods of making IL-2 antibodies, compositions comprising these antibodies, and methods of using these antibodies are provided. IL-2 antibodies can be used in the prevention, treatment, and/or amelioration of diseases, disorders or conditions caused by and/or associated with IL-2 activity. Such diseases, disorders or conditions include, but are not limited to, type 1 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, Graft versus Host Disease and other immunologic diseases where Tregs control inflammation, among others, as would be appreciated by one skilled in the art provided with the teachings disclosed herein. General Techniques

Unless otherwise defined herein, scientific and technical terms used in connection with the present invention shall have the meanings that are commonly understood by those of ordinary skill in the art. Further, unless otherwise required by context, singular terms shall include pluralities and plural terms shall include the singular. Generally, nomenclatures used in connection with, and techniques of, cell and tissue culture, molecular biology, immunology, microbiology, genetics and protein and nucleic acid chemistry and hybridization described herein are those well known and commonly used in the art.

The practice of the present invention will employ, unless otherwise indicated, conventional techniques of molecular biology (including recombinant techniques), microbiology, cell biology, biochemistry and immunology, which are within the skill of the art. Such techniques are explained fully in the literature, such as, Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual, second edition (Sambrook et al., 1989) Cold Spring Harbor Press; Oligonucleotide Synthesis (M.J. Gait, ed., 1984); Methods in Molecular Biology, Humana Press; Cell Biology: A Laboratory Notebook (J.E. Cellis, ed., 1998) Academic Press; Animal Cell Culture (R.I. Freshney, ed., 1987); Introduction to Cell and Tissue Culture (J. P. Mather and P.E. Roberts, 1998) Plenum Press; Cell and Tissue Culture: Laboratory Procedures (A. Doyle, J.B. Griffiths, and D.G. Newell, eds., 1993-1998) J. Wiley and Sons; Methods in Enzymology (Academic Press, Inc.); Handbook of Experimental Immunology (D.M. Weir and C.C. Blackwell, eds.); Gene Transfer Vectors for Mammalian Cells (J.M. Miller and M.P. Calos, eds., 1987); Current Protocols in Molecular Biology (F.M. Ausubel et al., eds., 1987); PCR: The Polymerase Chain Reaction, (Mullis et al., eds., 1994); Current Protocols in Immunology (J.E. Coligan et al., eds., 1991 ); Sambrook and Russell, Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual, 3rd. ed., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, NY (2001 ); Ausubel et al., Current Protocols in Molecular Biology, John Wiley & Sons, NY (2002); Harlow and Lane Using Antibodies: A Laboratory Manual, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, NY (1998); Coligan et al., Short Protocols in Protein Science, John Wiley & Sons, NY (2003); Short Protocols in Molecular Biology (Wiley and Sons, 1999); Immunobiology (C.A. Janeway and P. Travers, 1997); Antibodies (P. Finch, 1997); Antibodies: a practical approach (D. Catty., ed., IRL Press, 1988-1989); Monoclonal antibodies: a practical approach (P. Shepherd and C. Dean, eds., Oxford University Press, 2000); Using antibodies: a laboratory manual (E. Harlow and D. Lane (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 1999); The Antibodies (M. Zanetti and J.D. Capra, eds., Harwood Academic Publishers, 1995).

Enzymatic reactions and purification techniques are performed according to manufacturer's specifications, as commonly accomplished in the art or as described herein. The nomenclatures used in connection with, and the laboratory procedures and techniques of, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, immunology, molecular biology, synthetic organic chemistry, and medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry described herein are those well known and commonly used in the art. Standard techniques are used for chemical syntheses, chemical analyses, pharmaceutical preparation, formulation, and delivery, and treatment of patients.

Definitions

The following terms, unless otherwise indicated, shall be understood to have the following meanings: the term "isolated molecule" (where the molecule is, for example, a polypeptide, a polynucleotide, or an antibody or fragment thereof) is a molecule that by virtue of its origin or source of derivation (1 ) is not associated with naturally associated components that accompany it in its native state, (2) is substantially free of other molecules from the same species (3) is expressed by a cell from a different species, or (4) does not occur in nature. Thus, a molecule that is chemically synthesized, or expressed in a cellular system different from the cell from which it naturally originates, will be "isolated" from its naturally associated components. A molecule also may be rendered substantially free of naturally associated components by isolation, using purification techniques well known in the art. Molecule purity or homogeneity may be assayed by a number of means well known in the art. For example, the purity of a polypeptide sample may be assayed using polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and staining of the gel to visualize the polypeptide using techniques well known in the art. For certain purposes, higher resolution may be provided by using HPLC or other means well known in the art for purification.

As used herein, "substantially pure" means an object species is the predominant species present (i.e., on a molar basis it is more abundant than any other individual species in the composition), and preferably a substantially purified fraction is a composition wherein the object species (e.g., a glycoprotein, including an antibody or receptor) comprises at least about 50 percent (on a molar basis) of all macromolecular species present. Generally, a substantially pure composition will comprise more than about 80 percent of all macromolecular species present in the composition, more preferably more than about 85%, 90%, 95%, and 99%. Most preferably, the object species is purified to essential homogeneity (contaminant species cannot be detected in the composition by conventional detection methods) wherein the composition consists essentially of a single macromolecular species. In certain embodiments a substantially pure material is at least 50% pure (i.e., free from contaminants), more preferably, at least 90% pure, more preferably, at least 95% pure, yet more preferably, at least 98% pure, and most preferably, at least 99% pure.

An "antibody" is an immunoglobulin molecule capable of specific binding to a target, such as a carbohydrate, polynucleotide, lipid, polypeptide, etc., through at least one antigen recognition site, located in the variable region of the immunoglobulin molecule. As used herein, the term encompasses not only intact polyclonal or monoclonal antibodies, but also, unless otherwise specified, any antigen binding portion thereof that competes with the intact antibody for specific binding, fusion proteins comprising an antigen binding portion, and any other modified configuration of the immunoglobulin molecule that comprises an antigen recognition site. Antigen binding portions include, for example, Fab, Fab', F(ab')2, Fd, Fv, domain antibodies (dAbs, e.g., shark and camelid antibodies), fragments including complementarity determining regions (CDRs), single chain variable fragment antibodies (scFv), maxibodies, minibodies, intrabodies, diabodies, triabodies, tetrabodies, v-NAR and bis-scFv, and polypeptides that contain at least a portion of an immunoglobulin that is sufficient to confer specific antigen binding to the polypeptide. An antibody includes an antibody of any class, such as IgG, IgA, or IgM (or sub-class thereof), and the antibody need not be of any particular class. Depending on the antibody amino acid sequence of the constant region of its heavy chains, immunoglobulins can be assigned to different classes. There are five major classes of immunoglobulins: IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG, and IgM, and several of these may be further divided into subclasses (isotypes), e.g., Igd , lgG2, lgG3, lgG4, IgAi and lgA2. The heavy-chain constant regions that correspond to the different classes of immunoglobulins are called alpha, delta, epsilon, gamma, and mu, respectively. The subunit structures and three-dimensional configurations of different classes of immunoglobulins are well known.

The terms "antigen-binding portion" or "antigen-binding fragment" of an antibody (or simply "antibody portion"), as used interchangeably herein, refers to one or more fragments of an antibody that retain the ability to specifically bind to an antigen (e.g., IL- 2). It has been shown that the antigen-binding function of an antibody can be performed by fragments of a full-length antibody. Examples of binding fragments encompassed within the term "antigen-binding portion" of an antibody include (i) a Fab fragment, a monovalent fragment consisting of the VL, VH, CL and CH1 domains; (ii) a F(ab')2 fragment, a bivalent fragment comprising two Fab fragments linked by a disulfide bridge at the hinge region; (iii) a Fd fragment consisting of the VH and CH1 domains; (iv) a Fv fragment consisting of the VL and VH domains of a single arm of an antibody, (v) a dAb fragment (Ward et al., (1989) Nature 341 :544-546), which consists of a VH domain; and (vi) an isolated complementarity determining region (CDR), disulfide-linked Fvs (dsFv), and anti-idiotypic (anti-Id) antibodies and intrabodies. Furthermore, although the two domains of the Fv fragment, VL and VH, are coded for by separate genes, they can be joined, using recombinant methods, by a synthetic linker that enables them to be made as a single protein chain in which the VL and VH regions pair to form monovalent molecules (known as single chain Fv (scFv)); see e.g., Bird et al. Science 242:423-426 (1988) and Huston et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 85:5879-5883 (1988)). Such single chain antibodies are also intended to be encompassed within the term "antigen-binding portion" of an antibody. Other forms of single chain antibodies, such as diabodies are also encompassed. Diabodies are bivalent, bispecific antibodies in which VH and VL domains are expressed on a single polypeptide chain, but using a linker that is too short to allow for pairing between the two domains on the same chain, thereby forcing the domains to pair with complementary domains of another chain and creating two antigen binding sites (see e.g., Holliger et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 90:6444-6448 (1993); Poljak et al., 1994, Structure 2:1 121 -1 123).

Antibodies may be derived from any mammal, including, but not limited to, humans, monkeys, pigs, horses, rabbits, dogs, cats, mice, etc., or other animals such as birds (e.g. chickens), fish (e.g., sharks) and camelids (e.g., llamas).

A "variable region" of an antibody refers to the variable region of the antibody light chain (VL) or the variable region of the antibody heavy chain (VH), either alone or in combination. As known in the art, the variable regions of the heavy and light chains each consist of four framework regions (FRs) connected by three complementarity determining regions (CDRs) also known as hypervariable regions, and contribute to the formation of the antigen binding site of antibodies. If variants of a subject variable region are desired, particularly with substitution in amino acid residues outside of a CDR region (i.e., in the framework region), appropriate amino acid substitution, preferably, conservative amino acid substitution, can be identified by comparing the subject variable region to the variable regions of other antibodies which contain CDR1 and CDR2 sequences in the same canonical class as the subject variable region (Chothia and Lesk, J. Mol. Biol. 196(4): 901 -917, 1987).

In certain embodiments, definitive delineation of a CDR and identification of residues comprising the binding site of an antibody is accomplished by solving the structure of the antibody and/or solving the structure of the antibody-ligand complex. In certain embodiments, that can be accomplished by any of a variety of techniques known to those skilled in the art, such as X-ray crystallography. In certain embodiments, various methods of analysis can be employed to identify or approximate the CDR regions. In certain embodiments, various methods of analysis can be employed to identify or approximate the CDR regions. Examples of such methods include, but are not limited to, the Kabat definition, the Chothia definition, the AbM definition, the contact definition, and the conformational definition.

The Kabat definition is a standard for numbering the residues in an antibody and is typically used to identify CDR regions. See, e.g., Johnson & Wu, 2000, Nucleic Acids Res., 28: 214-8. The Chothia definition is similar to the Kabat definition, but the Chothia definition takes into account positions of certain structural loop regions. See, e.g., Chothia et al., 1986, J. Mol. Biol., 196: 901 -17; Chothia et al., 1989, Nature, 342: 877- 83. The AbM definition uses an integrated suite of computer programs produced by Oxford Molecular Group that model antibody structure. See, e.g., Martin et al., 1989, Proc Natl Acad Sci (USA), 86:9268-9272; "AbM™, A Computer Program for Modeling Variable Regions of Antibodies," Oxford, UK; Oxford Molecular, Ltd. The AbM definition models the tertiary structure of an antibody from primary sequence using a combination of knowledge databases and ab initio methods, such as those described by Samudrala et al., 1999, "Ab Initio Protein Structure Prediction Using a Combined Hierarchical Approach," in PROTEINS, Structure, Function and Genetics Suppl., 3:194-198. The contact definition is based on an analysis of the available complex crystal structures. See, e.g., MacCallum et al., 1996, J. Mol. Biol., 5:732-45. In another approach, referred to herein as the "conformational definition" of CDRs, the positions of the CDRs may be identified as the residues that make enthalpic contributions to antigen binding. See, e.g., Makabe et al., 2008, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 283:1 156-1 166. Still other CDR boundary definitions may not strictly follow one of the above approaches, but will nonetheless overlap with at least a portion of the Kabat CDRs, although they may be shortened or lengthened in light of prediction or experimental findings that particular residues or groups of residues do not significantly impact antigen binding. As used herein, a CDR may refer to CDRs defined by any approach known in the art, including combinations of approaches. The methods used herein may utilize CDRs defined according to any of these approaches. For any given embodiment containing more than one CDR, the CDRs may be defined in accordance with any of Kabat, Chothia, extended, AbM, contact, and/or conformational definitions.

"Contact residue" as used herein with respect to an antibody or the antigen specifically bound thereby, refers to an amino acid residue present on an antibody/antigen comprising at least one heavy atom (i.e., not hydrogen) that is within 4 A or less of a heavy atom of an amino acid residue present on the cognate antibody/antigen.

As known in the art, a "constant region" of an antibody refers to the constant region of the antibody light chain or the constant region of the antibody heavy chain, either alone or in combination.

As used herein, "monoclonal antibody" refers to an antibody obtained from a population of substantially homogeneous antibodies, i.e., the individual antibodies comprising the population are identical except for possible naturally-occurring mutations that may be present in minor amounts. Monoclonal antibodies are highly specific, being directed against a single antigenic site. Furthermore, in contrast to polyclonal antibody preparations, which typically include different antibodies directed against different determinants (epitopes), each monoclonal antibody is directed against a single determinant on the antigen. The modifier "monoclonal" indicates the character of the antibody as being obtained from a substantially homogeneous population of antibodies, and is not to be construed as requiring production of the antibody by any particular method. For example, the monoclonal antibodies to be used in accordance with the present invention may be made by the hybridoma method first described by Kohler and Milstein, 1975, Nature 256:495, or may be made by recombinant DNA methods such as described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,816,567. The monoclonal antibodies may also be isolated from phage libraries generated using the techniques described in McCafferty et al., 1990, Nature 348:552-554, for example. As used herein, "humanized" antibody refers to forms of non-human (e.g. murine) antibodies that are chimeric immunoglobulins, immunoglobulin chains, or fragments thereof (such as Fv, Fab, Fab', F(ab')2 or other antigen-binding subsequences of antibodies) that contain minimal sequence derived from non-human immunoglobulin. Preferably, humanized antibodies are human immunoglobulins (recipient antibody) in which residues from a CDR of the recipient are replaced by residues from a CDR of a non-human species (donor antibody) such as mouse, rat, or rabbit having the desired specificity, affinity, and capacity. The humanized antibody may comprise residues that are found neither in the recipient antibody nor in the imported CDR or framework sequences, but are included to further refine and optimize antibody performance.

A "human antibody" is one which possesses an amino acid sequence which corresponds to that of an antibody produced by a human and/or has been made using any of the techniques for making human antibodies as disclosed herein. This definition of a human antibody specifically excludes a humanized antibody comprising non-human antigen binding residues.

The term "chimeric antibody" is intended to refer to antibodies in which the variable region sequences are derived from one species and the constant region sequences are derived from another species, such as an antibody in which the variable region sequences are derived from a mouse antibody and the constant region sequences are derived from a human antibody or vice versa. The term also encompasses an antibody comprising a V region from one individual from one species (e.g., a first mouse) and a constant region from another individual from the same species (e.g., a second mouse).

The term "antigen (Ag)" refers to the molecular entity used for immunization of an immunocompetent vertebrate to produce the antibody (Ab) that recognizes the Ag or to screen an expression library (e.g., phage, yeast or ribosome display library, among others). Herein, Ag is termed more broadly and is generally intended to include target molecules that are specifically recognized by the Ab, thus including fragments or mimics of the molecule used in an immunization process for raising the Ab or in library screening for selecting the Ab. Thus, for antibodies of the invention binding to IL-2, full- length IL-2 from mammalian species (e.g., human, monkey, mouse and rat IL-2), including monomers and multimers, such as dimers, trimers, etc. thereof, as well as 5 truncated and other variants of IL-2, are referred to as an antigen.

Generally, the term "epitope" refers to the area or region of an antigen to which an antibody specifically binds, i.e., an area or region in physical contact with the antibody. Thus, the term "epitope" refers to that portion of a molecule capable of being recognized by and bound by an antibody at one or more of the antibody's antigenic, binding regions. Typically, an epitope is defined in the context of a molecular interaction between an "antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof (Ab), and its corresponding antigen. Epitopes often consist of a surface grouping of molecules such as amino acids or sugar side chains and have specific three-dimensional structural characteristics as well as specific charge characteristics. In some embodiments, the epitope can be a 15 protein epitope. Protein epitopes can be linear or conformational. In a linear epitope, all of the points of interaction between the protein and the interacting molecule (such as an antibody) occur linearly along the primary amino acid sequence of the protein. A "nonlinear epitope" or "conformational epitope" comprises noncontiguous polypeptides (or amino acids) within the antigenic protein to which an antibody specific to the epitope 20 binds. The term "antigenic epitope" as used herein, is defined as a portion of an antigen to which an antibody can specifically bind as determined by any method well known in the art, for example, by conventional immunoassays. Alternatively, during the discovery process, the generation and characterization of antibodies may elucidate information about desirable epitopes. From this information, it is then possible to competitively 25 screen antibodies for binding to the same epitope. An approach to achieve this is to conduct competition and cross-competition studies to find antibodies that compete or cross-compete with one another for binding to IL-2, e.g., the antibodies compete for binding to the antigen.

As used herein, the terms "wild-type amino acid," "wild-type IgG," "wild-type 30 antibody," or "wild-type mAb," refer to a sequence of amino or nucleic acids that occurs naturally within a certain population (e.g., human, mouse, rats, cell, etc.).

As outlined elsewhere herein, certain positions of the antibody molecule can be altered. By "position" as used herein is meant a location in the sequence of a protein. Positions may be numbered sequentially, or according to an established format, for example the EU index and Kabat index can be used to number amino acid residues of an antibody. For example, position 297 is a position in the human antibody lgG1 . Corresponding positions are determined as outlined above, generally through alignment with other parent sequences.

By "residue" as used herein is meant a position in a protein and its associated amino acid identity. For example, Asparagine 297 (also referred to as Asn297, also referred to as N297) is a residue in the human antibody lgG1 .

The term "T regulatory cell" or "Treg" refers to a type of T cell that may be characterized by function or biological markers that are known to one of skill in the art (see Schmetterer et al., FASEB Vol. 26 (2012)). In certain embodiments, a Treg cell expresses one or more of the following markers: TCR/CD3, CD4, CD25 and stabilized FOXP3 based on demethylation of critical genomic elements of the FOXP3 locus.

The term "Treg sparing antibody" refers to an antibody that binds to IL-2 and detectably shifts the ratio of Treg:CD8+ cells in favor of Treg cells. In some embodiments, the Treg sparing antibody inhibits proliferation of CD8+ cells to a greater extent than it inhibits the proliferation of Tregs. In some embodiments, the Treg sparing antibody increases the Treg:CD8+ cells ratio by at least two-fold.

As known in the art, "polynucleotide," or "nucleic acid," as used interchangeably herein, refer to chains of nucleotides of any length, and include DNA and RNA. The nucleotides can be deoxyribonucleotides, ribonucleotides, modified nucleotides or bases, and/or their analogs, or any substrate that can be incorporated into a chain by DNA or RNA polymerase. A polynucleotide may comprise modified nucleotides, such as methylated nucleotides and their analogs. If present, modification to the nucleotide structure may be imparted before or after assembly of the chain. The sequence of nucleotides may be interrupted by non-nucleotide components. A polynucleotide may be further modified after polymerization, such as by conjugation with a labeling component. Other types of modifications include, for example, "caps", substitution of one or more of the naturally occurring nucleotides with an analog, internucleotide modifications such as, for example, those with uncharged linkages (e.g., methyl phosphonates, phosphotriesters, phosphoamidates, carbamates, etc.) and with charged linkages (e.g., phosphorothioates, phosphorodithioates, etc.), those containing pendant moieties, such as, for example, proteins (e.g., nucleases, toxins, antibodies, signal peptides, poly-L- lysine, etc.), those with intercalators (e.g., acridine, psoralen, etc.), those containing chelators (e.g., metals, radioactive metals, boron, oxidative metals, etc.), those containing alkylators, those with modified linkages (e.g., alpha anomeric nucleic acids, etc.), as well as unmodified forms of the polynucleotide(s). Further, any of the hydroxyl groups ordinarily present in the sugars may be replaced, for example, by phosphonate groups, phosphate groups, protected by standard protecting groups, or activated to prepare additional linkages to additional nucleotides, or may be conjugated to solid supports. The 5' and 3' terminal OH can be phosphorylated or substituted with amines or organic capping group moieties of from 1 to 20 carbon atoms. Other hydroxyls may also be derivatized to standard protecting groups. Polynucleotides can also contain analogous forms of ribose or deoxyribose sugars that are generally known in the art, including, for example, 2'-O-methyl-, 2'-O-allyl, 2'-fluoro- or 2'-azido-ribose, carbocyclic sugar analogs, alpha- or beta-anomeric sugars, epimeric sugars such as arabinose, xyloses or lyxoses, pyranose sugars, furanose sugars, sedoheptuloses, acyclic analogs and abasic nucleoside analogs such as methyl riboside. One or more phosphodiester linkages may be replaced by alternative linking groups. These alternative linking groups include, but are not limited to, embodiments wherein phosphate is replaced by P(O)S("thioate"), P(S)S ("dithioate"), (O)NR2 ("amidate"), P(O)R, P(O)OR', CO or CH2 ("formacetal"), in which each R or R' is independently H or substituted or unsubstituted alkyl (1 -20 C) optionally containing an ether (-O-) linkage, aryl, alkenyl, cycloalkyl, cycloalkenyl or araldyl. Not all linkages in a polynucleotide need be identical. The preceding description applies to all polynucleotides referred to herein, including RNA and DNA.

An antibody that "preferentially binds" or "specifically binds" (used interchangeably herein) to an epitope is a term well understood in the art, and methods to determine such specific or preferential binding are also well known in the art. A molecule is said to exhibit "specific binding" or "preferential binding" if it reacts or associates more frequently, more rapidly, with greater duration and/or with greater affinity with a particular cell or substance than it does with alternative cells or substances. An antibody "specifically binds" or "preferentially binds" to a target if it binds with greater affinity, avidity, more readily, and/or with greater duration than it binds to other substances. Also, an antibody "specifically binds" or "preferentially binds" to a target if it binds with greater affinity, avidity, more readily, and/or with greater duration to that target in a sample than it binds to other substances present in the sample. For example, an antibody that specifically or preferentially binds to an IL-2 epitope is an antibody that binds this epitope with greater affinity, avidity, more readily, and/or with greater duration than it binds to other IL-2 epitopes or non- IL-2 epitopes. It is also understood by reading this definition, for example, that an antibody (or moiety or epitope) which specifically or preferentially binds to a first target may or may not specifically or preferentially bind to a second target. As such, "specific binding" or "preferential binding" does not necessarily require (although it can include) exclusive binding. Generally, but not necessarily, reference to binding means preferential binding. "Specific binding" or "preferential binding" includes a compound, e.g., a protein, a nucleic acid, an antibody, and the like, which recognizes and binds to a specific molecule, but does not substantially recognize or bind other molecules in a sample. For instance, an antibody or a peptide receptor which recognizes and binds to a cognate ligand or binding partner (e.g., an anti- IL-2 antibody that binds IL-2) in a sample, but does not substantially recognize or bind other molecules in the sample, specifically binds to that cognate ligand or binding partner. Thus, under designated assay conditions, the specified binding moiety (e.g., an antibody or an antigen-binding portion thereof or a receptor or a ligand binding portion thereof) binds preferentially to a particular target molecule and does not bind in a significant amount to other components present in a test sample.

A variety of assay formats may be used to select an antibody or peptide that specifically binds a molecule of interest. For example, solid-phase ELISA immunoassay, immunoprecipitation, Biacore™ (GE Healthcare, Piscataway, NJ), KinExA, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), Octet™ (ForteBio, Inc., Menlo Park, CA) and Western blot analysis are among many assays that may be used to identify an antibody that specifically reacts with an antigen or a receptor, or ligand binding portion thereof, that specifically binds with a cognate ligand or binding partner. Typically, a specific or selective reaction will be at least twice the background signal or noise, more typically more than 10 times background, even more typically, more than 50 times background, more typically, more than 100 times background, yet more typically, more than 500 times background, even more typically, more than 1000 times background, and even more typically, more than 10,000 times background. Also, an antibody is said to "specifically bind" an antigen when the equilibrium dissociation constant (KD) is < 7 nM. The term "binding affinity" is herein used as a measure of the strength of a non- covalent interaction between two molecules, e.g., and antibody, or fragment thereof, and an antigen. The term "binding affinity" is used to describe monovalent interactions (intrinsic activity).

Binding affinity between two molecules, e.g. an antibody, or fragment thereof, and an antigen, through a monovalent interaction may be quantified by determination of the dissociation constant (KD). In turn, KD can be determined by measurement of the kinetics of complex formation and dissociation using, e.g., the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) method (Biacore). The rate constants corresponding to the association and the dissociation of a monovalent complex are referred to as the association rate constants ka (or kon) and dissociation rate constant kd (or koff), respectively. KD is related to ka and kd through the equation KD = kd I ka. The value of the dissociation constant can be determined directly by well-known methods, and can be computed even for complex mixtures by methods such as those, for example, set forth in Caceci et al. (1984, Byte 9: 340-362). For example, the KD may be established using a double-filter nitrocellulose filter binding assay such as that disclosed by Wong & Lohman (1993, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 90: 5428-5432). Other standard assays to evaluate the binding ability of ligands such as antibodies towards target antigens are known in the art, including for example, ELISAs, Western blots, RIAs, and flow cytometry analysis, and other assays exemplified elsewhere herein. The binding kinetics and binding affinity of the antibody also can be assessed by standard assays known in the art, such as Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR), e.g. by using a Biacore™ system, or KinExA.

A competitive binding assay can be conducted in which the binding of the antibody to the antigen is compared to the binding of the target by another ligand of that target, such as another antibody or a soluble receptor that otherwise binds the target. The concentration at which 50% inhibition occurs is known as the K,. Under ideal conditions, the K, is equivalent to KD. The Ki value will never be less than the KD, so measurement of K, can conveniently be substituted to provide an upper limit for KD.

Following the above definition, binding affinities associated with different molecular interactions, e.g., comparison of the binding affinity of different antibodies for a given antigen, may be compared by comparison of the KD values for the individual antibody/antigen complexes. KD values for antibodies or other binding partners can be determined using methods well established in the art. One method for determining the KD is by using surface plasmon resonance, typically using a biosensor system such as a Biacore® system.

Similarly, the specificity of an interaction may be assessed by determination and comparison of the KD value for the interaction of interest, e.g., a specific interaction between an antibody and an antigen, with the KD value of an interaction not of interest, e.g., a control antibody known not to bind IL-2.

An antibody that specifically binds its target may bind its target with a high affinity, that is, exhibiting a low KD as discussed above, and may bind to other, non-target molecules with a lower affinity. For example, the antibody may bind to non-target molecules with a KD of 1 x 10"6M or more, more preferably 1 x 10"5 M or more, more preferably 1 x 10"4 M or more, more preferably 1 x 10"3 M or more, even more preferably 1 x 10"2 M or more. An antibody of the invention is preferably capable of binding to its target with an affinity that is at least two-fold, 10-fold, 50-fold, 100-fold 200-fold, 500- fold, 1 , 000-fold or 10,000-fold or greater than its affinity for binding to another non-IL-2 molecule.

A "host cell" includes an individual cell or cell culture that can be or has been a recipient for vector(s) for incorporation of polynucleotide inserts. Host cells include progeny of a single host cell, and the progeny may not necessarily be completely identical (in morphology or in genomic DNA complement) to the original parent cell due to natural, accidental, or deliberate mutation. A host cell includes cells transfected and/or transformed in vivo with a polynucleotide of this invention.

As known in the art, the term "Fc region" is used to define a C-terminal region of an immunoglobulin heavy chain. The "Fc region" may be a native sequence Fc region or a variant Fc region. Although the boundaries of the Fc region of an immunoglobulin heavy chain might vary, the human IgG heavy chain Fc region is usually defined to stretch from an amino acid residue at position Cys226, or from Pro230, to the carboxyl- terminus thereof. The numbering of the residues in the Fc region is that of the EU index as described in Kabat et al., Sequences of Proteins of Immunological Interest, 5th Ed. Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md., 1991 . The Fc region of an immunoglobulin generally comprises two constant domains, CH2 and CH3. As is known in the art, an Fc region can be present in dimer or monomeric form. As used in the art, "Fc receptor" and "FcR" describe a receptor that binds to the Fc region of an antibody. The preferred FcR is a native sequence human FcR. Moreover, a preferred FcR is one which binds an IgG antibody (a gamma receptor) and includes receptors of the FcyRI, FcyRII, and FcyRIII subclasses, including allelic variants and alternatively spliced forms of these receptors. FcyRII receptors include FcyRIIA (an "activating receptor") and FcyRIIB (an "inhibiting receptor"), which have similar amino acid sequences that differ primarily in the cytoplasmic domains thereof. FcRs are reviewed in Ravetch and Kinet, 1991 , Ann. Rev. Immunol., 9:457-92; Capel et al., 1994, Immunomethods, 4:25-34; and de Haas et al., 1995, J. Lab. Clin. Med., 126:330-41 . "FcR" also includes the neonatal receptor, FcRn, which is responsible for the transfer of maternal IgGs to the fetus (Guyer et al., 1976, J. Immunol., 1 17:587; and Kim et al., 1994, J. Immunol., 24:249).

The term "compete", as used herein with regard to an antibody, means that a first antibody, or an antigen-binding portion thereof, binds to an epitope in a manner sufficiently similar to the binding of a second antibody, or an antigen-binding portion thereof, such that the result of binding of the first antibody with its cognate epitope is detectably decreased in the presence of the second antibody compared to the binding of the first antibody in the absence of the second antibody. The alternative, where the binding of the second antibody to its epitope is also detectably decreased in the presence of the first antibody, can, but need not be the case. That is, a first antibody can inhibit the binding of a second antibody to its epitope without that second antibody inhibiting the binding of the first antibody to its respective epitope. However, where each antibody detectably inhibits the binding of the other antibody with its cognate epitope or ligand, whether to the same, greater, or lesser extent, the antibodies are said to "cross- compete" with each other for binding of their respective epitope(s). Both competing and cross-competing antibodies are encompassed by the present invention. Regardless of the mechanism by which such competition or cross-competition occurs (e.g., steric hindrance, conformational change, or binding to a common epitope, or portion thereof), the skilled artisan would appreciate, based upon the teachings provided herein, that such competing and/or cross-competing antibodies are encompassed and can be useful for the methods disclosed herein.

A "functional Fc region" possesses at least one effector function of a native sequence Fc region. Exemplary "effector functions" include C1 q binding; complement dependent cytotoxicity; Fc receptor binding; antibody-dependent eel I -mediated cytotoxicity; phagocytosis; down-regulation of cell surface receptors (e.g. B cell receptor), etc. Such effector functions generally require the Fc region to be combined with a binding domain (e.g. an antibody variable domain or antigen-binding portion thereof) and can be assessed using various assays known in the art for evaluating such antibody effector functions.

A "native sequence Fc region" comprises an amino acid sequence identical to the amino acid sequence of an Fc region found in nature. A "variant Fc region" comprises an amino acid sequence which differs from that of a native sequence Fc region by virtue of at least one amino acid modification, yet retains at least one effector function of the native sequence Fc region. Preferably, the variant Fc region has at least one amino acid substitution compared to a native sequence Fc region or to the Fc region of a parent polypeptide, e.g. from about one to about ten amino acid substitutions, and preferably, from about one to about five amino acid substitutions in a native sequence Fc region or in the Fc region of the parent polypeptide. The variant Fc region herein will preferably possess at least about 80% sequence identity with a native sequence Fc region and/or with an Fc region of a parent polypeptide, and most preferably, at least about 90% sequence identity therewith, more preferably, at least about 95%, at least about 96%, at least about 97%, at least about 98%, at least about 99% sequence identity therewith.

As used herein, "treatment" is an approach for obtaining beneficial or desired clinical results. For purposes of this invention, beneficial or desired clinical results include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following: improved survival rate (reduced mortality), reduction in inflammatory response to the disease, reduction in the amount of tissue fibrosis, improvement in the appearance of the disease lesions, limitation of the pathological lesions to focal sites, decreased extent of damage from the disease, decreased duration of the disease, and/or reduction in the number, extent, or duration of symptoms related to the disease. The term includes the administration of the compounds or agents of the present invention to prevent or delay the onset of the symptoms, complications, or biochemical indicia of a disease, alleviating the symptoms or arresting or inhibiting further development of the disease, condition, or disorder. Treatment may be prophylactic (to prevent or delay the onset of the disease, or to prevent the manifestation of clinical or subclinical symptoms thereof) or therapeutic suppression or alleviation of symptoms after the manifestation of the disease. "Ameliorating" means a lessening or improvement of one or more symptoms as compared to not administering an IL-2 antibody. "Ameliorating" also includes shortening or reduction in duration of a symptom.

As used herein, an "effective dosage" or "effective amount" of drug, compound, or pharmaceutical composition is an amount sufficient to affect any one or more beneficial or desired results. In more specific aspects, an effective amount prevents, alleviates or ameliorates symptoms of disease or infection, and/or prolongs the survival of the subject being treated. For prophylactic use, beneficial or desired results include eliminating or reducing the risk, lessening the severity, or delaying the outset of the disease, including biochemical, histological and/or behavioral symptoms of the disease, its complications and intermediate pathological phenotypes presenting during development of the disease. For therapeutic use, beneficial or desired results include clinical results such as reducing one or more symptoms of an IL-2 mediated disease, disorder or condition, decreasing the dose of other medications required to treat the disease, enhancing the effect of another medication, and/or delaying the progression of the disease of patients. An effective dosage can be administered in one or more administrations. For purposes of this invention, an effective dosage of drug, compound, or pharmaceutical composition is an amount sufficient to accomplish prophylactic or therapeutic treatment either directly or indirectly. As is understood in the clinical context, an effective dosage of a drug, compound, or pharmaceutical composition may or may not be achieved in conjunction with another drug, compound, or pharmaceutical composition. Thus, an "effective dosage" may be considered in the context of administering one or more therapeutic agents, and a single agent may be considered to be given in an effective amount if, in conjunction with one or more other agents, a desirable result may be or is achieved.

An "individual" or a "subject" is a mammal, more preferably, a human. Mammals also include, but are not limited to, farm animals (e.g., cows, pigs, horses, chickens, etc.), sport animals, pets, primates, horses, dogs, cats, mice and rats. In some embodiments, the individual is considered to be at risk for a disease, disorder or condition mediated by or associated with IL-2 binding to its receptor and signaling mediated thereby. In certain embodiments, the subject has an autoimmune disease, disorder or condition, such as type 1 diabetes. In certain embodiments, the subject is in need of immunosuppression therapy. As used herein, "vector" means a construct, which is capable of delivering, and, preferably, expressing, one or more gene(s) or sequence(s) of interest in a host cell. Examples of vectors include, but are not limited to, viral vectors, naked DNA or RNA expression vectors, plasmid, cosmid or phage vectors, DNA or RNA expression vectors associated with cationic condensing agents, DNA or RNA expression vectors encapsulated in liposomes, and certain eukaryotic cells, such as producer cells.

As used herein, "expression control sequence" means a nucleic acid sequence that directs transcription of a nucleic acid. An expression control sequence can be a promoter, such as a constitutive or an inducible promoter, or an enhancer. The expression control sequence is operably linked to the nucleic acid sequence to be transcribed.

As used herein, "pharmaceutically acceptable carrier" or "pharmaceutical acceptable excipient" includes any material which, when combined with an active ingredient, allows the ingredient to retain biological activity and is non-reactive with the subject's immune system. Examples include, but are not limited to, any of the standard pharmaceutical carriers such as a phosphate buffered saline solution, water, emulsions such as oil/water emulsion, and various types of wetting agents. Preferred diluents for aerosol or parenteral administration are phosphate buffered saline (PBS) or normal (0.9%) saline. Compositions comprising such carriers are formulated by well known conventional methods (see, for example, Remington's Pharmaceutical Sciences, 18th edition, A. Gennaro, ed., Mack Publishing Co., Easton, PA, 1990; and Remington, The Science and Practice of Pharmacy 20th Ed. Mack Publishing, 2000).

Reference to "about" a value or parameter herein includes (and describes) embodiments that are directed to that value or parameter per se. For example, description referring to "about X" includes description of "X." Numeric ranges are inclusive of the numbers defining the range.

Notwithstanding that the numerical ranges and parameters setting forth the broad scope of the invention are approximations, the numerical values set forth in the specific examples are reported as precisely as possible. Any numerical value, however, inherently contains certain errors necessarily resulting from the standard deviation found in their respective testing measurements. Moreover, all ranges disclosed herein are to be understood to encompass any and all subranges subsumed therein. For example, a stated range of "1 to 10" should be considered to include any and all subranges between (and inclusive of) the minimum value of 1 and the maximum value of 10; that is, all subranges beginning with a minimum value of 1 or more, e.g. 1 to 6.1 , and ending with a maximum value of 10 or less, e.g., 5.5 to 10.

Unless otherwise defined, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. In case of conflict, the present specification, including definitions, will control. Throughout this specification and claims, the word "comprise," or variations such as "comprises" or "comprising" will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated integer or group of integers but not the exclusion of any other integer or group of integers. Unless otherwise required by context, singular terms shall include pluralities and plural terms shall include the singular. Any example(s) following the term "e.g." or "for example" is not meant to be exhaustive or limiting.

It is understood that wherever embodiments are described herein with the language "comprising," otherwise analogous embodiments described in terms of "consisting of and/or "consisting essentially of are also provided.

Where aspects or embodiments of the invention are described in terms of a Markush group or other grouping of alternatives, the present invention encompasses not only the entire group listed as a whole, but each member of the group individually and all possible subgroups of the main group, but also the main group absent one or more of the group members. The present invention also envisages the explicit exclusion of one or more of any of the group members in the claimed invention.

Exemplary methods and materials are described herein, although methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can also be used in the practice or testing of the present invention. The materials, methods, and examples are illustrative only and not intended to be limiting.

Overview

lnterleukin-2 (IL-2) is a four-helix bundle, type I cytokine that functions as a growth factor for a wide range of leukocytes, including T cells and natural killer (NK) cells. Considerable effort has been invested in the study of IL-2 as a therapeutic target for a variety of immune disorders ranging from AIDS to cancer. Recombinant human IL- 2 (Proleukin®) is used at high doses to treat metastatic melanoma and renal cell carcinoma. However, only a small subset of patients (5-10%) experience long-term survival from such treatment. Adverse effects of high-dose IL-2 therapy, ranging from flu-like symptoms to life-threatening vascular leak syndrome and pulmonary edema, have greatly limited its use. Importantly, IL-2 treatment has unpredictable biologic effects.

IL-2 mediates its effects by binding to a complex receptor comprised of 3 chains

CD25 (IL-2Ra), CD122 (IL-2R ), and common gamma chain (vc,) such that the receptor is termed IL-2Ra y. The three chains are differentially expressed with the receptor trimer exhibiting the highest affinity. Individually, each of the three receptor chains in the quaternary complex bind to IL-2 with low affinity, with IL-2Ra having the strongest relative affinity (KD -10 nM). Expression of IL-2Ra increases the on-rate of IL-2 for T cells and the three receptors cooperatively bind to IL-2 with KD -10 pM. Upon capture by IL-2Ra, IL-2 is presented to IL-2R , and then vc, possibly in a pre-formed receptor dimer, to form the quaternary signaling complex. While IL-2 alone binds IL-2R with low affinity (KD - 150-300 nM), the IL-2/IL-2Ra complex binds to IL-2R with higher affinity (KD - 60 nM), yet there is no direct contact between IL-2Ra and IL-2R in the quaternary receptor complex. Recent studies suggest that wild-type IL-2 exists in a "quiescent" form that is induced into a structurally-altered conformation that represents the high affinity form which engages IL-2Ra.

Attempts have been made to engineer or modify IL-2 to improve its therapeutic potential by modifying its ability to selectively target either T effector cells (Teff) or T regulatory cells (Treg). Interestingly, there have been a number of approaches to more effective and directive IL-2s. In mouse models, which are not directly analogous to humans, Boyman and colleagues have demonstrated that, in some circumstances, a rat anti-mouse IL-2 mAb (JES6-1 ) can be complexed with wild type IL-2 and used to preferentially enhance TREG populations (Boyman et al., 2006, Science 31 1 :1924-1927; and International Patent Publication No. WO 2007/095643). Although the mechanistic basis for this effect has not been elucidated, it may be, without wishing to be bound by any particular theory, that IL-2 in complex with certain antibodies is "fixed" in a conformation that selectively triggers discriminatory signals resulting in selective expansion of individual TREG or TEFF cell subsets. In addition, several efforts have been focused on developing IL-2 mutant proteins which enhance activation of CD25+ T cells and minimize activation of CD25" NK cells by increasing IL-2 binding to the trimolecular IL-2R complex CD25. In this regard, a mutant IL-2 has been made by Bayer with a significantly lower affinity for the IL-2R vc with the expectation that treatment with this variant IL-2 may not activate NK or memory CD8+ T cells. However, both the IL-2 mutant and IL-2/anti-IL-2 antibody complex approaches described above do not take into account the potential inability of a drug to alter endogenous wild type IL-2 that is being produced during the inflammatory T cell response. Moreover, any therapy with IL- 2 variants that induce endogenous IL-2 (a demonstrated feedback mechanism) can result in wild type IL-2 effects in vivo that may not have been observed in vitro.

Therefore, although IL-2 was originally developed as an immune stimulatory agent due to its ability to enhance effector T cell (TEFF) and NK function, it is now believed that the primary function of IL-2 is NOT activation of immunity but rather the generation and survival of TREG, which function to inhibit immune responses and prevent autoimmune disease. There has been an increased understanding using animal models, including IL-2 and IL-2 receptor (IL-2R)-deficient mice, that IL-2 plays a crucial role in peripheral immune tolerance mediated by TREG cells. Studies have shown that low dose IL-2 therapy preferentially activates TREG due to its constitutive expression of the high affinity IL-2R. More specifically, an increasing number of animal studies have

demonstrated that TREG can suppress GVHD and autoimmunity. Further, this potential suppressive role has been demonstrated in humans in two recent studies, one in GVHD and the other in autoimmune vasculitis, where short term low dose therapy led to amelioration of disease in some individuals. Thus, there is a long-felt need for IL-2- based therapeutics to selectively activate the tolerogenic versus effector immune response, i.e., therapies designed to tip the TREG: TEFF balance towards TREG, thereby treating a wide range of diseases. The present invention meets that need. IL-2 Antibodies

The present invention relates to antibodies that bind to IL-2. The antibodies preferably specifically bind to IL-2, i.e., they bind to IL-2 but they do not detectably bind, or bind at a lower affinity, to other molecules. In particular, the invention relates to antibodies that specifically bind to IL-2 and further, antibodies that inhibit proliferation of non-Treg cells (including effector CD8+, non-Treg CD4+ and NK cells) more than they inhibit proliferation of Treg cells or increase Treg proliferation compared to an isotype control antibody or increase the ratio of Treg cells to non-Treg cells or maintain Treg markers or a combination thereof. In some embodiments, the antibodies inhibit proliferation of CD8+, non-Treg CD4+ or NK cells at least 2-fold more than said antibody inhibits the proliferation of Tregs. In some embodiments, the antibodies inhibit proliferation of CD8+, non-Treg CD4+ or NK cells at least 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20-fold more than said antibody inhibits the proliferation of Tregs. In some embodiments, the antibodies increase the ratio of T regulatory cells (Tregs) to CD8+, non-Treg CD4+ or NK cells in a peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) culture assay. In some embodiments, the ratio is increased at least 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20-fold or greater. In some

embodiments, the antibody increases Tregs:CD8+ cells ratio by two (2) fold or greater, and may reflect increased Treg proliferation. In some embodiments, the antibodies enhance T regulatory cell (Treg) proliferation greater than an isotype control when IL-2 is limiting, for example, at a concentration of less than 1 nM in vitro. In some

embodiments, the antibodies inhibit proliferation of CD8+ cells. In some embodiments, the antibodies maintain expression of T regulatory cell (Treg) markers selected from: a) FOXP3 and Helios, b) high expression of CD25, or c) low expression of CD127, or a combination thereof. In some embodiments, the antibodies bind to the portion of IL-2 that binds to IL-2 receptor a (CD25). Preferably, an IL-2 antibody of the invention has at least one of these features, more preferably, the antibody has two or more of these features. More preferably, the antibodies have all of the features. The invention also relates to compositions comprising such antibodies as well as uses for such antibodies, including therapeutic and pharmaceutical uses.

By the term "IL-2" is meant any naturally occurring form of IL-2, whether monomeric or multimeric, including dimers, trimers, etc., which may be derived from any suitable organism. As used herein, "IL-2" refers to a mammalian IL-2, such as human, rat or mouse, as well as non-human primate, bovine, ovine, or porcine IL-2. Preferably, the IL-2 is human (see, e.g., Genbank Accession Number P60568, SEQ ID NO:31 ) or cynomolgus monkey (see, e.g., Genbank Accession Number Q29615, SEQ ID NO:32). The term "IL-2" also encompasses fragments, variants, isoforms, and other homologs of such IL-2 molecules. Variant IL-2 molecules will generally be characterized by having the same type of activity as naturally occurring IL-2, such as the ability to bind IL-2 receptor, and the ability to induce receptor- mediated activity.

The IL-2 may comprise one or more, two or more, three or more, four or more, five or more, six or more, seven or more, eight or more, nine or more, ten or more, twelve or more or fifteen or more surface accessible residues of IL-2. Where the IL-2 comprises a homomultimeric form of IL-2, the target may comprise one or more, two or more, three or more, four or more, five or more, six or more, seven or more, eight or more, nine or more, ten or more, twelve or more, or fifteen or more surface accessible residues of a first subunit of IL-2, and one or more, two or more, three or more, four or more, five or more, six or more, seven or more, eight or more, nine or more, ten or more, twelve or more, or fifteen or more surface accessible residues of a second subunit of IL-2.

The target molecule may comprise a known epitope from IL-2.

In one embodiment, the disclosure provides any of the following, or compositions

(including pharmaceutical compositions) comprising, an antibody having a light chain sequence, or a portion thereof, and a heavy chain, or a portion thereof, derived from any of the following antibodies: 13G8, 16B2, 16C3, 16H7, 18H4, 23E6, 24E5, 24E7, 13A10, 16C3.1 , 16C3.2, 16C3.4, 16C3.5, 16C3.7, or 16C3.9.

The antibodies useful in the present invention can encompass monoclonal antibodies, polyclonal antibodies, antibody fragments (e.g., Fab, Fab', F(ab')2, Fv, Fc, etc.), chimeric antibodies, bispecific antibodies, heteroconjugate antibodies, single chain (ScFv), mutants thereof, fusion proteins comprising an antibody portion (e.g., a domain antibody), humanized antibodies, and any other modified configuration of the immunoglobulin molecule that comprises an antigen recognition site of the required specificity, including glycosylation variants of antibodies, amino acid sequence variants of antibodies, and covalently modified antibodies. The antibodies may be murine, rat, human, or any other origin (including chimeric or humanized antibodies). In some embodiments, the IL-2 antibody is a monoclonal antibody. In some embodiments, the antibody is a human or humanized antibody.

The IL-2 antibodies of the invention may be made by any method known in the art. General techniques for production of human and mouse antibodies are known in the art and/or are described herein.

IL-2 antibodies can be identified or characterized using methods known in the art, whereby reduction, amelioration, or neutralization of IL-2 activity is detected and/or measured, for example, pAKT and/ or pSTAT5. In some embodiments, an IL-2 antibody is identified by incubating a candidate agent (e.g., IL-2) with IL-2 receptor and monitoring binding and/or attendant reduction or inhibition of a biological activity of IL-2. The binding assay may be performed with, e.g., purified IL-2 polypeptide(s), or with cells naturally expressing various receptors, or transfected to express, IL-2 receptor. In one embodiment, the binding assay is a competitive binding assay, where the ability of a candidate antibody to compete with a known IL-2 antibody for IL-2 binding is evaluated. The assay may be performed in various formats, including the ELISA format. In some embodiments, an IL-2 antibody is identified by incubating a candidate antibody with IL-2 and monitoring binding.

Following initial identification, the activity of a candidate IL-2 antibody can be further confirmed and refined by bioassays, known to test the targeted biological activities. In some embodiments, an in vitro cell assay is used to further characterize a candidate IL-2 antibody. For example, bioassays can be used to screen candidates directly. Some of the methods for identifying and characterizing IL-2 antibody are described in detail in the Examples.

IL-2 antibodies may be characterized using methods well known in the art. For example, one method is to identify the epitope to which it binds, or "epitope mapping." There are many methods known in the art for mapping and characterizing the location of epitopes on proteins, including solving the crystal structure of an antibody-antigen complex, competition assays, gene fragment expression assays, and synthetic peptide- based assays, as described, for example, in Chapter 1 1 of Harlow and Lane, Using Antibodies, a Laboratory Manual, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, 1999. In an additional example, epitope mapping can be used to determine the sequence to which an IL-2 antibody binds. Epitope mapping is commercially available from various sources, for example, Pepscan Systems (Edelhertweg 15, 8219 PH Lelystad, The Netherlands). The epitope can be a linear epitope, i.e., contained in a single stretch of amino acids, or a conformational epitope formed by a three-dimensional interaction of amino acids that may not necessarily be contained in a single stretch. Peptides of varying lengths (e.g., at least 4-6 amino acids long) can be isolated or synthesized (e.g., recombinantly) and used for binding assays with IL-2 antibody. In another example, the epitope to which the IL-2 antibody binds can be determined in a systematic screening by using overlapping peptides derived from the IL-2 sequence and determining binding by the antibody. According to the gene fragment expression assays, the open reading frame encoding IL-2 can be fragmented either randomly or by specific genetic constructions and the reactivity of the expressed fragments of IL-2 with the antibody to be tested is determined. The gene fragments may, for example, be produced by PCR and then transcribed and translated into protein in vitro, in the presence of radioactive amino acids. The binding of the antibody to the radioactively labeled IL-2 fragments is then determined by immunoprecipitation and gel electrophoresis. Certain epitopes can also be identified by using large libraries of random peptide sequences displayed on the surface of phage particles (phage libraries) or yeast (yeast display). Alternatively, a defined library of overlapping peptide fragments can be tested for binding to the test antibody in simple binding assays. In an additional example, mutagenesis of an antigen, domain swapping experiments and alanine scanning mutagenesis can be performed to identify residues required, sufficient, and/or necessary for epitope binding. For example, alanine scanning mutagenesis experiments can be performed using a mutant IL-2 in which various residues of the IL-2 polypeptide have been replaced with alanine. By assessing binding of the antibody to the mutant IL- 2, the importance of the particular IL-2 residues to antibody binding can be assessed.

Yet another method which can be used to characterize an IL-2 antibody is to use competition assays with other antibodies known to bind to the same antigen, i.e., various fragments on IL-2, to determine if the IL-2 antibody binds to the same epitope as other antibodies. Competition assays are well known to those of skill in the art.

Further, the epitope for a given antibody/antigen binding pair can be defined and characterized at different levels of detail using a variety of experimental and computational epitope mapping methods. The experimental methods include mutagenesis, X-ray crystallography, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, hydrogen/deuterium exchange Mass Spectrometry (H/D-MS) and various competition binding methods well-known in the art. As each method relies on a unique principle, the description of an epitope is intimately linked to the method by which it has been determined. Thus, the epitope for a given antibody/antigen pair will be defined differently depending on the epitope mapping method employed.

At its most detailed level, the epitope for the interaction between the Ag and the Ab can be defined by the spatial coordinates defining the atomic contacts present in the Ag-Ab interaction, as well as information about their relative contributions to the binding thermodynamics. At a less detailed level the epitope can be characterized by the spatial coordinates defining the atomic contacts between the Ag and Ab. At a further less detailed level the epitope can be characterized by the amino acid residues that it comprises as defined by a specific criterion, e.g., by distance between atoms (e.g., heavy, i.e., non-hydrogen atoms) in the Ab and the Ag. At a further less detailed level the epitope can be characterized through function, e.g. by competition binding with other Abs. The epitope can also be defined more generically as comprising amino acid residues for which substitution by another amino acid will alter the characteristics of the interaction between the Ab and Ag (e.g. using alanine scanning).

From the fact that descriptions and definitions of epitopes, dependent on the epitope mapping method used, are obtained at different levels of detail, it follows that comparison of epitopes for different Abs on the same Ag can similarly be conducted at different levels of detail.

Epitopes described at the amino acid level, e.g., determined from an X-ray structure, are said to be identical if they contain the same set of amino acid residues. Epitopes are said to overlap if at least one amino acid is shared by the epitopes. Epitopes are said to be separate (unique) if no amino acid residue is shared by the epitopes.

Epitopes characterized by competition binding are said to be overlapping if the binding of the corresponding antibodies are mutually exclusive, i.e., binding of one antibody excludes simultaneous or consecutive binding of the other antibody. The epitopes are said to be separate (unique) if the antigen is able to accommodate binding of both corresponding antibodies simultaneously.

The definition of the term "paratope" is derived from the above definition of "epitope" by reversing the perspective. Thus, the term "paratope" refers to the area or region on the antibody which specifically binds an antigen, i.e., the amino acid residues on the antibody which make contact with the antigen (IL-2) as "contact" is defined elsewhere herein.

The epitope and paratope for a given antibody/antigen pair may be identified by routine methods. For example, the general location of an epitope may be determined by assessing the ability of an antibody to bind to different fragments or variant IL-2 polypeptides. The specific amino acids within IL-2 that make contact with an antibody (epitope) and the specific amino acids in an antibody that make contact with IL-2 (paratope) may also be determined using routine methods, such as those described in the examples. For example, the antibody and target molecule may be combined and the antibody/antigen complex may be crystallized. The crystal structure of the complex may be determined and used to identify specific sites of interaction between the antibody and its target.

An antibody according to the current invention may bind to the same epitope or domain of IL-2 as the antibodies of the invention that are specifically disclosed herein. For example, other yet unidentified antibodies of the invention may be identified by comparing their binding to IL-2 with that of any of the following monoclonal antibodies: 13G8, 16B2, 16C3, 16H7, 18H4, 23E6, 24E5, 24E7, 13A10, 16C3.1 , 16C3.2, 16C3.4, 16C3.5, 16C3.7, or 16C3.9, and variants thereof; or by comparing the function of yet unidentified antibodies with that of the antibodies described herein; and/or by comparing the epitope/contact residues on IL-2 of yet unidentified antibodies with those of the antibodies of the invention. Analyses and assays that may be used for the purpose of such identification include assays assessing the competition for binding of IL-2 between the antibody of interest and IL-2 receptor, in biological activity assays as described in Examples 1 -10, and in analysis of the crystal structure of the antibody.

An antibody of the invention may have the ability to compete or cross-compete with another antibody of the invention for binding to IL-2 as described herein. For example, an antibody of the invention may compete or cross-compete with antibodies described herein for binding to IL-2, or to a suitable fragment or variant of IL-2 that is bound by the antibodies disclosed herein.

That is, if a first antibody competes with a second antibody for binding to IL-2, but it does not compete where the second antibody is first bound to IL-2, it is deemed to "compete" with the second antibody (also referred to as unidirectional competition). Where an antibody competes with another antibody regardless of which antibody is first bound to IL-2, then the antibody "cross-competes" for binding to IL-2 with the other antibody. Such competing or cross-competing antibodies can be identified based on their ability to compete/cross-compete with a known antibody of the invention in standard binding assays. For example, SPR e.g. by using a Biacore™ system, ELISA assays or flow cytometry may be used to demonstrate competition/cross-competition. Such competition/cross-competition may suggest that the two antibodies bind to identical, overlapping or similar epitopes.

An antibody of the invention may therefore be identified by a method that comprises a binding assay which assesses whether or not a test antibody is able to compete/cross-compete with a reference antibody of the invention (e.g., 13G8, 16B2, 16C3, 16H7, 18H4, 23E6, 24E5, 24E7, 13A10, 16C3.1 , 16C3.2, 16C3.4, 16C3.5, 16C3.7, or 16C3.9) for a binding site on the target molecule. Methods for carrying out competitive binding assays are disclosed herein and/or are well known in the art. For example they may involve binding a reference antibody of the invention to a target molecule using conditions under which the antibody can bind to the target molecule. The antibody/target complex may then be exposed to a test/second antibody and the extent to which the test antibody is able to displace the reference antibody of the invention from antibody/target complexes may be assessed. An alternative method may involve contacting a test antibody with a target molecule under conditions that allow for antibody binding, then adding a reference antibody of the invention that is capable of binding that target molecule and assessing the extent to which the reference antibody of the invention is able to displace the test antibody from antibody/target complexes or to simultaneously bind to the target (i.e., non-competing antibody).

The ability of a test antibody to inhibit the binding of a reference antibody of the invention to the target demonstrates that the test antibody can compete with a reference antibody of the invention for binding to the target and thus that the test antibody binds to the same, or substantially the same, epitope or region on the IL-2 protein as the reference antibody of the invention. A test antibody that is identified as competing with a reference antibody of the invention in such a method is also an antibody of the present invention. The fact that the test antibody can bind IL-2 in the same region as a reference antibody of the invention and can compete with the reference antibody of the invention suggests that the test antibody may act as a ligand at the same binding site as the antibody of the invention and that the test antibody may therefore mimic the action of the reference antibody and is, thus, an antibody of the invention. This can be confirmed by comparing the activity of IL-2 in the presence of the test antibody with the activity of IL-2 in the presence of the reference antibody under otherwise identical conditions, using an assay as more fully described elsewhere herein.

The reference antibody of the invention may be an antibody as described herein, such as 13G8, 16B2, 16C3, 16H7, 18H4, 23E6, 24E5, 24E7, 13A10, 16C3.1 , 16C3.2, 16C3.4, 16C3.5, 16C3.7, or 16C3.9, or any variant, or fragment thereof, as described herein that retains the ability to bind to IL-2. An antibody of the invention may bind to the same epitope as the reference antibodies described herein or any variant or fragment thereof as described herein that retains the ability to bind to IL-2. As stated previously elsewhere herein, specific binding may be assessed with reference to binding of the antibody to a molecule that is not the target. This comparison may be made by comparing the ability of an antibody to bind to the target and to another molecule. This comparison may be made as described above in an assessment of KD or Ki. The other molecule used in such a comparison may be any molecule that is not the target molecule. Preferably, the other molecule is not identical to the target molecule. Preferably the target molecule is not a fragment of the target molecule.

The other molecule used to determine specific binding may be unrelated in structure or function to the target. For example, the other molecule may be an unrelated material or accompanying material in the environment.

The other molecule used to determine specific binding may be another molecule involved in the same in vivo pathway as the target molecule, i.e., IL-2. By ensuring that the antibody of the invention has specificity for IL-2 over another such molecule, unwanted in vivo cross- reactivity may be avoided.

The antibody of the invention may retain the ability to bind to some molecules that are related to the target molecule.

Alternatively, the antibody of the invention may have specificity for a particular target molecule. For example, it may bind to one target molecule as described herein, but may not bind, or may bind with significantly reduced affinity to a different target molecule as described herein. For example, a full length mature human IL-2 may be used as the target, but the antibody that binds to that target may be unable to bind to or may bind with lesser affinity to, e.g. other IL-2 proteins from other species, such as other mammalian IL-2. In some embodiments, the antibody binds to both human and mouse IL-2.

Polypeptide or antibody "fragments" or "portions" according to the invention may be made by truncation, e.g. by removal of one or more amino acids from the N and/or C- terminal ends of a polypeptide. Up to 10, up to 20, up to 30, up to 40 or more amino acids may be removed from the N and/or C terminal in this way. Fragments may also be generated by one or more internal deletions.

An antibody of the invention may be, or may comprise, a fragment of, any one of antibodies 13G8, 16B2, 16C3, 16H7, 18H4, 23E6, 24E5, 24E7, 13A10, 16C3.1 , 16C3.2, 16C3.4, 16C3.5, 16C3.7, or 16C3.9, or a variant thereof. The antibody of the invention may be or may comprise an antigen binding portion of this antibody or a variant thereof. For example, the antibody of the invention may be a Fab fragment of this antibody or a variant thereof or may be a single chain antibody derived from this antibody or a variant thereof.

A variant antibody may comprise 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, up to 10, up to 20, up to 30 or more amino acid substitutions and/or deletions and/or insertions from the specific sequences and fragments discussed above. "Deletion" variants may comprise the deletion of individual amino acids, deletion of small groups of amino acids such as 2, 3, 4 or 5 amino acids, or deletion of larger amino acid regions, such as the deletion of specific amino acid domains or other features. "Insertion" variants may comprise the insertion of individual amino acids, insertion of small groups of amino acids such as 2, 3, 4 or 5 amino acids, or insertion of larger amino acid regions, such as the insertion of specific amino acid domains or other features. "Substitution" variants preferably involve the replacement of one or more amino acids with the same number of amino acids and making conservative amino acid substitutions. For example, an amino acid may be substituted with an alternative amino acid having similar properties, for example, another basic amino acid, another acidic amino acid, another neutral amino acid, another charged amino acid, another hydrophilic amino acid, another hydrophobic amino acid, another polar amino acid, another aromatic amino acid or another aliphatic amino acid. Some properties of the 20 main amino acids which can be used to select suitable substituents are as follows

Substitution variants have at least one amino acid residue in the antibody molecule removed and a different residue inserted in its place. The sites of greatest interest for substitutional mutagenesis include the hypervariable regions, but framework alterations are also contemplated. Conservative substitutions are shown in Table 1 under the heading of "conservative substitutions." If such substitutions result in a change in biological activity, then more substantial changes, denominated "exemplary substitutions" shown below, or as further described below in reference to amino acid classes, may be introduced and the products screened. Table 1 : Amino Acid Substitutions

Conservative

Original Residue Substitutions Exemplary Substitutions

Ala (A) Val Val; Leu; lie

Arg (R) Lys Lys; Gin; Asn Conservative

Original Residue Substitutions Exemplary Substitutions

Asn (N) Gin Gin; His; Asp, Lys; Arg

Asp (D) Glu Glu; Asn

Cys (C) Ser Ser; Ala

Gin (Q) Asn Asn; Glu

Glu (E) Asp Asp; Gin

Gly (G) Ala Ala

His (H) Arg Asn; Gin; Lys; Arg

Leu; Val; Met; Ala; Phe;

lie (1) Leu

Norleucine

Norleucine; lie; Val; Met;

Leu (L) He

Ala; Phe

Lys (K) Arg Arg; Gin; Asn

Met (M) Leu Leu; Phe; lie

Phe (F) Tyr Leu; Val; lie; Ala; Tyr

Pro (P) Ala Ala

Ser (S) Thr Thr

Thr (T) Ser Ser

Trp (W) Tyr Tyr; Phe

Tyr (Y) Phe Trp; Phe; Thr; Ser

lie; Leu; Met; Phe; Ala;

Val (V) Leu

Norleucine

Substantial modifications in the biological properties of the antibody are accomplished by selecting substitutions that differ significantly in their effect on maintaining (a) the structure of the polypeptide backbone in the area of the substitution, for example, as a β-sheet or helical conformation, (b) the charge or hydrophobicity of the molecule at the target site, or (c) the bulk of the side chain. Naturally occurring residues are divided into groups based on common side-chain properties:

(1 ) Non-polar: Norleucine, Met, Ala, Val, Leu, lie;

(2) Polar without charge: Cys, Ser, Thr, Asn, Gin;

(3) Acidic (negatively charged): Asp, Glu;

(4) Basic (positively charged): Lys, Arg;

(5) Residues that influence chain orientation: Gly, Pro; and

(6) Aromatic: Trp, Tyr, Phe, His. Non-conservative substitutions are made by exchanging a member of one of these classes for another class.

One type of substitution, for example, that may be made is to change one or more cysteines in the antibody, which may be chemically reactive, to another residue, such as, without limitation, alanine or serine. For example, there can be a substitution of a non-canonical cysteine. The substitution can be made in a CDR or framework region of a variable domain or in the constant region of an antibody. In some embodiments, the cysteine is canonical. Any cysteine residue not involved in maintaining the proper conformation of the antibody also may be substituted, generally with serine, to improve the oxidative stability of the molecule and prevent aberrant cross-linking. Conversely, cysteine bond(s) may be added to the antibody to improve its stability, particularly where the antibody is an antibody fragment such as an Fv fragment.

The invention also provides methods of generating, selecting, and making IL-2 antibodies. The antibodies of this invention can be made by procedures known in the art. In some embodiments, antibodies may be made recombinantly and expressed using any method known in the art.

In some embodiments, antibodies may be prepared and selected by phage display technology. See, for example, U.S. Patent Nos. 5,565,332; 5,580,717; 5,733,743; and 6,265,150; and Winter et al., Annu. Rev. Immunol. 12:433-455, 1994. Alternatively, the phage display technology (McCafferty et al., Nature 348:552-553, 1990) can be used to produce human antibodies and antibody fragments in vitro, from immunoglobulin variable (V) domain gene repertoires from unimmunized donors. According to this technique, antibody V domain genes are cloned in-frame into either a major or minor coat protein gene of a filamentous bacteriophage, such as M13 or fd, and displayed as functional antibody fragments on the surface of the phage particle. Because the filamentous particle contains a single-stranded DNA copy of the phage genome, selections based on the functional properties of the antibody also result in selection of the gene encoding the antibody exhibiting those properties. Thus, the phage mimics some of the properties of the B cell. Phage display can be performed in a variety of formats; for review see, e.g., Johnson, Kevin S. and Chiswell, David J., Current Opinion in Structural Biology 3:564-571 , 1993. Several sources of V-gene segments can be used for phage display. Clackson et al., Nature 352:624-628, 1991 , isolated a diverse array of anti-oxazolone antibodies from a small random combinatorial library of V genes derived from the spleens of immunized mice. A repertoire of V genes from human donors can be constructed and antibodies to a diverse array of antigens (including self-antigens) can be isolated essentially following the techniques described by Mark et al., 1991 , J. Mol. Biol. 222:581 -597, or Griffith et al., 1993, EMBO J. 12:725- 734. In a natural immune response, antibody genes accumulate mutations at a high rate (somatic hypermutation). Some of the changes introduced will confer higher affinity, and B cells displaying high-affinity surface immunoglobulin are preferentially replicated and differentiated during subsequent antigen challenge. This natural process can be mimicked by employing the technique known as "chain shuffling." (Marks et al., 1992,Bio/Technol. 10:779-783). In this method, the affinity of "primary" human antibodies obtained by phage display can be improved by sequentially replacing the heavy and light chain V region genes with repertoires of naturally occurring variants (repertoires) of V domain genes obtained from unimmunized donors. This technique allows the production of antibodies and antibody fragments with affinities in the pM-nM range. A strategy for making very large phage antibody repertoires (also known as "the mother-of-all libraries") has been described by Waterhouse et al., Nucl. Acids Res. 21 :2265-2266, 1993. Gene shuffling can also be used to derive human antibodies from rodent antibodies, where the human antibody has similar affinities and specificities to the starting rodent antibody. According to this method, which is also referred to as "epitope imprinting", the heavy or light chain V domain gene of rodent antibodies obtained by phage display technique is replaced with a repertoire of human V domain genes, creating rodent-human chimeras. Selection on antigen results in isolation of human variable regions capable of restoring a functional antigen-binding site, i.e., the epitope governs (imprints) the choice of partner. When the process is repeated in order to replace the remaining rodent V domain, a human antibody is obtained (see PCT Publication No. WO 93/06213). Unlike traditional humanization of rodent antibodies by CDR grafting, this technique provides completely human antibodies, which have no framework or CDR residues of rodent origin.

In some embodiments, antibodies may be made using hybridoma technology. It is contemplated that any mammalian subject including humans or antibody producing cells therefrom can be manipulated to serve as the basis for production of mammalian, including human, hybridoma cell lines. The route and schedule of immunization of the host animal are generally in keeping with established and conventional techniques for antibody stimulation and production, as further described herein. Typically, the host animal is inoculated intraperitoneally, intramuscularly, orally, subcutaneously, intraplantar, and/or intradermally with an amount of immunogen, including as described herein.

Hybridomas can be prepared from the lymphocytes and immortalized myeloma cells using the general somatic cell hybridization technique of Kohler, B. and Milstein, C, 1975, Nature 256:495-497 or as modified by Buck, D. W., et al., In Vitro, 18:377-381 , 1982. Available myeloma lines, including but not limited to X63-Ag8.653 and those from the Salk Institute, Cell Distribution Center, San Diego, Calif., USA, may be used in the hybridization. Generally, the technique involves fusing myeloma cells and lymphoid cells using a fusogen such as polyethylene glycol, or by electrical means well known to those skilled in the art. After the fusion, the cells are separated from the fusion medium and grown in a selective growth medium, such as hypoxanthine-aminopterin-thymidine (HAT) medium, to eliminate unhybridized parent cells. Any of the media described herein, supplemented with or without serum, can be used for culturing hybridomas that secrete monoclonal antibodies. As another alternative to the cell fusion technique, EBV immortalized B cells may be used to produce the IL-2 monoclonal antibodies of the subject invention. The hybridomas or other immortalized B-cells are expanded and subcloned, if desired, and supernatants are assayed for anti-immunogen activity by conventional immunoassay procedures (e.g., radioimmunoassay, enzyme immunoassay, or fluorescence immunoassay).

Hybridomas that may be used as source of antibodies encompass all derivatives, progeny cells of the parent hybridomas that produce monoclonal antibodies specific for IL-2, or a portion thereof.

Hybridomas that produce such antibodies may be grown in vitro or in vivo using known procedures. The monoclonal antibodies may be isolated from the culture media or body fluids, by conventional immunoglobulin purification procedures such as ammonium sulfate precipitation, gel electrophoresis, dialysis, chromatography, and ultrafiltration, if desired. Undesired activity, if present, can be removed, for example, by running the preparation over adsorbents made of the immunogen attached to a solid phase and eluting or releasing the desired antibodies off the immunogen. Immunization of a host animal with an IL-2 polypeptide, or a fragment containing the target amino acid sequence conjugated to a protein that is immunogenic in the species to be immunized, e.g., keyhole limpet hemocyanin, serum albumin, bovine thyroglobulin, or soybean trypsin inhibitor using a bifunctional or derivatizing agent, for example, maleimidobenzoyl sulfosuccinimide ester (conjugation through cysteine residues), N- hydroxysuccinimide (through lysine residues), glutaraldehyde, succinic anhydride, SOCI2, or R1 N=C=NR, where R and R1 are different alkyl groups, can yield a population of antibodies (e.g., monoclonal antibodies).

If desired, the IL-2 antibody (monoclonal or polyclonal) of interest may be sequenced and the polynucleotide sequence may then be cloned into a vector for expression or propagation. The sequence encoding the antibody of interest may be maintained in vector in a host cell and the host cell can then be expanded and frozen for future use. Production of recombinant monoclonal antibodies in cell culture can be carried out through cloning of antibody genes from B cells by means known in the art. See, e.g. Tiller et al., 2008, J. Immunol. Methods 329, 1 12; US Patent No. 7,314,622.

In some embodiments, the polynucleotide sequence may be used for genetic manipulation to "humanize" the antibody or to improve the affinity, or other characteristics of the antibody. Antibodies may also be customized for use, for example, in dogs, cats, primate, equines and bovines.

In some embodiments, fully human antibodies may be obtained by using commercially available mice that have been engineered to express specific human immunoglobulin proteins. Transgenic animals that are designed to produce a more desirable (e.g., fully human antibodies) or more robust immune response may also be used for generation of humanized or human antibodies. Examples of such technology are Xenomouse™ from Abgenix, Inc. (Fremont, CA) and HuMAb-Mouse® and TC Mouse™ from Medarex, Inc. (Princeton, NJ).

Antibodies may be made recombinantly by first isolating the antibodies and antibody producing cells from host animals, obtaining the gene sequence, and using the gene sequence to express the antibody recombinantly in host cells (e.g., CHO cells). Another method which may be employed is to express the antibody sequence in plants (e.g., tobacco) or transgenic milk. Methods for expressing antibodies recombinantly in plants or milk have been disclosed. See, for example, Peeters, et al. Vaccine 19:2756, 2001 ; Lonberg, N. and D. Huszar Int. Rev. Immunol 13:65, 1995; and Pollock, et al., J Immunol Methods 231 :147, 1999. Methods for making derivatives of antibodies, e.g., domain, single chain, etc. are known in the art. Immunoassays and flow cytometry sorting techniques such as fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) can also be employed to isolate antibodies that are specific for IL-2.

DNA encoding the monoclonal antibodies is readily isolated and sequenced using conventional procedures (e.g., by using oligonucleotide probes that are capable of binding specifically to genes encoding the heavy and light chains of the monoclonal antibodies). The hybridoma cells serve as a preferred source of such DNA. Once isolated, the DNA may be placed into expression vectors (such as expression vectors disclosed in PCT Publication No. WO 87/04462), which are then transfected into host cells such as E. coli cells, simian COS cells, Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, or myeloma cells that do not otherwise produce immunoglobulin protein, to obtain the synthesis of monoclonal antibodies in the recombinant host cells. See, e.g., PCT Publication No. WO 87/04462. The DNA also may be modified, for example, by substituting the coding sequence for human heavy and light chain constant domains in place of the homologous murine sequences, Morrison et al., Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 81 :6851 , 1984, or by covalently joining to the immunoglobulin coding sequence all or part of the coding sequence for a non-immunoglobulin polypeptide. In that manner, "chimeric" or "hybrid" antibodies are prepared that have the binding specificity of a, IL-2 antibody herein.

Antibody fragments can be produced by proteolytic or other degradation of the antibodies, by recombinant methods (i.e., single or fusion polypeptides) as described above or by chemical synthesis. Polypeptides of the antibodies, especially shorter polypeptides up to about 50 amino acids, are conveniently made by chemical synthesis. Methods of chemical synthesis are known in the art and are commercially available. For example, an antibody could be produced by an automated polypeptide synthesizer employing the solid phase method. See also, U.S. Patent Nos. 5,807,715; 4,816,567; and 6,331 ,415.

In some embodiments, a polynucleotide comprises a sequence encoding the heavy chain and/or the light chain variable regions of IL-2 antibody of the present disclosure. The sequence encoding the antibody of interest may be maintained in a vector in a host cell and the host cell can then be expanded and frozen for future use. Vectors (including expression vectors) and host cells are further described herein. The invention includes affinity matured embodiments. For example, affinity matured antibodies can be produced by procedures known in the art (Marks et al., 1992, Bio/Technology, 10:779-783; Barbas et al., 1994, Proc Nat. Acad. Sci, USA 91 :3809- 3813; Schier et al., 1995, Gene, 169:147-155; Yelton et al., 1995, J. Immunol., 155:1994-2004; Jackson et al., 1995, J. Immunol., 154(7):3310-9; Hawkins et al., 1992, J. Mol. Biol., 226:889-896; and PCT Publication No. WO2004/058184).

The following methods may be used for adjusting the affinity of an antibody and for characterizing a CDR. One way of characterizing a CDR of an antibody and/or altering (such as improving) the binding affinity of a polypeptide, such as an antibody, termed "library scanning mutagenesis". Generally, library scanning mutagenesis works as follows. One or more amino acid positions in the CDR are replaced with two or more (such as 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, or 20) amino acids using art recognized methods. This generates small libraries of clones (in some embodiments, one for every amino acid position that is analyzed), each with a complexity of two or more members (if two or more amino acids are substituted at every position). Generally, the library also includes a clone comprising the native (unsubstituted) amino acid. A small number of clones, e.g., about 20-80 clones (depending on the complexity of the library), from each library are screened for binding affinity to the target polypeptide (or other binding target), and candidates with increased, the same, decreased, or no binding are identified. Methods for determining binding affinity are well-known in the art. Binding affinity may be determined using, for example, Biacore™ surface plasmon resonance analysis, which detects differences in binding affinity of about 2-fold or greater, Kinexa® Biosensor, scintillation proximity assays, ELISA, ORIGEN® immunoassay, fluorescence quenching, fluorescence transfer, and/or yeast display. Binding affinity may also be screened using a suitable bioassay. Biacore™ is particularly useful when the starting antibody already binds with a relatively high affinity, for example a KD of about 10 nM or lower.

In some embodiments, every amino acid position in a CDR is replaced (in some embodiments, one at a time) with all 20 natural amino acids using art recognized mutagenesis methods (some of which are described herein). This generates small libraries of clones (in some embodiments, one for every amino acid position that is analyzed), each with a complexity of 20 members (if all 20 amino acids are substituted at every position). In some embodiments, the library to be screened comprises substitutions in two or more positions, which may be in the same CDR or in two or more CDRs. Thus, the library may comprise substitutions in two or more positions in one CDR. The library may comprise substitution in two or more positions in two or more CDRs. The library may comprise substitution in 3, 4, 5, or more positions, said positions found in two, three, four, five or six CDRs. The substitution may be prepared using low redundancy codons. See, e.g., Table 2 of Balint et al., 1993, Gene 137(1 ):109-18.

The CDR may be heavy chain variable region (VH) CDR3 and/or light chain variable region (VL) CDR3. The CDR may be one or more of VH CDR1 , VH CDR2, VH CDR3, VL CDR1 , VL CDR2, and/or VL CDR3. The CDR may be a Kabat CDR, a Chothia CDR, an extended CDR, an AbM CDR, a contact CDR, or a conformational CDR.

Candidates with improved binding may be sequenced, thereby identifying a CDR substitution mutant which results in improved affinity (also termed an "improved" substitution). Candidates that bind may also be sequenced, thereby identifying a CDR substitution which retains binding.

Multiple rounds of screening may be conducted. For example, candidates (each comprising an amino acid substitution at one or more position of one or more CDR) with improved binding are also useful for the design of a second library containing at least the original and substituted amino acid at each improved CDR position (i.e., amino acid position in the CDR at which a substitution mutant showed improved binding). Preparation, and screening or selection of this library is discussed further below.

Library scanning mutagenesis also provides a means for characterizing a CDR, in so far as the frequency of clones with improved binding, the same binding, decreased binding or no binding also provide information relating to the importance of each amino acid position for the stability of the antibody-antigen complex. For example, if a position of the CDR retains binding when changed to all 20 amino acids, that position is identified as a position that is unlikely to be required for antigen binding. Conversely, if a position of CDR retains binding in only a small percentage of substitutions, that position is identified as a position that is important to CDR function. Thus, the library scanning mutagenesis methods generate information regarding positions in the CDRs that can be changed to many different amino acids (including all 20 amino acids), and positions in the CDRs which cannot be changed or which can only be changed to a few amino acids.

Candidates with improved affinity may be combined in a second library, which includes the improved amino acid, the original amino acid at that position, and may further include additional substitutions at that position, depending on the complexity of the library that is desired, or permitted using the desired screening or selection method. In addition, if desired, adjacent amino acid position can be randomized to at least two or more amino acids. Randomization of adjacent amino acids may permit additional conformational flexibility in the mutant CDR, which may in turn, permit or facilitate the introduction of a larger number of improving mutations. The library may also comprise substitution at positions that did not show improved affinity in the first round of screening.

The second library is screened or selected for library members with improved and/or altered binding affinity using any method known in the art, including screening using Biacore, Kinexa™ biosensor analysis, and selection using any method known in the art for selection, including phage display, yeast display, and ribosome display.

To express the IL-2 antibodies of the present invention, DNA fragments encoding VH and VL regions can first be obtained using any of the methods described above. Various modifications, e.g. mutations, deletions, and/or additions can also be introduced into the DNA sequences using standard methods known to those of skill in the art. For example, mutagenesis can be carried out using standard methods, such as PCR- mediated mutagenesis, in which the mutated nucleotides are incorporated into the PCR primers such that the PCR product contains the desired mutations or site-directed mutagenesis.

The invention encompasses modifications to the variable regions and the CDRs indicated in Table 1 . For example, the invention includes antibodies comprising functionally equivalent variable regions and CDRs which do not significantly affect their properties as well as variants which have enhanced or decreased activity and/or affinity. For example, the amino acid sequence may be mutated to obtain an antibody with the desired binding affinity to IL-2. Examples of modified polypeptides include polypeptides with conservative substitutions of amino acid residues, one or more deletions or additions of amino acids which do not significantly deleteriously change the functional activity, or which mature (enhance) the affinity of the polypeptide for its ligand, or use of chemical analogs.

Amino acid sequence insertions include amino- and/or carboxyl-terminal fusions ranging in length from one residue to polypeptides containing a hundred or more residues, as well as intrasequence insertions of single or multiple amino acid residues. Examples of terminal insertions include an antibody with an N-terminal methionyl residue or the antibody fused to an epitope tag. Other insertional variants of the antibody molecule include the fusion to the N- or C-terminus of the antibody of an enzyme or a polypeptide which increases the half-life of the antibody in the blood circulation.

The antibodies may also be modified, e.g., in the variable domains of the heavy and/or light chains, e.g., to alter a binding property of the antibody. Changes in the variable region can alter binding affinity and/or specificity. In some embodiments, no more than one to five conservative amino acid substitutions are made within a CDR domain. In other embodiments, no more than one to three conservative amino acid substitutions are made within a CDR domain. For example, a mutation may be made in one or more of the CDR regions to increase or decrease the KD of the antibody for IL-2, to increase or decrease k0ff, or to alter the binding specificity of the antibody. Techniques in site-directed mutagenesis are well-known in the art. See, e.g., Sambrook et al. and Ausubel et al., supra.

A modification or mutation may also be made in a framework region or constant region to increase the half-life of an IL-2 antibody. See, e.g., PCT Publication No. WO 00/09560. A mutation in a framework region or constant region can also be made to alter the immunogenicity of the antibody, to provide a site for covalent or non-covalent binding to another molecule, or to alter such properties as complement fixation, FcR binding and antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity. According to the invention, a single antibody may have mutations in any one or more of the CDRs or framework regions of the variable domain or in the constant region.

Modifications also include glycosylated and nonglycosylated polypeptides, as well as polypeptides with other post-translational modifications, such as, for example, glycosylation with different sugars, acetylation, and phosphorylation. Antibodies are glycosylated at conserved positions in their constant regions (Jeffe s and Lund, 1997, Chem. Immunol. 65:1 1 1 -128; Wright and Morrison, 1997, TibTECH 15:26-32). The oligosaccharide side chains of the immunoglobulins affect the protein's function (Boyd et al., 1996, Mol. Immunol. 32:131 1 -1318; Wittwe and Howard, 1990, Biochem. 29:4175- 4180) and the intramolecular interaction between portions of the glycoprotein, which can affect the conformation and presented three-dimensional surface of the glycoprotein (Jefferis and Lund, supra; Wyss and Wagner, 1996, Current Opin. Biotech. 7:409-416). Oligosaccharides may also serve to target a given glycoprotein to certain molecules based upon specific recognition structures. Glycosylation of antibodies has also been reported to affect antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). In particular, antibodies produced by CHO cells with tetracycline-regulated expression of β(1 ,4)-Ν- acetylglucosaminyltransferase III (GnTIII), a glycosyltransferase catalyzing formation of bisecting GlcNAc, was reported to have improved ADCC activity (Umana et al., 1999, Nature Biotech. 17:176-180).

Glycosylation of antibodies is typically either N-linked or O-linked. N-linked refers to the attachment of the carbohydrate moiety to the side chain of an asparagine residue. The tripeptide sequences asparagine-X-serine, asparagine-X-threonine, and asparagine-X-cysteine, where X is any amino acid except proline, are the recognition sequences for enzymatic attachment of the carbohydrate moiety to the asparagine side chain. Thus, the presence of either of these tripeptide sequences in a polypeptide creates a potential glycosylation site. O-linked glycosylation refers to the attachment of one of the sugars N-acetylgalactosamine, galactose, or xylose to a hydroxyamino acid, most commonly serine or threonine, although 5-hydroxyproline or 5-hydroxylysine may also be used.

Addition of glycosylation sites to the antibody is conveniently accomplished by altering the amino acid sequence such that it contains one or more of the above- described tripeptide sequences (for N-linked glycosylation sites). The alteration may also be made by the addition of, or substitution by, one or more serine or threonine residues to the sequence of the original antibody (for O-linked glycosylation sites).

The glycosylation pattern of antibodies may also be altered without altering the underlying nucleotide sequence. Glycosylation largely depends on the host cell used to express the antibody. Since the cell type used for expression of recombinant glycoproteins, e.g. antibodies, as potential therapeutics is rarely the native cell, variations in the glycosylation pattern of the antibodies can be expected (see, e.g. Hse et al., 1997, J. Biol. Chem. 272:9062-9070). In addition to the choice of host cells, factors that affect glycosylation during recombinant production of antibodies include growth mode, media formulation, culture density, oxygenation, pH, purification schemes and the like. Various methods have been proposed to alter the glycosylation pattern achieved in a particular host organism including introducing or overexpressing certain enzymes involved in oligosaccharide production (U.S. Patent Nos. 5,047,335; 5,510,261 and 5,278,299). Glycosylation, or certain types of glycosylation, can be enzymatically removed from the glycoprotein, for example, using endoglycosidase H (Endo H), N-glycosidase F, endoglycosidase F1 , endoglycosidase F2, endoglycosidase F3. In addition, the recombinant host cell can be genetically engineered to be defective in processing certain types of polysaccharides. These and similar techniques are well known in the art.

Other methods of modification include using coupling techniques known in the art, including, but not limited to, enzymatic means, oxidative substitution and chelation. Modifications can be used, for example, for attachment of labels for immunoassay. Modified polypeptides are made using established procedures in the art and can be screened using standard assays known in the art, some of which are described below and in the Examples.

In some embodiments, the antibody comprises a modified constant region that has increased or decreased binding affinity to a human Fc gamma receptor, is immunologically inert or partially inert, e.g., does not trigger complement mediated lysis, does not stimulate antibody-dependent cell mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), or does not activate microglia; or has reduced activities (compared to the unmodified antibody) in any one or more of the following: triggering complement mediated lysis, stimulating ADCC, or activating microglia. Different modifications of the constant region may be used to achieve optimal level and/or combination of effector functions. See, for example, Morgan et al., Immunology 86:319-324, 1995; Lund et al., J. Immunology 157:4963-9 157:4963-4969, 1996; Idusogie et al., J. Immunology 164:4178-4184, 2000; Tao et al., J. Immunology 143: 2595-2601 , 1989; and Jefferis et al., Immunological Reviews 163:59-76, 1998. In some embodiments, the constant region is modified as described in Eur. J. Immunol., 1999, 29:2613-2624; PCT Application No. PCT/GB99/01441 ; and/or UK Patent Application No. 9809951 .8.

In some embodiments, an antibody constant region can be modified to avoid interaction with Fc gamma receptor and the complement and immune systems. The techniques for preparation of such antibodies are described in WO 99/58572. For example, the constant region may be engineered to more resemble human constant regions to avoid immune response if the antibody is used in clinical trials and treatments in humans. See, e.g., U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,997,867 and 5,866,692.

In some embodiments, the constant region is modified as described in Eur. J.

Immunol., 1999, 29:2613-2624; PCT Application No. PCT/GB99/01441 ; and/or UK Patent Application No. 9809951 .8. In such embodiments, the Fc can be human lgG2 or human lgG4. The Fc can be human lgG2 containing the mutation A330P331 to S330S331 (lgG2Aa), in which the amino acid residues are numbered with reference to the wild type lgG2 sequence. Eur. J. Immunol., 1999, 29:2613-2624. In some embodiments, the antibody comprises a constant region of lgG comprising the following mutations (Armour et al., 2003, Molecular Immunology 40 585-593): E233F234L235 to P233V234A235 (lgG4AC), in which the numbering is with reference to wild type lgG4. In yet another embodiment, the Fc is human lgG4 E233F234L235 to P233V234A235 with deletion G236 (lgG Ab)- In another embodiment, the Fc is any human lgG Fc (lgG , lgG Ab or lgG Ac) containing hinge stabilizing mutation S228 to P228 (Aalberse et al., 2002, Immunology 105, 9-19).

In some embodiments, the antibody comprises a human heavy chain lgG2 constant region comprising the following mutations: A330P331 to S330S331 (amino acid numbering with reference to the wild type lgG2 sequence). Eur. J. Immunol., 1999, 29:2613-2624. In still other embodiments, the constant region is aglycosylated for N- linked glycosylation. In some embodiments, the constant region is aglycosylated for N- linked glycosylation by mutating the oligosaccharide attachment residue and/or flanking residues that are part of the N-glycosylation recognition sequence in the constant region. For example, N-glycosylation site N297 may be mutated to, e.g., A, Q, K, or H. See, Tao et al., J. Immunology 143: 2595-2601 , 1989; and Jefferis et al., Immunological Reviews 163:59-76, 1998. In some embodiments, the constant region is aglycosylated for N-linked glycosylation. The constant region may be aglycosylated for N-linked glycosylation enzymatically (such as removing carbohydrate by enzyme PNGase), or by expression in a glycosylation deficient host cell.

Other antibody modifications include antibodies that have been modified as described in PCT Publication No. WO 99/58572. These antibodies comprise, in addition to a binding domain directed at the target molecule, an effector domain having an amino acid sequence substantially homologous to all or part of a constant region of a human immunoglobulin heavy chain. These antibodies are capable of binding the target molecule without triggering significant complement dependent lysis, or cell-mediated destruction of the target. In some embodiments, the effector domain is capable of specifically binding FcRn and/or FcyRllb. These are typically based on chimeric domains derived from two or more human immunoglobulin heavy chain CH2 domains. Antibodies modified in this manner are particularly suitable for use in chronic antibody therapy, to avoid inflammatory and other adverse reactions to conventional antibody therapy.

The disclosure also provides an antibody constant domain that may be further modified. It is known that variants of the Fc region, e.g., amino acid substitutions, insertions, and/or additions and/or deletions, enhance or diminish effector function. See, e.g., Presta et al, 2002, Biochem. Soc. Trans. 30:487-490; Strohl, 2009, Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 20(6):685-691 ; U.S. patents 5,624,821 , 5,648,260, 5,885,573, 6,737,056, 7,317,091 ; PCT publication Nos. WO 99/58572, WO 00/42072, WO 04/029207, WO 2006/105338, WO 2008/022152, WO 2008/150494, WO 2010/033736; U.S. Patent Application Publication Nos. 2004/0132101 , 2006/0024298, 2006/0121032, 2006/0235208, 2007/0148170; Armour et al., 1999, Eur. J. Immunol. 29(8):2613-2624 (reduced ADCC and CDC); Shields et al., 2001 , J. Biol. Chem. 276(9):6591 -6604 (reduced ADCC and CDC); Idusogie et al., 2000, J. Immunol. 164(8):4178-4184 (increased ADCC and CDC); Steurer et al., 1995, J. Immunol. 155(3):1 165-1 174 (reduced ADCC and CDC); Idusogie et al., 2001 , J. Immunol. 166(4):2571 -2575 (increased ADCC and CDC); Lazar et al., 2006, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103(1 1 ): 4005-4010 (increased ADCC); Ryan et al., 2007, Mol. Cancer. Ther., 6: 3009-3018 (increased ADCC); Richards et al., 2008, Mol. Cancer Ther. 7(8):2517-2527.

In some embodiments, the antibody comprises a modified constant region that has increased binding affinity for FcRn and/or an increased serum half-life as compared with the unmodified antibody.

In a process known as "germlining", certain amino acids in the VH and VL sequences can be mutated to match those found naturally in germline VH and VL sequences. In particular, the amino acid sequences of the framework regions in the VH and VL sequences can be mutated to match the germline sequences to reduce the risk of immunogenicity when the antibody is administered. Germline DNA sequences for human VH and VL genes are known in the art (see e.g., the "Vbase" human germline sequence database; see also Kabat, E. A., et al., 1991 , Sequences of Proteins of Immunological Interest, Fifth Edition, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIH Publication No. 91 -3242; Tomlinson et al., 1992, J. Mol. Biol. 227:776-798; and Cox et al., 1994, Eur. J. Immunol. 24:827-836).

Another type of amino acid substitution that may be made is to remove potential proteolytic sites in the antibody. Such sites may occur in a CDR or framework region of a variable domain or in the constant region of an antibody. Substitution of cysteine residues and removal of proteolytic sites may decrease the risk of heterogeneity in the antibody product and thus increase its homogeneity. Another type of amino acid substitution is to eliminate asparagine-glycine pairs, which form potential deamidation sites, by altering one or both of the residues. In another example, the C-terminal lysine of the heavy chain of an IL-2 antibody of the invention can be cleaved or otherwise removed. In various embodiments of the invention, the heavy and light chains of the antibodies may optionally include a signal sequence.

Once DNA fragments encoding the VH and VL segments of the present invention are obtained, these DNA fragments can be further manipulated by standard recombinant DNA techniques, for example to convert the variable region genes to full- length antibody chain genes, to Fab fragment genes, or to a scFv gene. In these manipulations, a VL- or VH-encoding DNA fragment is operatively linked to another DNA fragment encoding another protein, such as an antibody constant region or a flexible linker. The term "operatively linked", as used in this context, is intended to mean that the two DNA fragments are joined such that the amino acid sequences encoded by the two DNA fragments remain in-frame.

The isolated DNA encoding the VH region can be converted to a full-length heavy chain gene by operatively linking the VH-encoding DNA to another DNA molecule encoding heavy chain constant regions (CH1 , CH2 and CH3). The sequences of human heavy chain constant region genes are known in the art (see e.g., Kabat, E. A., et al., 1991 , Sequences of Proteins of Immunological Interest, Fifth Edition, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIH Publication No. 91 -3242) and DNA fragments encompassing these regions can be obtained by standard PCR amplification. The heavy chain constant region can be an Igd, lgG2, lgG3, lgG , IgA, IgE, IgM or IgD constant region, but most preferably is an Igd or lgG2 constant region. The IgG constant region sequence can be any of the various alleles or allotypes known to occur among different individuals, such as Gm(1 ), Gm(2), Gm(3), and Gm(17). These allotypes represent naturally occurring amino acid substitution in the lgG1 constant regions. For a Fab fragment heavy chain gene, the VH-encoding DNA can be operatively linked to another DNA molecule encoding only the heavy chain CH1 constant region. The CH1 heavy chain constant region may be derived from any of the heavy chain genes.

The isolated DNA encoding the VL region can be converted to a full-length light chain gene (as well as a Fab light chain gene) by operatively linking the VL-encoding DNA to another DNA molecule encoding the light chain constant region, CL. The sequences of human light chain constant region genes are known in the art (see e.g., Kabat, E. A., et al., 1991 , Sequences of Proteins of Immunological Interest, Fifth Edition, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIH Publication No. 91 -3242) and DNA fragments encompassing these regions can be obtained by standard PCR amplification. The light chain constant region can be a kappa or lambda constant region. The kappa constant region may be any of the various alleles known to occur among different individuals, such as lnv(1 ), lnv(2), and lnv(3). The lambda constant region may be derived from any of the three lambda genes.

To create a scFv gene, the VH- and VL-encoding DNA fragments are operatively linked to another fragment encoding a flexible linker such that the VH and VL sequences can be expressed as a contiguous single-chain protein, with the VL and VH regions joined by the flexible linker (See e.g., Bird et al., 1988, Science 242:423-426; Huston et al., 1988, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 85:5879-5883; McCafferty et al., 1990, Nature 348:552-554. Linkers of other sequences have been designed and used (Bird et al., 1988, supra). Linkers can in turn be modified for additional functions, such as attachment of drugs or attachment to solid supports. The single chain antibody may be monovalent, if only a single VH and VL are used, bivalent, if two VH and VL are used, or polyvalent, if more than two VH and VL are used. Bispecific or polyvalent antibodies may be generated that bind specifically to IL-2 and to another molecule. The single chain variants can be produced either recombinantly or synthetically. For synthetic production of scFv, an automated synthesizer can be used. For recombinant production of scFv, a suitable plasmid containing polynucleotide that encodes the scFv can be introduced into a suitable host cell, either eukaryotic, such as yeast, plant, insect or mammalian cells, or prokaryotic, such as E. coli. Polynucleotides encoding the scFv of interest can be made by routine manipulations such as ligation of polynucleotides. The resultant scFv can be isolated using standard protein purification techniques known in the art.

Other forms of single chain antibodies, such as diabodies, are also encompassed. Diabodies are bivalent, bispecific antibodies in which VH and VL are expressed on a single polypeptide chain, but using a linker that is too short to allow for pairing between the two domains on the same chain, thereby forcing the domains to pair with complementary domains of another chain and creating two antigen binding sites (see e.g., Holliger, P., et al., 1993, Proc. Natl. Acad Sci. USA 90:6444-6448; Poljak, R. J., et al., 1994, Structure 2:1 121 -1 123).

Heteroconjugate antibodies, comprising two covalently joined antibodies, are also within the scope of the invention. Such antibodies have been used to target immune system cells to unwanted cells (U.S. Patent No. 4,676,980), and for treatment of HIV infection (PCT Publication Nos. WO 91/00360 and WO 92/200373; EP 03089). Heteroconjugate antibodies may be made using any convenient cross-linking methods. Suitable cross-linking agents and techniques are well known in the art, and are described in U.S. Patent No. 4,676,980.

Chimeric or hybrid antibodies also may be prepared in vitro using known methods of synthetic protein chemistry, including those involving cross-linking agents. For example, immunotoxins may be constructed using a disulfide exchange reaction or by forming a thioether bond. Examples of suitable reagents for this purpose include iminothiolate and methyl-4-mercaptobutyrimidate.

The invention also encompasses fusion proteins comprising one or more fragments or regions from the antibodies disclosed herein. In some embodiments, a fusion antibody may be made that comprises all or a portion of an IL-2 antibody of the invention linked to another polypeptide. In another embodiment, only the variable domains of the IL-2 antibody are linked to the polypeptide. In another embodiment, the VH domain of an IL-2 antibody is linked to a first polypeptide, while the VL domain of an IL-2 antibody is linked to a second polypeptide that associates with the first polypeptide in a manner such that the VH and VL domains can interact with one another to form an antigen binding site. In another preferred embodiment, the VH domain is separated from the VL domain by a linker such that the VH and VL domains can interact with one another. The VH- linker- VL antibody is then linked to the polypeptide of interest. In addition, fusion antibodies can be created in which two (or more) single-chain antibodies are linked to one another. This is useful if one wants to create a divalent or polyvalent antibody on a single polypeptide chain, or if one wants to create a bispecific antibody.

In some embodiments, a fusion polypeptide is provided that comprises at least 10 contiguous amino acids of the variable light chain region shown in SEQ ID NOs: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37 and/or at least 10 amino acids of the variable heavy chain region shown in SEQ ID NOs: 4, 6, 8, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 15, 33, 34 or 35. In other embodiments, a fusion polypeptide is provided that comprises at least about 10, at least about 15, at least about 20, at least about 25, or at least about 30 contiguous amino acids of the variable light chain region and/or at least about 10, at least about 15, at least about 20, at least about 25, or at least about 30 contiguous amino acids of the variable heavy chain region. In another embodiment, the fusion polypeptide comprises one or more CDR(s). In still other embodiments, the fusion polypeptide comprises VH CDR3 and/or VL CDR3. For purposes of this invention, a fusion protein contains one or more antibodies and another amino acid sequence to which it is not attached in the native molecule, for example, a heterologous sequence or a homologous sequence from another region. Exemplary heterologous sequences include, but are not limited to a "tag" such as a FLAG tag or a 6His tag (SEQ ID NO: 81 ). Tags are well known in the art.

A fusion polypeptide can be created by methods known in the art, for example, synthetically or recombinantly. Typically, the fusion proteins of this invention are made by preparing and expressing a polynucleotide encoding them using recombinant methods described herein, although they may also be prepared by other means known in the art, including, for example, chemical synthesis.

In other embodiments, other modified antibodies may be prepared using nucleic acid molecules encoding an IL-2 antibody. For instance, "Kappa bodies" (III et al., 1997, Protein Eng. 10:949-57), "Minibodies" (Martin et al., 1994, EMBO J. 13:5303-9), "Diabodies" (Holliger et al., supra), or "Janusins" (Traunecker et al., 1991 , EMBO J. 10:3655-3659 and Traunecker et al., 1992, Int. J. Cancer (Suppl.) 7:51 -52) may be prepared using standard molecular biological techniques following the teachings of the specification.

For example, bispecific antibodies, monoclonal antibodies that have binding specificities for at least two different antigens, can be prepared using the antibodies disclosed herein. Methods for making bispecific antibodies are known in the art (see, e.g., Suresh et al., 1986, Methods in Enzymology 121 :210). For example, bispecific antibodies or antigen-binding fragments can be produced by fusion of hybridomas or linking of Fab' fragments. See, e.g., Songsivilai & Lachmann, 1990, Clin. Exp. Immunol. 79:315-321 , Kostelny et al., 1992, J. Immunol. 148:1547-1553. Traditionally, the recombinant production of bispecific antibodies was based on the coexpression of two immunoglobulin heavy chain-light chain pairs, with the two heavy chains having different specificities (Millstein and Cuello, 1983, Nature 305, 537-539). In addition, bispecific antibodies may be formed as "diabodies" or "Janusins." In some embodiments, the bispecific antibody binds to two different epitopes of IL-2. In some embodiments, the modified antibodies described above are prepared using one or more of the variable domains or CDR regions from an IL-2 antibody provided herein.

According to one approach to making bispecific antibodies, antibody variable domains with the desired binding specificities (antibody-antigen combining sites) are fused to immunoglobulin constant region sequences. The fusion preferably is with an immunoglobulin heavy chain constant region, comprising at least part of the hinge, CH2 and CH3 regions. It is preferred to have the first heavy chain constant region (CH1 ), containing the site necessary for light chain binding, present in at least one of the fusions. DNAs encoding the immunoglobulin heavy chain fusions and, if desired, the immunoglobulin light chain, are inserted into separate expression vectors, and are cotransfected into a suitable host organism. This provides for great flexibility in adjusting the mutual proportions of the three polypeptide fragments in embodiments when unequal ratios of the three polypeptide chains used in the construction provide the optimum yields. It is, however, possible to insert the coding sequences for two or all three polypeptide chains in one expression vector when the expression of at least two polypeptide chains in equal ratios results in high yields or when the ratios are of no particular significance.

In one approach, the bispecific antibodies are composed of a hybrid immunoglobulin heavy chain with a first binding specificity in one arm, and a hybrid immunoglobulin heavy chain-light chain pair (providing a second binding specificity) in the other arm. This asymmetric structure, with an immunoglobulin light chain in only one half of the bispecific molecule, facilitates the separation of the desired bispecific compound from unwanted immunoglobulin chain combinations. This approach is described in PCT Publication No. WO 94/04690. This invention also provides compositions comprising antibodies conjugated (for example, linked) to an agent that facilitate coupling to a solid support (such as biotin or avidin). For simplicity, reference will be made generally to antibodies with the understanding that these methods apply to any of the IL-2 binding embodiments described herein. Conjugation generally refers to linking these components as described herein. The linking (which is generally fixing these components in proximate association at least for administration) can be achieved in any number of ways. For example, a direct reaction between an agent and an antibody is possible when each possesses a substituent capable of reacting with the other. For example, a nucleophilic group, such as an amino or sulfhydryl group, on one may be capable of reacting with a carbonyl- containing group, such as an anhydride or an acid halide, or with an alkyl group containing a good leaving group (e.g., a halide) on the other.

The antibodies can be bound to many different carriers. Carriers can be active and/or inert. Examples of well-known carriers include polypropylene, polystyrene, polyethylene, dextran, nylon, amylases, glass, natural and modified celluloses, polyacrylamides, agaroses and magnetite. The nature of the carrier can be either soluble or insoluble for purposes of the invention. Those skilled in the art will know of other suitable carriers for binding antibodies, or will be able to ascertain such, using routine experimentation.

An antibody or polypeptide of this invention may be linked to a labeling agent such as a fluorescent molecule, a radioactive molecule or any others labels known in the art. Labels are known in the art which generally provide (either directly or indirectly) a signal.

The amino acid sequences of the light chain variable domain (VL) and heavy chain variable domains (VH) of the IL-2 antibodies disclosed herein are summarized in Table 1 by sequence identification number.

An antibody of the invention may comprise both:

a) a VH comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:4, and a VL comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:3, b) a VH comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:6, and a VL comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:5, c) a VH comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:8, and a VL comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:7, d) a VH comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:10, and a VL comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:9, e) a VH comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:1 1 , and a VL comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:3, f) a VH comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:12, and a VL comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:3, g) a VH comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:13, and a VL comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:3, h) a VH comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:15, and a VL comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:14,

i) a VH comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:33, and a VL comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:3,

j) a VH comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:34, and a VL comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:7,

k) a VH comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:35, and a VL comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:7,

I) a VH comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:8, and a VL comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:36,

m) a VH comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:8, and a VL comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:37,

n) a VH comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:35, and a VL comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:37,

or

o) a VH comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:8, and a VL comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:3.

In another aspect, the antibody comprises a variant of these sequences, wherein such variants can include both conservative and non-conservative substitutions, deletions, and/or additions, and typically include peptides that share at least 60%, at least 65%, at least 70%, at least 75%, at least 80%, at least 85%, at least 87%, at least 89%, at least 90%, at least 91 %, at least 92%, at least 93%, at least 94%, at least 95%, at least 96%, at least 97%, at least 98%, or at least 99% sequence identity to any of the specific sequences disclosed herein.

For example, in one aspect, the disclosure provides an isolated antibody or antigen-binding portion thereof that comprises a VL chain amino acid sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO:3, SEQ ID NO:5, SEQ ID NO:7, SEQ ID NO:9, SEQ ID NO:14, SEQ ID NO:36, or SEQ ID NO:37, or a variant thereof. In one aspect, said antibody variant comprises 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 14, or 15 conservative or non- conservative substitutions, and/or 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 14, or 15 additions and/or deletions to SEQ ID SEQ ID NO:3, SEQ ID NO:5, SEQ ID NO:7, SEQ ID NO:9, SEQ ID NO:14, SEQ ID NO:36, or SEQ ID NO:37. In a further aspect, said variant shares at least 65%, at least 75%, at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 96%, at least 97%, at least 98%, or at least 99% sequence identity with SEQ ID NO:3, SEQ ID NO:5, SEQ ID NO:7, SEQ ID NO:9, SEQ ID NO:14, SEQ ID NO:36, or SEQ ID NO:37, and wherein said antibody or antigen-binding portion specifically binds IL-2.

In a further aspect, the disclosure provides an isolated antibody or antigen- binding portion thereof that comprises a VH chain amino acid sequence as set forth in SEQ ID NO:4, SEQ ID NO: 6 or SEQ ID NO:8, SEQ ID NO:10, SEQ ID NO:1 1 , SEQ ID NO:12, SEQ ID NO:13, SEQ ID NO:15, SEQ ID NO:33, SEQ ID NO:34, or SEQ ID NO:35, or a variant thereof. In one aspect, said antibody variant comprises 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 14, or 15 conservative or non-conservative substitutions, and/or 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 14, or 15 additions and/or deletions to SEQ ID NO:4, SEQ ID NO: 6 or SEQ ID NO:8, SEQ ID NO:10, SEQ ID NO:1 1 , SEQ ID NO:12, SEQ ID NO:13, SEQ ID NO:15, SEQ ID NO:33, SEQ ID NO:34, or SEQ ID NO:35. In a further aspect, said variant shares at least 65%, at least 75%, at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 96%, at least 97%, at least 98%, or at least 99% sequence identity with SEQ ID NO:4, SEQ ID NO: 6 or SEQ ID NO:8, SEQ ID NO:10, SEQ ID NO:1 1 , SEQ ID NO:12, SEQ ID NO:13, SEQ ID NO:15, SEQ ID NO:33, SEQ ID NO:34, or SEQ ID NO:35, and wherein said antibody or antigen-binding portion specifically binds IL-2.

An antibody of the invention may comprise a heavy chain comprising a VH comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:4, SEQ ID NO: 6 or SEQ ID NO:8, SEQ ID NO:10, SEQ ID NO:1 1 , SEQ ID NO:12, SEQ ID NO:13, SEQ ID NO:15, SEQ ID NO:33, SEQ ID NO:34, or SEQ ID NO:35, wherein the antibody further comprises a heavy chain constant domain. As more fully set forth elsewhere herein, the antibody heavy chain constant domain can be selected from an Igd, lgG2, lgG3, lgG4, IgA, IgE, IgM or IgD constant region, but most preferably is an IgGi or lgG2 constant region. The IgG constant region sequence can be any of the various alleles or allotypes known to occur among different individuals, such as Gm(1 ), Gm(2), Gm(3), and Gm(17). For a Fab fragment heavy chain gene, the VH-encoding DNA can be operatively linked to another DNA molecule encoding only the heavy chain CH1 constant region. The CH1 heavy chain constant region may be derived from any of the heavy chain genes.

In one aspect, the antibody may comprise a heavy chain comprising a VH selected from a VH comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:4, SEQ ID NO: 6 or SEQ ID NO:8, SEQ ID NO:10, SEQ ID NO:1 1 , SEQ ID NO:12, SEQ ID NO:13, SEQ ID NO:15, SEQ ID NO:33, SEQ ID NO:34, or SEQ ID NO:35, and further comprising the lgG1 constant domain comprising a triple mutation decreasing or abolishing Fc effector function (hlgG1 -3m; SEQ ID NO:2). In one aspect, said antibody variant comprises 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 14, or 15 conservative or non- conservative substitutions, and/or 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 14, or 15 additions and/or deletions to the full length heavy chain. In a further aspect, said variant shares at least 65%, at least 75%, at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 96%, at least 97%, at least 98%, or at least 99% sequence identity with the full length heavy chain, and wherein said antibody or antigen-binding portion specifically binds IL- 2.

An antibody of the invention may comprise a light chain comprising a VL comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:3, SEQ ID NO:5, SEQ ID NO:7, SEQ ID NO:9, SEQ ID NO:14, SEQ ID NO:36, or SEQ ID NO:37, wherein the antibody further comprises a light chain constant domain. As more fully set forth elsewhere herein, the antibody light chain constant domain can be selected from a CK or CA constant region, for example the CA constant region of SEQ ID NO:1 . In one aspect, said antibody variant comprises 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 14, or 15 conservative or non-conservative substitutions, and/or 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 14, or 15 additions and/or deletions to the full length light chain. In a further aspect, said variant shares at least 65%, at least 75%, at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 96%, at least 97%, at least 98%, or at least 99% sequence identity with the full length light chain, and wherein said antibody or antigen-binding portion specifically binds IL-2.

An antibody of the invention may comprise a fragment of one of the VL or VH amino acid sequences shown in Table 1 . For example, an antibody of the invention may comprise a fragment of at least 7, at least 8, at least 9, at least 10, at least 12, at least 15, at least 18, at least 20 or at least 25 consecutive amino acids from a VH comprising SEQ ID NO:4, SEQ ID NO: 6 or SEQ ID NO:8, SEQ ID NO:10, SEQ ID NO:1 1 , SEQ ID NO:12, SEQ ID NO:13, SEQ ID NO:15, SEQ ID NO:33, SEQ ID NO:34, or SEQ ID NO:35, or from a VL comprising SEQ ID NO:3, SEQ ID NO:5, SEQ ID NO:7, SEQ ID NO:9, SEQ ID NO:14, SEQ ID NO:36, or SEQ ID NO:37. Such a fragment will preferably retain one or more of the functions discussed above, such as the ability to bind to IL-2.

A suitable fragment or variant of any of these VH or VL sequences will retain the ability to bind to IL-2. It will preferably retain the ability to specifically bind to IL-2. It will preferably retain the ability to specifically bind to the same or similar epitope or region of the IL-2 molecule as the antibody from which it is derived. It will preferably retain one or more additional functions of the antibody from which it is derived, such as being Treg sparing, among others.

An antibody of the invention may comprise a CDR region from the specific antibody identified herein such as a CDR region from within SEQ ID NO:3-15 or within SEQ ID NO:33-37. Such an antibody will preferably retain the ability to bind to IL-2 as described herein. For example, the CDR sequences of the antibodies of the invention are shown in the Sequence Listing Table (Table 1 ) and the SEQ ID NOs. are shown in Table 3.

In one aspect, the disclosure provides an antibody variant comprising 1 , 2, 3, 4,

5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 14, or 15 conservative or non-conservative substitutions, and/or 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 14, or 15 additions and/or deletions to the CDRs listed above. In a further aspect, the variant shares at least 65%, at least 75%, at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 96%, at least 97%, at least 98%, or at least 99% sequence identity with the CDR sequences listed above, and wherein the antibody or antigen-binding portion specifically binds IL-2. Polynucleotides, vectors, and host cells

The invention also provides polynucleotides encoding any of the antibodies, including antibody fragments and modified antibodies described herein, such as, e.g., antibodies having impaired effector function. In another aspect, the invention provides a method of making any of the polynucleotides described herein. Polynucleotides can be made and expressed by procedures known in the art. Accordingly, the invention provides polynucleotides or compositions, including pharmaceutical compositions, comprising polynucleotides, encoding any of the following IL-2 antibodies and antigen- binding fragments thereof: 13G8 VH, 16B2 VH, 16C3 VH, 16H7 VH, 18H4 VH, 23E6 VH, 24E5 VH, 24E7 VH, 13A10 VH, 16C3.1 VH, 16C3.2 VH, 16C3.4 VH, 16C3.5 VH, 16C3.7 VH, 16C3.9 VH, 13G8 VL, 16B2 VL, 16C3 VL, 16H7 VL, 18H4 VL, 23E6 VL, 24E5 VL, 24E7 VL, 13A10 VL, 16C3.1 VL, 16C3.2 VL, 16C3.4 VL, 16C3.5 VL, 16C3.7 VL, or 16C3.9 VL or any fragment or part thereof having the ability to bind IL-2.

In one embodiment, the VH and VL domains, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, or full length HC or LC, are encoded by separate polynucleotides. Alternatively, both VH and VL, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, or HC and LC, are encoded by a single polynucleotide.

In another aspect, the invention provides polynucleotides and variants thereof encoding an IL-2 antibody, wherein such variant polynucleotides share at least 70%, at least 75%, at least 80%, at least 85%, at least 87%, at least 89%, at least 90%, at least 91 %, at least 92%, at least 93%, at least 94%, at least 95%, at least 96%, at least 97%, at least 98%, or at least 99% sequence identity to any of the specific nucleic acid disclosed herein.

Polynucleotides complementary to any such sequences are also encompassed by the present invention. Polynucleotides may be single-stranded (coding or antisense) or double-stranded, and may be DNA (genomic, cDNA or synthetic) or RNA molecules. RNA molecules include HnRNA molecules, which contain introns and correspond to a DNA molecule in a one-to-one manner, and mRNA molecules, which do not contain introns. Additional coding or non-coding sequences may, but need not, be present within a polynucleotide of the present invention, and a polynucleotide may, but need not, be linked to other molecules and/or support materials.

Polynucleotides may comprise a native sequence (i.e., an endogenous sequence that encodes an antibody or a fragment thereof) or may comprise a variant of such a sequence. Polynucleotide variants contain one or more substitutions, additions, deletions and/or insertions such that the immunoreactivity of the encoded polypeptide is not diminished, relative to a native immunoreactive molecule. The effect on the immunoreactivity of the encoded polypeptide may generally be assessed as described herein. Variants preferably exhibit at least about 70% identity, more preferably, at least about 80% identity, yet more preferably, at least about 90% identity, and most preferably, at least about 95% identity to a polynucleotide sequence that encodes a native antibody or a fragment thereof.

Two polynucleotide or polypeptide sequences are said to be "identical" if the sequence of nucleotides or amino acids in the two sequences is the same when aligned for maximum correspondence as described below. Comparisons between two sequences are typically performed by comparing the sequences over a comparison window to identify and compare local regions of sequence similarity. A "comparison window" as used herein, refers to a segment of at least about 20 contiguous positions, usually 30 to about 75, or 40 to about 50, in which a sequence may be compared to a reference sequence of the same number of contiguous positions after the two sequences are optimally aligned.

Optimal alignment of sequences for comparison may be conducted using the MegAlign® program in the Lasergene® suite of bioinformatics software (DNASTAR®, Inc., Madison, Wl), using default parameters. This program embodies several alignment schemes described in the following references: Dayhoff, M.O., 1978, A model of evolutionary change in proteins - Matrices for detecting distant relationships. In Dayhoff, M.O. (ed.) Atlas of Protein Sequence and Structure, National Biomedical Research Foundation, Washington DC Vol. 5, Suppl. 3, pp. 345-358; Hein J., 1990, Unified Approach to Alignment and Phylogenes pp. 626-645 Methods in Enzymology vol. 183, Academic Press, Inc., San Diego, CA; Higgins, D.G. and Sharp, P.M., 1989, CABIOS 5:151 -153; Myers, E.W. and Muller W., 1988, CABIOS 4:1 1 -17; Robinson, E.D., 1971 , Comb. Theor. 1 1 :105; Santou, N., Nes, M., 1987, Mol. Biol. Evol. 4:406-425; Sneath, P.H.A. and Sokal, R.R., 1973, Numerical Taxonomy the Principles and Practice of Numerical Taxonomy, Freeman Press, San Francisco, CA; Wilbur, W.J. and Lipman, D.J., 1983, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 80:726-730.

Preferably, the "percentage of sequence identity" is determined by comparing two optimally aligned sequences over a window of comparison of at least 20 positions, wherein the portion of the polynucleotide or polypeptide sequence in the comparison window may comprise additions or deletions (i.e., gaps) of 20 percent or less, usually 5 to 15 percent, or 10 to 12 percent, as compared to the reference sequences (which does not comprise additions or deletions) for optimal alignment of the two sequences. The percentage is calculated by determining the number of positions at which the identical nucleic acid bases or amino acid residue occurs in both sequences to yield the number of matched positions, dividing the number of matched positions by the total number of positions in the reference sequence (i.e., the window size) and multiplying the results by 100 to yield the percentage of sequence identity.

Variants may also, or alternatively, be substantially homologous to a native gene, or a portion or complement thereof. Such polynucleotide variants are capable of hybridizing under moderately stringent conditions to a naturally occurring DNA sequence encoding a native antibody (or a complementary sequence).

Suitable "moderately stringent conditions" include prewashing in a solution of 5 X SSC, 0.5% SDS, 1 .0 mM EDTA (pH 8.0); hybridizing at 50°C-65°C, 5 X SSC, overnight; followed by washing twice at 65°C for 20 minutes with each of 2X, 0.5X and 0.2X SSC containing 0.1 % SDS.

As used herein, "highly stringent conditions" or "high stringency conditions" are those that: (1 ) employ low ionic strength and high temperature for washing, for example 0.015 M sodium chloride/0.0015 M sodium citrate/0.1 % sodium dodecyl sulfate at 50°C; (2) employ during hybridization a denaturing agent, such as formamide, for example, 50% (v/v) formamide with 0.1 % bovine serum albumin/0.1 % Ficoll/0.1 % polyvinylpyrrolidone/50 mM sodium phosphate buffer at pH 6.5 with 750 mM sodium chloride, 75 mM sodium citrate at 42°C; or (3) employ 50% formamide, 5 x SSC (0.75 M NaCI, 0.075 M sodium citrate), 50 mM sodium phosphate (pH 6.8), 0.1 % sodium pyrophosphate, 5 x Denhardt's solution, sonicated salmon sperm DNA (50 pg/ml), 0.1 % SDS, and 10% dextran sulfate at 42°C, with washes at 42°C in 0.2 x SSC (sodium chloride/sodium citrate) and 50% formamide at 55°C, followed by a high-stringency wash consisting of 0.1 x SSC containing EDTA at 55°C. The skilled artisan will recognize how to adjust the temperature, ionic strength, etc. as necessary to accommodate factors such as probe length and the like.

It will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that, as a result of the degeneracy of the genetic code, there are many nucleotide sequences that encode a polypeptide as described herein. Some of these polynucleotides bear minimal homology to the nucleotide sequence of any native gene. Nonetheless, polynucleotides that vary due to differences in codon usage are specifically contemplated by the present invention. Further, alleles of the genes comprising the polynucleotide sequences provided herein are within the scope of the present invention. Alleles are endogenous genes that are altered as a result of one or more mutations, such as deletions, additions and/or substitutions of nucleotides. The resulting mRNA and protein may, but need not, have an altered structure or function. Alleles may be identified using standard techniques (such as hybridization, amplification and/or database sequence comparison).

The polynucleotides of this invention can be obtained using chemical synthesis, recombinant methods, or PCR. Methods of chemical polynucleotide synthesis are well known in the art and need not be described in detail herein. One of skill in the art can use the sequences provided herein and a commercial DNA synthesizer to produce a desired DNA sequence.

For preparing polynucleotides using recombinant methods, a polynucleotide comprising a desired sequence can be inserted into a suitable vector, and the vector in turn can be introduced into a suitable host cell for replication and amplification, as further discussed herein. Polynucleotides may be inserted into host cells by any means known in the art. Cells are transformed by introducing an exogenous polynucleotide by direct uptake, endocytosis, transfection, F-mating or electroporation. Once introduced, the exogenous polynucleotide can be maintained within the cell as a non-integrated vector (such as a plasmid) or integrated into the host cell genome. The polynucleotide so amplified can be isolated from the host cell by methods well known within the art. See, e.g., Sambrook et al., 1989.

Alternatively, PCR allows reproduction of DNA sequences. PCR technology is well known in the art and is described in U.S. Patent Nos. 4,683,195, 4,800,159, 4,754,065 and 4,683,202, as well as PCR: The Polymerase Chain Reaction, Mullis et al. eds., Birkauswer Press, Boston, 1994.

RNA can be obtained by using the isolated DNA in an appropriate vector and inserting it into a suitable host cell. When the cell replicates and the DNA is transcribed into RNA, the RNA can then be isolated using methods well known to those of skill in the art, as set forth in Sambrook et al., 1989, supra, for example. Suitable cloning vectors may be constructed according to standard techniques, or may be selected from a large number of cloning vectors available in the art. While the cloning vector selected may vary according to the host cell intended to be used, useful cloning vectors will generally have the ability to self-replicate, may possess a single target for a particular restriction endonuclease, and/or may carry genes for a marker that can be used in selecting clones containing the vector. Suitable examples include plasmids and bacterial viruses, e.g., pUC18, pUC19, Bluescript (e.g., pBS SK+) and its derivatives, mp18, mp19, pBR322, pMB9, ColE1 , pCR1 , RP4, phage DNAs, and shuttle vectors such as pSA3 and pAT28. These and many other cloning vectors are available from commercial vendors such as BioRad, Strategene, and Invitrogen.

Expression vectors are further provided. Expression vectors generally are replicable polynucleotide constructs that contain a polynucleotide according to the invention. It is implied that an expression vector must be replicable in the host cells either as episomes or as an integral part of the chromosomal DNA. Suitable expression vectors include but are not limited to plasmids, viral vectors, including adenoviruses, adeno-associated viruses, retroviruses, cosmids, and expression vector(s) disclosed in PCT Publication No. WO 87/04462. Vector components may generally include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following: a signal sequence; an origin of replication; one or more marker genes; suitable transcriptional controlling elements (such as promoters, enhancers and terminator). For expression (i.e., translation), one or more translational controlling elements are also usually required, such as ribosome binding sites, translation initiation sites, and stop codons.

The vectors containing the polynucleotides of interest and/or the polynucleotides themselves, can be introduced into the host cell by any of a number of appropriate means, including electroporation, transfection employing calcium chloride, rubidium chloride, calcium phosphate, DEAE-dextran, or other substances; microprojectile bombardment; lipofection; and infection (e.g., where the vector is an infectious agent such as vaccinia virus). The choice of introducing vectors or polynucleotides will often depend on features of the host cell.

The invention also provides host cells comprising any of the polynucleotides described herein. Any host cells capable of over-expressing heterologous DNAs can be used for the purpose of isolating the genes encoding the antibody, polypeptide or protein of interest. Non-limiting examples of mammalian host cells include but not limited to COS, HeLa, and CHO cells. See also PCT Publication No. WO 87/04462. Suitable non-mammalian host cells include prokaryotes (such as E. coli or B. subtillis) and yeast (such as S. cerevisae, S. pombe; or K. lactis). Preferably, the host cells express the cDNAs at a level of about 5 fold higher, more preferably, 10 fold higher, even more preferably, 20 fold higher than that of the corresponding endogenous antibody or protein of interest, if present, in the host cells. Screening the host cells for a specific binding to IL-2 is effected by an immunoassay or FACS. A cell overexpressing the antibody or protein of interest can be identified.

An expression vector can be used to direct expression of an IL-2 antibody. One skilled in the art is familiar with administration of expression vectors to obtain expression of an exogenous protein in vivo. See, e.g., U.S. Patent Nos. 6,436,908; 6,413,942; and 6,376,471 . Administration of expression vectors includes local or systemic administration, including injection, oral administration, particle gun or catheterized administration, and topical administration. In another embodiment, the expression vector is administered directly to the sympathetic trunk or ganglion, or into a coronary artery, atrium, ventrical, or pericardium.

Targeted delivery of therapeutic compositions containing an expression vector, or subgenomic polynucleotides can also be used. Receptor-mediated DNA delivery techniques are described in, for example, Findeis et al., Trends Biotechnol., 1993, 1 1 :202; Chiou et al., Gene Therapeutics: Methods And Applications Of Direct Gene Transfer, J.A. Wolff, ed., 1994; Wu et al., J. Biol. Chem., 1988, 263:621 ; Wu et al., J. Biol. Chem., 1994, 269:542; Zenke et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 1990, 87:3655; Wu et al., J. Biol. Chem., 1991 , 266:338. Therapeutic compositions containing a polynucleotide are administered in a range of about 100 ng to about 200 mg of DNA for local administration in a gene therapy protocol. Concentration ranges of about 500 ng to about 50 mg, about 1 g to about 2 mg, about 5 g to about 500 g, and about 20 g to about 100 g of DNA can also be used during a gene therapy protocol. The therapeutic polynucleotides and polypeptides can be delivered using gene delivery vehicles. The gene delivery vehicle can be of viral or non-viral origin (see generally, Jolly, Cancer Gene Therapy, 1994, 1 :51 ; Kimura, Human Gene Therapy, 1994, 5:845; Connelly, Human Gene Therapy, 1995, 1 :185; and Kaplitt, Nature Genetics, 1994, 6:148). Expression of such coding sequences can be induced using endogenous mammalian or heterologous promoters. Expression of the coding sequence can be either constitutive or regulated.

Viral-based vectors for delivery of a desired polynucleotide and expression in a desired cell are well known in the art. Exemplary viral-based vehicles include, but are not limited to, recombinant retroviruses (see, e.g., PCT Publication Nos. WO 90/07936; WO 94/03622; WO 93/25698; WO 93/25234; WO 93/1 1230; WO 93/10218; WO 91/02805; U.S. Patent Nos. 5, 219,740 and 4,777,127; GB Patent No. 2,200,651 ; and EP Patent No. 0 345 242), alphavirus-based vectors (e.g., Sindbis virus vectors, Semliki forest virus (ATCC VR-67; ATCC VR-1247), Ross River virus (ATCC VR-373; ATCC VR-1246) and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (ATCC VR-923; ATCC VR-1250; ATCC VR 1249; ATCC VR-532)), and adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors (see, e.g., PCT Publication Nos. WO 94/12649, WO 93/03769; WO 93/19191 ; WO 94/28938; WO 95/1 1984 and WO 95/00655). Administration of DNA linked to killed adenovirus as described in Curiel, Hum. Gene Ther., 1992, 3:147 can also be employed.

Non-viral delivery vehicles and methods can also be employed, including, but not limited to, polycationic condensed DNA linked or unlinked to killed adenovirus alone (see, e.g., Curiel, Hum. Gene Ther., 1992, 3:147); ligand-linked DNA (see, e.g., Wu, J. Biol. Chem., 1989, 264:16985); eukaryotic cell delivery vehicles cells (see, e.g., U.S. Patent No. 5,814,482; PCT Publication Nos. WO 95/07994; WO 96/17072; WO 95/30763; and WO 97/42338) and nucleic charge neutralization or fusion with cell membranes. Naked DNA can also be employed. Exemplary naked DNA introduction methods are described in PCT Publication No. WO 90/1 1092 and U.S. Patent No. 5,580,859. Liposomes that can act as gene delivery vehicles are described in U.S. Patent No. 5,422,120; PCT Publication Nos. WO 95/13796; WO 94/23697; WO 91/14445; and EP 0524968. Additional approaches are described in Philip, Mol. Cell Biol., 1994, 14:241 1 , and in Woffendin, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 1994, 91 :1581 .

Therapeutic methods

Therapeutic methods involve administering to a subject in need of treatment a therapeutically effective amount, or "effective amount", of an IL-2 antibody, or antigen- binding portion, of the invention and are contemplated by the present disclosure. As used herein, a "therapeutically effective", or "effective", amount refers to an amount of an antibody or portion thereof that is of sufficient quantity to result in a decrease in severity of disease symptoms, an increase in frequency and duration of disease symptom-free periods, or a prevention of impairment or disability due to the disease affliction - either as a single dose or according to a multiple dose regimen, alone or in combination with other agents. One of ordinary skill in the art would be able to determine such amounts based on such factors as the subject's size, the severity of the subject's symptoms, and the particular composition or route of administration selected. The subject may be a human or non-human animal (e.g., rabbit, rat, mouse, monkey or other lower-order primate).

An antibody or antigen-binding portion of the invention might be co-administered with known medicaments, and in some instances the antibody might itself be modified. For example, an antibody could be conjugated to an immunotoxin or radioisotope to potentially further increase efficacy. Regarding co-administration with additional therapeutic agents, such agents can include a cytotoxic agent, a radiotoxic agent or an immunosuppressive agent. The antibody can be linked to the agent (as an immunocomplex) or can be administered separately from the agent. In the latter case (separate administration), the antibody can be administered before, after or concurrently with the agent or can be co-administered with other known therapies, e.g., an anticancer therapy, e.g., radiation. Co-administration of the IL-2 antibodies, or antigen binding fragments thereof, of the present disclosure with a therapeutic agent provides two agents which operate via different mechanisms may provide a therapeutic and perhaps synergistic effect to human disease.

The antibodies and antigen-binding portions disclosed herein can be used as a therapeutic or a diagnostic tool in a variety of situations where IL-2 is undesirably active, such as autoimmune disease. Given the involvement of IL-2 in inflammatory pathways and in numerous diseases, disorders and conditions, many such diseases, disorders or conditions are particularly suitable for treatment with an antibody or antigen-binding portion of the present invention. Accordingly, the IL-2 antibodies, or antigen binding fragments thereof, of this disclosure can be used in the treatment or prevention of IL-2- mediated disorders. In addition, the invention provides for use of the IL-2 antibodies, or antigen binding fragments thereof, of this disclosure in the manufacture of a medicament for use in treatment or prevention of IL-2-mediated disorders. In another embodiment, this application discloses IL-2 antibodies, or antigen binding fragments thereof, for use in treatment of IL-2-mediated disorders. In a further embodiment, this application discloses pharmaceutical compositions comprising the IL-2 antibodies, or antigen binding fragments thereof, of this disclosure for use in treating or preventing IL- 2-mediated diseases. In certain embodiments, these diseases include immunologic diseases, such as Graft vs Host disease. In certain embodiments, the disease may be any disease associated with IL-2, such as muscular dystrophy and obesity. Exemplary autoimmune diseases and disorders that may be treated with the antibodies provided herein include, for example, inflammatory responses such as inflammatory skin diseases including psoriasis and dermatitis (e. g. atopic dermatitis); dermatomyositis; systemic scleroderma and sclerosis; responses associated with inflammatory bowel disease (such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis); respiratory distress syndrome (including adult respiratory distress syndrome; ARDS); dermatitis; meningitis; encephalitis; uveitis; colitis; gastritis; glomerulonephritis; allergic conditions such as eczema and asthma and other conditions involving infiltration of T cells and chronic inflammatory responses; atherosclerosis; leukocyte adhesion deficiency; rheumatoid arthritis; systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE); diabetes mellitus (e. g. Type I diabetes mellitus or insulin dependent diabetes mellitis); multiple sclerosis; Reynaud's syndrome; autoimmune thyroiditis; allergic encephalomyelitis; Sjogren's syndrome; juvenile onset diabetes; and immune responses associated with acute and delayed hypersensitivity mediated by cytokines and T-lymphocytes typically found in tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, polymyositis, granulomatosis and vasculitis; Wegener's disease; pernicious anemia (Addison's disease); diseases involving leukocyte diapedesis; central nervous system (CNS) inflammatory disorder; multiple organ injury syndrome; hemolytic anemia (including, but not limited to cryoglobinemia or Coombs positive anemia); myasthenia gravis; antigen-antibody complex mediated diseases; anti-glomerular basement membrane disease; antiphospholipid syndrome; allergic neuritis; Graves' disease; Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome; pemphigoid bullous; pemphigus; autoimmune polyendocrinopathies; vitiligo; Reiter's disease; stiff-man syndrome; Bechet disease; giant cell arteritis; immune complex nephritis; IgA nephropathy; IgM polyneuropathies; immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) or autoimmune thrombocytopenia and autoimmune hemolytic diseases; Hashimoto's thyroiditis; autoimmune hepatitis; autoimmune hemophilia; autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS); autoimmune uveoretinitis; Guillain-Barre syndrome; Goodpasture's syndrome; mixed connective tissue disease; autoimmune-associated infertility; polyarteritis nodosa; alopecia areata; and idiopathic myxedema. To treat any of the foregoing disorders, pharmaceutical compositions for use in accordance with the present disclosure may be formulated in a conventional manner using one or more pharmaceutically acceptable carriers or excipients and administered as more fully discussed below.

Determining a therapeutically effective amount of an antibody or antigen-binding portion according to the present disclosure will largely depend on particular patient characteristics, route of administration, and the nature of the disorder being treated and is more fully discussed below.

Administration and dosing of the antibody are more fully discussed elsewhere below.

Diagnostic Methods

The IL-2 antibodies, or antigen binding portions thereof disclosed herein can be used for diagnostic testing and imaging. For example, the IL-2 antibodies or antigen binding portions thereof can be used in an ELISA assay. The antibodies or antigen binding portions thereof can also be used as a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody. See, for example, Srivastava (ed.), Radiolabeled Monoclonal Antibodies For Imaging And Therapy, Plenum Press (1988); Chase, "Medical Applications of Radioisotopes," in Remington's Pharmaceutical Sciences, 18th Edition, Gennaro et al. (eds.), Mack Publishing Co., pp. 624-652 (1990); and Brown, "Clinical Use of Monoclonal Antibodies," in Biotechnology and Pharmacy, Pezzuto et al. (eds.), Chapman and Hall, pp. 227-249 (1993); Grossman, 1986, Urol. Clin. North Amer. 13:465-474; Unger et al., 1985, Invest. Radiol. 20:693-700; and Khaw et al., 1980, Science 209:295-297. This technique, also known as immunoscintigraphy, uses a gamma camera to detect the location of gamma-emitting radioisotopes conjugated to monoclonal antibodies. Diagnostic imaging can be used to diagnose cancer, autoimmune disease, infectious disease and/or cardiovascular disease. (See, e.g., Brown, supra.)

In one embodiment, the IL-2 antibodies or antigen binding fragments thereof can be used to diagnose IL-2-related diseases, disorders, or conditions, including immune- related diseases. For example, the antibodies, or antigen binding fragments thereof, can be used to detect IL-2 levels in patients, among other uses.

In addition to diagnosis, the IL-2 antibodies or antigen binding fragments thereof can be used to monitor therapeutic responses, detect recurrences of a disease, and guide subsequent clinical decisions.

In some embodiments, for diagnostic and monitoring purposes, radioisotopes may be bound to antibody fragments either directly or indirectly by using an intermediary functional group. Such intermediary functional groups include, for example, DTPA (diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid) and EDTA (ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid). The radiation dose delivered to the patient is typically maintained at as low a level as possible. This may be accomplished through the choice of isotope for the best combination of minimum half-life, minimum retention in the body, and minimum quantity of isotope which will permit detection and accurate measurement. Examples of radioisotopes which can be bound to antibodies and are appropriate for diagnostic imaging include "mTc and 11 1 ln.

Studies indicate that antibody fragments, particularly Fab and Fab', provide suitable tumor/background ratios. (See, e.g., Brown, supra.)

The IL-2 antibody or antigen binding fragments thereof also can be labeled with paramagnetic ions for purposes of in vivo diagnosis. Elements which are particularly useful for Magnetic Resonance Imaging include Gd, Mn, Dy, and Fe ions.

The IL-2 antibody or antigen binding fragments thereof can also detect the presence of IL-2 in vitro. In such immunoassays, the antibody or antigen binding fragments thereof may be utilized in liquid phase or bound to a solid-phase carrier. For example, an intact antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, can be attached to a polymer, such as aminodextran, in order to link the antibody component to an insoluble support such as a polymer-coated bead, plate, or tube.

Alternatively, the IL-2 antibody or antigen binding fragments thereof can be used to detect the presence of particular antigens in tissue sections prepared from a histological specimen. Such in situ detection can be accomplished, for example, by applying a detectably-labeled IL-2 antibody or antigen binding fragment thereof to the tissue sections. In situ detection can be used to determine the presence of a particular antigen and to determine the distribution of the antigen in the examined tissue. General techniques of in situ detection are well known to those of ordinary skill. (See, e.g., Ponder, "Cell Marking Techniques and Their Application," in Mammalian Development: A Practical Approach, Monk (ed.), IRL Press, pp. 1 15-138 (1987); Coligan et al., supra.)

Detectable labels such as enzymes, fluorescent compounds, electron transfer agents, and the like can be linked to a carrier by conventional methods well known to the art. These labeled carriers and the antibody conjugates prepared from them can be used for in vitro immunoassays and for in situ detection, much as an antibody conjugate can be prepared by direct attachment of the labels to antibody. The loading of the antibody conjugates with a plurality of labels can increase the sensitivity of immunoassays or histological procedures, where only a low extent of binding of the antibody, or antibody fragment, to target antigen is achieved.

Compositions

The invention also provides pharmaceutical compositions comprising an effective amount of an IL-2 antibody described herein. Examples of such compositions, as well as how to formulate, are also described herein. In some embodiments, the composition comprises one or more IL-2 antibodies. In other embodiments, the IL-2 antibody recognizes IL-2. In other embodiments, the IL-2 antibody is a human antibody. In other embodiments, the IL-2 antibody is a humanized antibody. In some embodiments, the IL- 2 antibody comprises a constant region that is capable of triggering a desired immune response, such as antibody-mediated lysis or ADCC. In other embodiments, the IL-2 antibody comprises a constant region that does not trigger an unwanted or undesirable immune response, such as antibody-mediated lysis or ADCC. In other embodiments, the IL-2 antibody comprises one or more CDR(s) of the antibody (such as one, two, three, four, five, or, in some embodiments, all six CDRs).

It is understood that the compositions can comprise more than one IL-2 antibody (e.g., a mixture of IL-2 antibodies that recognize different epitopes of IL-2). Other exemplary compositions comprise more than one IL-2 antibody that recognize the same epitope(s), or different species of IL-2 antibodies that bind to different epitopes of IL-2. In some embodiments, the compositions comprise a mixture of IL-2 antibodies that recognize different variants of IL-2.

The composition used in the present invention can further comprise pharmaceutically acceptable carriers, excipients, or stabilizers (Remington: The Science and practice of Pharmacy 20th Ed., 2000, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Ed. K. E. Hoover), in the form of lyophilized formulations or aqueous solutions. Acceptable carriers, excipients, or stabilizers are nontoxic to recipients at the dosages and concentrations, and may comprise buffers such as phosphate, citrate, and other organic acids; antioxidants including ascorbic acid and methionine; preservatives (such as octadecyldimethylbenzyl ammonium chloride; hexamethonium chloride; benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride; phenol, butyl or benzyl alcohol; alkyl parabens such as methyl or propyl paraben; catechol; resorcinol; cyclohexanol; 3-pentanol; and m-cresol); low molecular weight (less than about 10 residues) polypeptides; proteins, such as serum albumin, gelatin, or immunoglobulins; hydrophilic polymers such as polyvinylpyrrolidone; amino acids such as glycine, glutamine, asparagine, histidine, arginine, or lysine; monosaccharides, disaccharides, and other carbohydrates including glucose, mannose, or dextrans; chelating agents such as EDTA; sugars such as sucrose, mannitol, trehalose or sorbitol; salt-forming counter-ions such as sodium; metal complexes (e.g. Zn-protein complexes); and/or non-ionic surfactants such as TWEEN™, PLURONICS™ or polyethylene glycol (PEG). Pharmaceutically acceptable excipients are further described herein.

The IL-2 antibody and compositions thereof can also be used in conjunction with other agents that serve to enhance and/or complement the effectiveness of the agents.

In certain embodiments, the IL-2 antibody is complexed with IL-2 before administration.

The invention also provides compositions, including pharmaceutical compositions, comprising any of the polynucleotides of the invention. In some embodiments, the composition comprises an expression vector comprising a polynucleotide encoding the antibody as described herein. In other embodiments, the composition comprises an expression vector comprising a polynucleotide encoding any of the antibodies described herein. In still other embodiments, the composition comprises either or both of the polynucleotides comprising the sequence shown in SEQ ID NO: 18 and SEQ ID NO: 19, either or both of the polynucleotides shown in SEQ ID NO: 20 and SEQ ID NO: 21 , either or both of the polynucleotides shown in SEQ ID NO:22 and SEQ ID NO:23, either or both of the polynucleotides shown in SEQ ID NO:24 and SEQ ID NO:25, either or both of the polynucleotides shown in SEQ ID NO:18 and SEQ ID NO:26, either or both of the polynucleotides shown in SEQ ID NO:18 and SEQ ID NO:27, either or both of the polynucleotides shown in SEQ ID NO:18 and SEQ ID NO:28, either or both of the polynucleotides shown in SEQ ID NO:29 and SEQ ID NO:30, either or both of the polynucleotides shown in SEQ ID NO:18 and SEQ ID NO:38, either or both of the polynucleotides shown in SEQ ID NO:18 and SEQ ID NO:23, either or both of the polynucleotides shown in SEQ ID NO:22 and SEQ ID NO:39, either or both of the polynucleotides shown in SEQ ID NO:22 and SEQ ID NO:40, either or both of the polynucleotides shown in SEQ ID NO:41 and SEQ ID NO:23, either or both of the polynucleotides shown in SEQ ID NO:42 and SEQ ID NO:23, or either or both of the polynucleotides shown in SEQ ID NO:42 and SEQ ID NO:40.

In another aspect, the polynucleotide can encode the VH, VL and/or both VH and VL of the antibody of the invention. That is, the composition comprises a single polynucleotide or more than one polynucleotide encoding the antibody, or antigen- binding portion thereof, or the invention.

Pharmaceutical compositions of the disclosure also can be administered in combination therapy, such as, combined with other agents. For example, the combination therapy can include IL-2 antibody, or antigen binding fragment thereof, of the present disclosure combined with at least one other therapy wherein the therapy may be surgery, immunotherapy, or drug therapy.

The pharmaceutical compounds of the disclosure may include one or more pharmaceutically acceptable salts. Examples of such salts include acid addition salts and base addition salts. Acid addition salts include those derived from nontoxic inorganic acids, such as hydrochloric, nitric, phosphoric, sulfuric, hydrobromic, hydroiodic, phosphorous and the like, as well as from nontoxic organic acids such as aliphatic mono- and dicarboxylic acids, phenyl-substituted alkanoic acids, hydroxy alkanoic acids, aromatic acids, aliphatic and aromatic sulfonic acids and the like. Base addition salts include those derived from alkaline earth metals, such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and the like, as well as from nontoxic organic amines, such as Ν,Ν'-dibenzylethylenediamine, N-methylglucamine, chloroprocaine, choline, diethanolamine, ethylenediamine, procaine and the like.

A pharmaceutical composition of the disclosure also may include a pharmaceutically acceptable anti-oxidant. Examples of pharmaceutically acceptable antioxidants include: (1 ) water soluble antioxidants, such as ascorbic acid, cysteine hydrochloride, sodium bisulfate, sodium metabisulfite, sodium sulfite and the like; (2) oil- soluble antioxidants, such as ascorbyl palmitate, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), lecithin, propyl gallate, alpha-tocopherol, and the like; and (3) metal chelating agents, such as citric acid, ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA), sorbitol, tartaric acid, phosphoric acid, and the like. Examples of suitable aqueous and non-aqueous carriers that may be employed in the pharmaceutical compositions of the disclosure include water, ethanol, polyols (such as glycerol, propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, and the like), and suitable mixtures thereof, vegetable oils, such as olive oil, and injectable organic esters, such as ethyl oleate. Proper fluidity can be maintained, for example, by the use of coating materials, such as lecithin, by the maintenance of the required particle size in the case of dispersions, and by the use of surfactants.

These compositions may also contain adjuvants such as preservatives, wetting agents, emulsifying agents and dispersing agents. Prevention of presence of microorganisms may be ensured both by sterilization procedures and by the inclusion of various antibacterial and antifungal agents, for example, paraben, chlorobutanol, phenol sorbic acid, and the like. It may also be desirable to include isotonic agents, such as sugars, sodium chloride, and the like into the compositions. In addition, prolonged absorption of the injectable pharmaceutical form may be brought about by the inclusion of agents which delay absorption such as aluminum monostearate and gelatin.

Pharmaceutical compositions typically must be sterile and stable under the conditions of manufacture and storage. The composition can be formulated as a solution, microemulsion, liposome, or other ordered structure suitable to high drug concentration. The carrier can be a solvent or dispersion medium containing, for example, water, ethanol, polyol (for example, glycerol, propylene glycol, and liquid polyethylene glycol, and the like), and suitable mixtures thereof. The proper fluidity can be maintained, for example, by the use of a coating such as lecithin, by the maintenance of the required particle size in the case of dispersion and by the use of surfactants. In many cases, it will be suitable to include isotonic agents, for example, sugars, polyalcohols such as mannitol, sorbitol, or sodium chloride in the composition. Prolonged absorption of the injectable compositions can be brought about by including in the composition an agent that delays absorption, for example, monostearate salts and gelatin.

Sterile injectable solutions can be prepared by incorporating the active compound in the required amount in an appropriate solvent with one or a combination of ingredients enumerated above, as required, followed by sterilization microfiltration.

Generally, dispersions are prepared by incorporating the active compound into a sterile vehicle that contains a basic dispersion medium and the required other ingredients from those enumerated above. In the case of sterile powders for the preparation of sterile injectable solutions, the preferred methods of preparation are vacuum drying and freeze-drying (lyophilization) that yield a powder of the active ingredient plus any additional desired ingredient from a previously sterile-filtered solution thereof.

A pharmaceutical composition of the present disclosure may be prepared, packaged, or sold in a formulation suitable for ophthalmic administration. Such formulations may, for example, be in the form of eye drops including, for example, a 0.1 1 .0% (w/w) solution or suspension of the active ingredient in an aqueous or oily liquid carrier. Such drops may further comprise buffering agents, salts, or one or more other of the additional ingredients described herein. Other ophthalmically-administrable formulations which are useful include those which comprise the active ingredient in microcrystalline form or in a liposomal preparation.

As used herein, "additional ingredients" include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following: excipients; surface active agents; dispersing agents; inert diluents; granulating and disintegrating agents; binding agents; lubricating agents; sweetening agents; flavoring agents; coloring agents; preservatives; physiologically degradable compositions such as gelatin; aqueous vehicles and solvents; oily vehicles and solvents; suspending agents; dispersing or wetting agents; emulsifying agents, demulcents; buffers; salts; thickening agents; fillers; emulsifying agents; antioxidants; antibiotics; antifungal agents; stabilizing agents; and pharmaceutically acceptable polymeric or hydrophobic materials. Other "additional ingredients" which may be included in the pharmaceutical compositions of the invention are known in the art and described, for example in Remington's Pharmaceutical Sciences, Genaro, ed., Mack Publishing Co., Easton, PA (1985), which is incorporated herein by reference.

In one embodiment, the IL-2 antibody, or antigen binding fragment thereof, is administered in an intravenous formulation as a sterile aqueous solution containing 5 mg/ml, or more preferably, about 10 mg/ml, or yet more preferably, about 15 mg/ml, or even more preferably, about 20 mg/ml of antibody, with sodium acetate, polysorbate 80, and sodium chloride at a pH ranging from about 5 to 6. Preferably, the intravenous formulation is a sterile aqueous solution containing 5 or 10 mg/ml of antibody, with 20 mM sodium acetate, 0.2 mg/ml polysorbate 80, and 140 mM sodium chloride at pH 5.5. Further, a solution comprising an antibody, or antigen binding fragment thereof, can comprise, among many other compounds, histidine, mannitol, sucrose, trehalose, glycine, poly(ethylene) glycol, EDTA, methionine, and any combination thereof, and many other compounds known in the relevant art.

In one embodiment, a pharmaceutical composition of the present disclosure comprises the following components: 100 mg IL-2 antibody or antigen binding fragment of the present disclosure, 10 mM histidine, 5% sucrose, and 0.01 % polysorbate 80 at pH 5.8. This composition may be provided as a lyophilized powder. When the powder is reconstituted at full volume, the composition retains the same formulation. Alternatively, the powder may be reconstituted at half volume, in which case the composition comprises 100 mg IL-2 antibody or antigen binding fragment thereof of the present disclosure, 20 mM histidine, 10% sucrose, and 0.02% polysorbate 80 at pH 5.8.

In one embodiment, part of the dose is administered by an intravenous bolus and the rest by infusion of the antibody formulation. For example, a 0.01 mg/kg intravenous injection of the IL-2 antibody, or antigen binding fragment thereof, may be given as a bolus, and the rest of the antibody dose may be administered by intravenous injection. A predetermined dose of the IL-2 antibody, or antigen binding fragment thereof, may be administered, for example, over a period of an hour and a half to two hours to five hours.

With regard to a therapeutic agent, where the agent is, e.g., a small molecule, it can be present in a pharmaceutical composition in the form of a physiologically acceptable ester or salt, such as in combination with a physiologically acceptable cation or anion, as is well known in the art.

The formulations of the pharmaceutical compositions described herein may be prepared by any method known or hereafter developed in the art of pharmacology. In general, such preparatory methods include the step of bringing the active ingredient into association with a carrier or one or more other accessory ingredients, and then, if necessary or desirable, shaping or packaging the product into a desired single- or multi- dose unit.

In one embodiment the compositions of the disclosure are pyrogen-free formulations which are substantially free of endotoxins and/or related pyrogenic substances. Endotoxins include toxins that are confined inside a microorganism and are released when the microorganisms are broken down or die. Pyrogenic substances also include fever- inducing, thermostable substances (glycoproteins) from the outer membrane of bacteria and other microorganisms. Both of these substances can cause fever, hypotension and shock if administered to humans. Due to the potential harmful effects, it is advantageous to remove even low amounts of endotoxins from intravenously administered pharmaceutical drug solutions. The Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") has set an upper limit of 5 endotoxin units (EU) per dose per kilogram body weight in a single one hour period for intravenous drug applications (The United States Pharmacopeial Convention, Pharmacopeial Forum 26 (1 ):223 (2000)). When therapeutic proteins are administered in amounts of several hundred or thousand milligrams per kilogram body weight it is advantageous to remove even trace amounts of endotoxin. In one embodiment, endotoxin and pyrogen levels in the composition are less than 10 EU/mg, or less than 5 EU/mg, or less than 1 EU/mg, or less than 0.1 EU/mg, or less than 0.01 EU/mg, or less than 0.001 EU/mg. In another embodiment, endotoxin and pyrogen levels in the composition are less than about 10 EU/mg, or less than about 5 EU/mg, or less than about 1 EU/mg, or less than about 0.1 EU/mg, or less than about 0.01 EU/mg, or less than about 0.001 EU/mg.

In one embodiment, the disclosure comprises administering a composition wherein said administration is oral, parenteral, intramuscular, intranasal, vaginal, rectal, lingual, sublingual, buccal, intrabuccal, intravenous, cutaneous, subcutaneous or transdermal.

In another embodiment the disclosure further comprises administering a composition in combination with other therapies, such as surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy, immunotherapy or radiation therapy.

Dosing/Administration

To prepare pharmaceutical or sterile compositions including an IL-2 antibody, or antigen binding fragment thereof of the disclosure, the antibody is mixed with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier or excipient. Formulations of therapeutic and diagnostic agents can be prepared by mixing with physiologically acceptable carriers, excipients, or stabilizers in the form of, e.g., lyophilized powders, slurries, aqueous solutions, lotions, or suspensions (see, e.g., Hardman, et al. (2001 ) Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, McGraw-Hill, New York, N.Y.; Gennaro (2000) Remington: The Science and Practice of Pharmacy, Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins, New York, N. Y.; Avis, et al. (eds.) (1993) Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms: Parenteral Medications, Marcel Dekker, NY; Lieberman, et al. (eds.) (1990) Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms: Tablets, Marcel Dekker, NY; Lieberman, et al. (eds.) (1990) Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms: Disperse Systems, Marcel Dekker, NY; Weiner and Kotkoskie (2000) Excipient Toxicity and Safety, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, N.Y.).

Selecting an administration regimen for a therapeutic depends on several factors, including the serum or tissue turnover rate of the entity, the level of symptoms, the immunogenicity of the entity, and the accessibility of the target cells in the biological matrix. In certain embodiments, an administration regimen maximizes the amount of therapeutic delivered to the patient consistent with an acceptable level of side effects. Accordingly, the amount of biologic delivered depends in part on the particular entity and the severity of the condition being treated. Guidance in selecting appropriate doses of antibodies, cytokines, and small molecules are available (see, e.g., Wawrzynczak, 1996, Antibody Therapy, Bios Scientific Pub. Ltd, Oxfordshire, UK; Kresina (ed.), 1991 , Monoclonal Antibodies, Cytokines and Arthritis, Marcel Dekker, New York, N.Y.; Bach (ed.),1993, Monoclonal Antibodies and Peptide Therapy in Autoimmune Diseases, Marcel Dekker, New York, N. Y.; Baert, et al., 2003, New Engl. J. Med. 348:601 -608; Milgrom, et al., 1999, New Engl. J. Med. 341 :1966-1973; Slamon, et al., 2001 , New Engl. J. Med. 344:783-792; Beniaminovitz, et al., 2000, New Engl. J. Med. 342:613-619; Ghosh, et al., 2003, New Engl. J. Med. 348:24-32; Lipsky, et al., 2000, New Engl. J. Med. 343:1594-1602).

Determination of the appropriate dose is made by the clinician, e.g., using parameters or factors known or suspected in the art to affect treatment or predicted to affect treatment. Generally, the dose begins with an amount somewhat less than the optimum dose and it is increased by small increments thereafter until the desired or optimum effect is achieved relative to any negative side effects. Important diagnostic measures include those of symptoms of, e.g., the inflammation or level of inflammatory cytokines produced.

Actual dosage levels of the active ingredients in the pharmaceutical compositions of the present disclosure may be varied so as to obtain an amount of the active ingredient which is effective to achieve the desired therapeutic response for a particular patient, composition, and mode of administration, without being toxic to the patient. The selected dosage level will depend upon a variety of pharmacokinetic factors including the activity of the particular compositions of the present disclosure employed, or the ester, salt or amide thereof, the route of administration, the time of administration, the rate of excretion of the particular compound being employed, the duration of the treatment, other drugs, compounds and/or materials used in combination with the particular compositions employed, the age, sex, weight, condition, general health and prior medical history of the patient being treated, and like factors well known in the medical arts.

Compositions comprising IL-2 antibodies or antigen binding fragments thereof, of the disclosure can be provided by continuous infusion, or by doses at intervals of, e.g., one day, one week, or 1 -7 times per week. Doses may be provided intravenously, subcutaneously, topically, orally, nasally, rectally, intramuscular, intracerebrally, or by inhalation. A specific dose protocol is one involving the maximal dose or dose frequency that avoids significant undesirable side effects. A total weekly dose may be at least 0.05 pg/kg body weight, at least 0.2 pg/kg, at least 0.5 pg/kg, at least 1 pg/kg, at least 10 pg/kg, at least 100 pg/kg, at least 0.2 mg/kg, at least 1 .0 mg/kg, at least 2.0 mg/kg, at least 10 mg/kg, at least 15 mg/kg, at least 20 mg/kg, at least 25 mg/kg, or at least 50 mg/kg (see, e.g., Yang, et al., 2003, New Engl. J. Med. 349:427-434; Herold, et al., 2002, New Engl. J. Med. 346:1692-1698; Liu, et al., 1999, J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psych. 67:451 -456; Portielji, et al., 2003, Cancer. Immunol. Immunother. 52: 133-144). The dose may be at least 15 g, at least 20 g, at least 25 g, at least 30 g, at least 35 g, at least 40 g, at least 45 g, at least 50 g, at least 55 g, at least 60 g, at least 65ig, at least 70 g, at least 75 g, at least 80 g, at least 85 g, at least 90 g, at least 95 [ig, or at least 100 g. The doses administered to a subject may number at least 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , or 12, or more.

For IL-2 antibodies or antigen binding fragments thereof of the disclosure, the dosage administered to a patient may be 0.0001 mg/kg to 100 mg/kg of the patient's body weight. The dosage may be between 0.0001 mg/kg and 20 mg/kg, 0.0001 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg, 0.0001 mg/kg and 5 mg/kg, 0.0001 and 2 mg/kg, 0.0001 and 1 mg/kg, 0.0001 mg/kg and 0.75 mg/kg, 0.0001 mg/kg and 0.5 mg/kg, 0.0001 mg/'kg to 0.25 mg/kg, 0.0001 to 0.15 mg/kg, 0.0001 to 0.10 mg/kg, 0.001 to 0.5 mg/kg, 0.01 to 0.25 mg/kg or 0.01 to 0.10 mg/kg of the patient's body weight.

The dosage of the IL-2 antibody or antigen binding fragment thereof may be calculated using the patient's weight in kilograms (kg) multiplied by the dose to be administered in mg/kg. The dosage of the antibodies of the disclosure may be 150 pg/kg or less, 125 pg/kg or less, 100 pg/kg or less, 95 pg/kg or less, 90 pg/kg or less, 85 μ/kg or less, 80 μ/kg or less, 75 μ/kg or less, 70 μ/kg or less, 65 μ/kg or less, 60 μ/kg or less, 55 μ/kg or less, 50 μ/kg or less, 45 μ/kg or less, 40 μ/kg or less, 35 μ/kg or less, 30 μ/kg or less, 25 μ/kg or less, 20 μ/kg or less, 15 μ/kg or less, 10 μ/kg or less, 5 μ/kg or less, 2.5 μ/kg or less, 2 μ/kg or less, 1 .5 μ/kg or less, 1 μ/kg or less, 0.5 μ/kg or less, or 0.1 μ/kg or less of a patient's body weight.

Unit dose of the IL-2 antibodies or antigen binding fragments thereof of the disclosure may be 0.1 mg to 200 mg, 0.1 mg to 175 mg, 0.1 mg to 150 mg, 0.1 mg to 125 mg, 0.1 mg to 100mg, 0.1 mg to 75 mg, 0.1 mg to 50 mg, 0.1 mg to 30 mg, 0.1 mg to 20 mg, 0.1 mg to 15 mg, 0.1 mg to 12 mg, 0.1 mg to 10 mg, 0.1 mg to 8 mg, 0.1 mg to 7 mg, 0.1 mg to 5 mg, 0.1 to 2.5 mg, 0.25 mg to 20 mg, 0.25 to 15 mg, 0.25 to 12 mg, 0.25 to 10 mg, 0.25 to 8 mg, 0.25 mg to 7 m g, 0.25 mg to 5 mg, 0.5 mg to 2.5 mg, 1 mg to 20 mg, 1 mg to 15 mg, 1 mg to 12 mg, 1 mg to 10 mg, 1 mg to 8 mg, 1 mg to 7 mg, 1 mg to 5 mg, or 1 mg to 2.5 mg.

The dosage of the IL-2 antibodies or antigen binding fragments thereof of the disclosure may achieve a serum titer of at least 0.1 μg ml, at least 0.5 μg ml, at least 1 μg ml, at least 2 μg ml, at least 5 μg ml, at least 6 μg ml, at least 10 μg ml, at least 15 μg ml, at least 20 μg ml, at least 25 μg ml, at least 50 μg ml, at least 100 μg ml, at least 125 g/ml, at least 150 v, at least 175 g/ml, at least 200 g/ml, at least 225 g/ml, at least 250 g/ml, at least 275 g/ml, at least 300 g/ml, at least 325 g/ml, at least 350 Mg/ml, at least 375 Mg/ml /ml, or at least 400 Mg/ml /ml in a subject. Alternatively, the dosage of the antibodies of the disclosure may achieve a serum titer of at least 0.1 Mg/ml, at least 0.5 Mg/ml, at least 1 g/ml, at least, 2 g/ml, at least 5 Mg/ml, at least 6 Mg/ml, at least 10 Mg/ml, at least 15 g/ml, at least 20 g/ml, at least 25 g/ml, at least 50 g ml, at least 100 Mg/ml, at least 125 Mg/ml, at least 150 Mg/ml, at least 175 Mg/ml, at least 200 Mg/ml, at least 225 Mg/ml, at least 250 Mg/ml, at least 275 Mg/ml, at least 300 Mg/ml, at least 325 Mg/ml, at least 350 Mg/ml, at least 375 Mg/ml, or at least 400 Mg/ml in the subject.

Doses of IL-2 antibodies, or antigen binding fragments thereof of the disclosure may be repeated and the administrations may be separated by at least 1 day, 2 days, 3 days, 5 days, 10 days, 15 days, 30 days, 45 days, 2 months, 75 days, 3 months, or at least 6 months.

An effective amount for a particular patient may vary depending on factors such as the condition being treated, the overall health of the patient, the method route and dose of administration and the severity of side effects (see, e.g., Maynard, et al., 1996, A Handbook of SOPs for Good Clinical Practice, Interpharm Press, Boca Raton, Fla.; Dent, 2001 , Good Laboratory and Good Clinical Practice, Urch Publ, London, UK).

The route of administration may be by, e.g., topical or cutaneous application, injection or infusion by intravenous, intraperitoneal, intracerebral, intramuscular, intraocular, intraarterial, intracerebrospinal, intralesional, or by sustained release systems or an implant (see, e.g., Sidman et al., 1983, Biopolymers 22:547-556; Langer, et al., 1981 , J. Biomed. Mater. Res. 15: 167-277; Langer, 1982, Chem. Tech. 12:98-105; Epstein, et al., 1985, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 82:3688-3692; Hwang, et al., 1980, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 77:4030-4034; U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,350466 and 6,316,024). Where necessary, the composition may also include a solubilizing agent and a local anesthetic such as lidocaine to ease pain at the site of the injection. In addition, pulmonary administration can also be employed, e.g., by use of an inhaler or nebulizer, and formulation with an aerosolizing agent. See, e.g., U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,019,968, 5,985,320, 5,985,309, 5,934,272, 5,874,064, 5,855,913, 5,290,540, and 4,880,078; and PCT Publication Nos. WO 92/19244, WO 97/32572, WO 97/44013, WO 98/31346, and WO 99/66903, each of which is incorporated herein by reference their entirety. In one embodiment, the IL-2 antibody, or antigen binding fragment thereof, or a composition of the disclosure is administered using Alkermes AIR™ pulmonary drug delivery technology (Alkermes, Inc., Cambridge, Mass.).

A composition of the present disclosure may also be administered via one or more routes of administration using one or more of a variety of methods known in the art. As will be appreciated by the skilled artisan, the route and/or mode of administration will vary depending upon the desired results. Selected routes of administration for antibodies of the disclosure include intravenous, intramuscular, intradermal, intraperitoneal, subcutaneous, spinal or other parenteral routes of administration, for example by injection or infusion. Parenteral administration may represent modes of administration other than enteral and topical administration, usually by injection, and includes, without limitation, intravenous, intramuscular, intraarterial, intrathecal, intracapsular, intraorbital, intracardiac, intradermal, intraperitoneal, transtracheal, subcutaneous, subcuticular, intraarticular, subcapsular, subarachnoid, intraspinal, epidural and intrasternal injection and infusion. Alternatively, a composition of the disclosure can be administered via a non-parenteral route, such as a topical, epidermal or mucosal route of administration, for example, intranasally, orally, vaginally, rectally, sublingually or topically.

If the IL-2 antibodies, or antigen binding fragments thereof, of the disclosure are administered in a controlled release or sustained release system, a pump may be used to achieve controlled or sustained release (see Langer, supra; Sefton, 1987, CRC Crit. Ref. Biomed. Eng. 14:20; Buchwald et al., 1980, Surgery 88:501 ; Saudek et al., 1989, N. Engl. J. Med. 321 :514).

Polymeric materials can be used to achieve controlled or sustained release of the therapies of the disclosure (see e.g., Medical Applications of Controlled Release, Langer and Wise (eds.), CRC Pres., Boca Raton, Fla. (1974); Controlled Drug Bioavailability, Drug Product Design and Performance, Smolen and Ball (eds.), Wiley, New York (1984); Ranger and Peppas, 1983, J., Macromol. ScL Rev. Macromol. Chem. 23:61 ; see also Levy et al, 1985, Science 1 1 225:190; During et al., 19Z9, Ann. Neurol. 25:351 ; Howard et al, 1989, J. Neurosurg. 71 : 105); U.S. Pat. No. 5,679,377; U.S. Pat. No. 5,916,597; U.S. Pat. No. 5,912,015; U.S. Pat. No. 5,989,463; U.S. Pat. No. 5,128,326; PCT Publication No. WO 99/15154; and PCT Publication No. WO 99/20253. Examples of polymers used in sustained release formulations include, but are not limited to, poly(2-hydroxy ethyl methacrylate), poly(methyl methacrylate), poly(acrylic acid), poly(ethylene-co- vinyl acetate), poly(methacrylic acid), polyglycolides (PLG), polyanhydrides, poly(N -vinyl pyrrolidone), polyvinyl alcohol), polyacrylamide, polyethylene glycol), polylactides (PLA), polyoeactide-co-glycolides) (PLGA), and polyorthoesters. In one embodiment, the polymer used in a sustained release formulation is inert, free of leachable impurities, stable on storage, sterile, and biodegradable. A controlled or sustained release system can be placed in proximity of the prophylactic or therapeutic target, thus requiring only a fraction of the systemic dose (see, e.g., Goodson, in Medical Applications of Controlled Release, supra, vol. 2, pp. 1 15-138 (1984)).

Controlled release systems are discussed in the review by Langer, 1990, Science 249:1527-1533. Any technique known to one of skill in the art can be used to produce sustained release formulations comprising one or more antibodies of the disclosure or conjugates thereof. See, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 4,526,938, International Patent Publication Nos. WO 91/05548, WO 96/20698, Ning et al., 1996, "Intratumoral Radioimmunotheraphy of a Human Colon Cancer Xenograft Using a Sustained-Release Gel," Radiotherapy and Oncology 59:179-189, Song et al., 1995, "Antibody Mediated Lung Targeting of Long-Circulating Emulsions," PDA Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology 50:372-397, Cleek et ah, 1997, "Biodegradable Polymeric Carriers for a bFGF Antibody for Cardiovascular Application," Pro. Ml. Symp. Control. Rel. Bioact. Mater. 24:853-854, and Lam et al., 1997, "Microencapsulation of Recombinant Humanized Monoclonal Antibody for Local Delivery," Proc. Ml. Symp. Control Rel. Bioact. Mater. 24:759-160, each of which is incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

If the IL-2 antibody, or antigen binding fragment thereof, of the disclosure is administered topically, it can be formulated in the form of an ointment, cream, transdermal patch, lotion, gel, shampoo, spray, aerosol, solution, emulsion, or other form well-known to one of skill in the art. See, e.g., Remington's Pharmaceutical Sciences and Introduction to Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms, 19th ed., Mack Pub. Co., Easton, Pa. (1995). For non-sprayable topical dosage forms, viscous to semi-solid or solid forms comprising a carrier or one or more excipients compatible with topical application and having a dynamic viscosity, in some instances, greater than water are typically employed. Suitable formulations include, without limitation, solutions, suspensions, emulsions, creams, ointments, powders, liniments, salves, and the like, which are, if desired, sterilized or mixed with auxiliary agents (e.g., preservatives, stabilizers, wetting agents, buffers, or salts) for influencing various properties, such as, for example, osmotic pressure. Other suitable topical dosage forms include sprayable aerosol preparations wherein the active ingredient, in some instances, in combination with a solid or liquid inert carrier, is packaged in a mixture with a pressurized volatile (e.g., a gaseous propellant, such as freon) or in a squeeze bottle. Moisturizers or humectants can also be added to pharmaceutical compositions and dosage forms if desired. Examples of such additional ingredients are well-known in the art.

If the compositions comprising IL-2 antibodies, or antigen binding fragments thereof, are administered intranasally, it can be formulated in an aerosol form, spray, mist or in the form of drops. In particular, prophylactic or therapeutic agents for use according to the present disclosure can be conveniently delivered in the form of an aerosol spray presentation from pressurized packs or a nebuliser, with the use of a suitable propellant (e.g., dichlorodifluoromethane, trichlorofluoromethane, dichlorotetrafluoroethane, carbon dioxide or other suitable gas). In the case of a pressurized aerosol the dosage unit may be determined by providing a valve to deliver a metered amount. Capsules and cartridges (composed of, e.g., gelatin) for use in an inhaler or insufflator may be formulated containing a powder mix of the compound and a suitable powder base such as lactose or starch.

Methods for co-administration or treatment with a second therapeutic agent, e.g., a cytokine, steroid, chemotherapeutic agent, antibiotic, or radiation, are well known in the art (see, e.g., Hardman, et al. (eds.) (2001 ) Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 10 th ed., McGraw-Hill, New York, N.Y.; Poole and Peterson (eds.) (2001 ) Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice: A Practical Approach, Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Phila., Pa.; Chabner and Longo (eds.) (2001 ) Cancer Chemotherapy and Biotherapy, Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Phila., Pa.). An effective amount of therapeutic may decrease the symptoms by at least 10 percent; by at least 20 percent; at least about 30 percent; at least 40 percent, or at least 50 percent.

Additional therapies (e.g., prophylactic or therapeutic agents), which can be administered in combination with the IL-2 antibodies, or antigen binding fragments of the disclosure, may be administered less than 5 minutes apart, less than 30 minutes apart, 1 hour apart, at about 1 hour apart, at about 1 to about 2 hours apart, at about 2 hours to about 3 hours apart, at about 3 hours to about 4 hours apart, at about 4 hours to about 5 hours apart, at about 5 hours to about 6 hours apart, at about 6 hours to about 7 hours apart, at about 7 hours to about 8 hours apart, at about 8 hours to about 9 hours apart, at about 9 hours to about 10 hours apart, at about 10 hours to about 1 1 hours apart, at about 1 1 hours to about 12 hours apart, at about 12 hours to 18 hours apart, 18 hours to 24 hours apart, 24 hours to 36 hours apart, 36 hours to 48 hours apart, 48 hours to 52 hours apart, 52 hours to 60 hours apart, 60 hours to 72 hours apart, 72 hours to 84 hours apart, 84 hours to 96 hours apart, or 96 hours to 120 hours apart from the antibodies of the disclosure. The two or more therapies may be administered within one same patient visit.

The IL-2 antibodies, or antigen binding fragments thereof, of the disclosure and the other therapies may be cyclically administered. Cycling therapy involves the administration of a first therapy (e.g., a first prophylactic or therapeutic agent) for a period of time, followed by the administration of a second therapy (e.g., a second prophylactic or therapeutic agent) for a period of time, optionally, followed by the administration of a third therapy (e.g., prophylactic or therapeutic agent) for a period of time and so forth, and repeating this sequential administration, i.e., the cycle in order to reduce the development of resistance to one of the therapies, to avoid or reduce the side effects of one of the therapies, and/or to improve the efficacy of the therapies.

In one embodiment, the IL-2 antibodies of the invention can be co-administered with compositions for treating autoimmune diseases and disorders, including adriamycin, azathiopurine, busulfan, cyclophosphamide, cyclosporine A, Cytoxan, fludarabine, 5-fluorouracil, methotrexate, mycophenolate mofetil, 6-mercaptopurine, a corticosteroid, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory, sirolimus (rapamycin), and tacrolimus (FK-506). In alternative embodiments, the immunomodulatory or immunosuppressive agent is an antibody selected from the group consisting of muromonab-CD3, alemtuzumab (Campath®), basiliximab, daclizumab, muromonab (OKT3®), rituximab, anti-thymocyte globulin and IVIg, and others, which are known to persons skilled in the art.

In one embodiment, the IL-2 antibodies of the invention can be co-administered with compositions for treating diabetes, including biguanides (e.g. buformin, metformin, phenform), hormones and analogs thereof (amylin, insulin, insulin aspart, insulin detemir, insulin glargine, insulin glulisine, insulin lispro, liraglutide, pramlintide), sulfonylurea derivatives (acetohexamide, carbutamide, chlorpropamide, glibornuride, gliclazide, glimepiride, glipizide, gliquidone, glisoxepid, glyburide, glybuthiazole, glybuzole, glyhexamide, glymidine, tolazamide, tolbutamide, tolcyclamide), thiazolidinediones (pioglitazone, rosiglitazone, troglitazone), acarbose, exenatide, miglitol, mitiglinide, muraglitazar, nateglinide, repaglinide, sitagliptin, tesaglitazar, vildagliptin, and voglibose.

In certain embodiments, the IL-2 antibodies, or antigen binding fragments thereof of the disclosure can be formulated to ensure proper distribution in vivo. For example, the blood-brain barrier (BBB) excludes many highly hydrophilic compounds. To ensure that the therapeutic compounds of the disclosure cross the BBB (if desired), they can be formulated, for example, in liposomes. For methods of manufacturing liposomes, see, e.g., U.S. Patents 4,522,81 1 ; 5,374,548; and 5,399,331 . The liposomes may comprise one or more moieties which are selectively transported into specific cells or organs, thus enhance targeted drug delivery (see, e.g., V.V. Ranade, 1989, J. Clin. Pharmacol. 29:685). Exemplary targeting moieties include folate or biotin (see, e.g., U.S. Patent 5,416,016); mannosides (Umezawa et al., Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 153: 1038); antibodies (P. G. Bloeman et al., 1995, FEBS Lett. 357: 140; M. Owais et al., 1995, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 39: 180); surfactant protein A receptor (Briscoe et al. (1995) Am. J. Physiol. 1233: 134); pl20 (Schreier et al. (1994) J. Biol. Chem. 269:9090); see also K. Keinanen; M.L. Laukkanen, 1994, FEBS Lett. 346:123; Killion; Fidler, 1994; Immunomethods 4:273.

The disclosure provides protocols for the administration of pharmaceutical composition comprising IL-2 antibodies, or antigen binding fragments thereof, of the disclosure alone or in combination with other therapies to a subject in need thereof. The therapies (e.g., prophylactic or therapeutic agents) of the combination therapies of the present disclosure can be administered concomitantly or sequentially to a subject. The therapy (e.g., prophylactic or therapeutic agents) of the combination therapies of the present disclosure can also be cyclically administered. Cycling therapy involves the administration of a first therapy (e.g., a first prophylactic or therapeutic agent) for a period of time, followed by the administration of a second therapy (e.g., a second prophylactic or therapeutic agent) for a period of time and repeating this sequential administration, i.e., the cycle, in order to reduce the development of resistance to one of the therapies (e.g., agents) to avoid or reduce the side effects of one of the therapies (e.g., agents), and/or to improve, the efficacy of the therapies.

The therapies (e.g., prophylactic or therapeutic agents) of the combination therapies of the disclosure can be administered to a subject concurrently. The term "concurrently" is not limited to the administration of therapies (e.g., prophylactic or therapeutic agents) at exactly the same time, but rather it is meant that a pharmaceutical composition comprising IL-2 antibodies, or antigen binding fragments thereof, of the disclosure are administered to a subject in a sequence and within a time interval such that the antibodies of the disclosure or conjugates thereof can act together with the other therapy(ies) to provide an increased benefit than if they were administered otherwise. For example, each therapy may be administered to a subject at the same time or sequentially in any order at different points in time; however, if not administered at the same time, they should be administered sufficiently close in time so as to provide the desired therapeutic or prophylactic effect. Each therapy can be administered to a subject separately, in any appropriate form and by any suitable route. In various embodiments, the therapies (e.g., prophylactic or therapeutic agents) are administered to a subject less than 15 minutes, less than 30 minutes, less than 1 hour apart, at about 1 hour apart, at about 1 hour to about 2 hours apart, at about 2 hours to about 3 hours apart, at about 3 hours to about 4 hours apart, at about 4 hours to about 5 hours apart, at about 5 hours to about 6 hours apart, at about 6 hours to about 7 hours apart, at about 7 hours to about 8 hours apart, at about 8 hours to about 9 hours apart, at about 9 hours to about 10 hours apart, at about 10 hours to about 1 1 hours apart, at about 1 1 hours to about 12 hours apart, 24 hours apart, 48 hours apart, 72 hours apart, or 1 week apart. In other embodiments, two or more therapies (e.g., prophylactic or therapeutic agents) are administered to a within the same patient visit.

The prophylactic or therapeutic agents of the combination therapies can be administered to a subject in the same pharmaceutical composition. Alternatively, the prophylactic or therapeutic agents of the combination therapies can be administered concurrently to a subject in separate pharmaceutical compositions. The prophylactic or therapeutic agents may be administered to a subject by the same or different routes of administration.

Kits

The invention also provides kits comprising any or all of the antibodies described herein. Kits of the invention include one or more containers comprising an IL-2 antibody described herein and instructions for use in accordance with any of the methods of the invention described herein. Generally, these instructions comprise a description of administration of the antibody for the above described therapeutic treatments. In some embodiments, kits are provided for producing a single-dose administration unit. In certain embodiments, the kit can contain both a first container having a dried protein and a second container having an aqueous formulation. In certain embodiments, kits containing an applicator, e.g., single and multi-chambered pre-filled syringes (e.g., liquid syringes and lyosyringes), are included.

The instructions relating to the use of an IL-2 antibody generally include information as to dosage, dosing schedule, and route of administration for the intended treatment. The containers may be unit doses, bulk packages (e.g., multi-dose packages) or sub-unit doses. Instructions supplied in the kits of the invention are typically written instructions on a label or package insert (e.g., a paper sheet included in the kit), but machine-readable instructions (e.g., instructions carried on a magnetic or optical storage disk) are also acceptable.

The kits of this invention are in suitable packaging. Suitable packaging includes, but is not limited to, vials, bottles, jars, flexible packaging (e.g., sealed Mylar or plastic bags), and the like. Also contemplated are packages for use in combination with a specific device, such as an inhaler, nasal administration device (e.g., an atomizer) or an infusion device such as a minipump. A kit may have a sterile access port (for example the container may be an intravenous solution bag or a vial having a stopper pierceable by a hypodermic injection needle). The container may also have a sterile access port (for example the container may be an intravenous solution bag or a vial having a stopper pierceable by a hypodermic injection needle). At least one active agent in the composition is an IL-2 antibody of the invention. The container may further comprise a second pharmaceutically active agent.

Kits may optionally provide additional components such as buffers and interpretive information. Normally, the kit comprises a container and a label or package insert(s) on or associated with the container.

The invention also provides diagnostic kits comprising any or all of the antibodies described herein. The diagnostic kits are useful for, for example, detecting the presence of IL-2 in a sample. In some embodiments, a diagnostic kit can be used to identify an individual with a latent disease, disorder or condition that may put them at risk of developing IL-2-mediated disease, disorder or condition. In some embodiments, a diagnostic kit can be used to detect the presence and/or level of IL-2 in an individual suspected of having an IL-2 mediated disease.

Diagnostic kits of the invention include one or more containers comprising an IL-2 antibody described herein and instructions for use in accordance with any of the methods of the invention described herein. Generally, these instructions comprise a description of use of the IL-2 antibody to detect the presence of IL-2 in individuals at risk for, or suspected of having, an IL-2 mediated disease. In some embodiments, an exemplary diagnostic kit can be configured to contain reagents such as, for example, an IL-2 antibody, a negative control sample, a positive control sample, and directions for using the kit. Equivalents

The foregoing written specification is considered to be sufficient to enable one skilled in the art to practice the disclosure. The foregoing description and Examples detail certain exemplary embodiments of the disclosure. It will be appreciated, however, that no matter how detailed the foregoing may appear in text, the disclosure may be practiced in many ways and the disclosure should be construed in accordance with the appended claims and any equivalents thereof.

All references cited herein, including patents, patent applications, papers, text books, and the like, and the references cited therein, to the extent that they are not already, are hereby incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

Exemplary Embodiments

The invention is further described in detail by reference to the following experimental examples. These examples are provided for purposes of illustration only, and are not intended to be limiting unless otherwise specified. Thus, the invention should in no way be construed as being limited to the following examples, but rather, should be construed to encompass any and all variations which become evident as a result of the teaching provided herein.

Examples

Example 1. Production and selection of anti-IL-2 mAbs.

Anti-IL2 scFvs were selected from a phagemid-based non-immune human library displayed on M13 bacteriophage. Selection was based on phage binding to biotinylated human and cynomolgus monkey (cyno) IL2 immobilized on streptavid in-coated magnetic beads. Human or cyno IL2 was fused on its N-terminus with a 6-histidine purification tag (SEQ ID NO: 81 ), expressed transiently in HEK293 mammalian cell culture, purified by Ni-NTA affinity chromatography, and chemically biotinylated with EZ- Link NHS-PEG4-Biotin (Thermo Pierce). Three rounds of phage-display selections, followed by amplification of selected phages, were conducted, using either human IL2 in all three rounds, or alternating human-cyno-human IL2. Following the third round, 2400 individual colony-derived cultures were grown, and the culture supernatant or a periplasmic bacterial extract was screened for IL2 binding by ELISA. For the 1 100 cultures showing positive binding to IL2, the scFv-containing region of the phagemid DNA was sequenced and found to comprise 480 unique scFv sequences.

Unique scFv-containing bacterial periplasmic extracts were tested for inhibition of IL2-induced pAKT and pSTAT5 signaling in expanded CD4+ human donor T cells. Total CD4+ T cells were isolated from human PBMCs by magnetic negative selection

(Stemcell Technologies) and expanded ex vivo using T cell expander beads (Life

Technologies) in RPMI containing 10% FCS. Cultures were split as needed, and assayed on day 7 of culture. Cells were starved overnight before assay (beads removed by magnetic depletion, and cells washed and re-suspended in medium containing 1 % FCS). At time of assay, cells were counted, washed, and plated in (RPMI 0.1 % BSA) a 96 well V-bottom plate, 1 -200 000 cells/well in 60 μΙ. The Plate was returned to a 37°C incubator to maintain temperature. 2x IL-2:periplasmic extract complexes were prepared, incubated at 37°C for 20 min, and added to plated cells. Final IL2 concentration was 1 ng/ml; final periplasmic extract dilution was 1 in 4. Plates were returned to the 37°C incubator for 5.5 minutes; plates were centrifuged for 3 minutes; supernatant was discarded, and cell pellets were resuspended in HTRF lysis buffer containing signaling inhibitors (CisBio). The resulting lysate was split and used in an HTRF assay for pAKT or pSTAT5 following the manufacturer's protocol (CisBio). Data were normalized to control wells on each plate containing no IL2 stimulation or IL2 with a negative control periplasmic extract, and percent inhibition of IL2-induced phospho-signaling was calculated for each scFv.

Two hundred anti-IL2 scFvs showing functional inhibition of phospho-signaling by more than 20% were reformatted to full IgG by amplification of the heavy and light variable regions by PCR and cloning into an expression vector containing an lgG1 constant region, and expressed by transient transfection of HEK293 mammalian cell culture.

Human PBMC-derived Tregs were sorted by flow cytometry, resulting in a population that was CD4+CD25hiCD127lo, and expanded with human IL-2 (16 ng/ml) and Treg expansion beads (Life Technologies) as previously published (Putnam et al., Diabetes. 2009 Mar;58(3):652-62). IL-2 was replenished every 2-3 days, and cells were re-stimulated with Treg expansion beads on day 9 of culture. A proliferation assay was performed on either day 9 or day 16 of culture (7 days after re-stimulation). CD8+ T cells were isolated from human PBMCs at the time of assay, using magnetic negative selection kits (Stemcell Technologies). For activated CD8+ cultures, CD8+ T cells were isolated 1 week prior to the assay and were stimulated with T cell expander beads (Life Technologies), and cultures were split as needed.

The day before the assay, 96-well white clear bottom plates (Corning) were coated with 5 g/ml goat anti-Mouse IgG capture Ab (Jackson) and plates were incubated at 4°C overnight. The next day, plates were washed with PBS and incubated with anti-CD3 0.5 pg/ml (BD Biosciences, clone UCHT1 ) at 37°C for 1 -2 hrs. Cells (Tregs, CD8+, activated CD8+) were collected and washed, and if expansion beads were present they were removed by magnetic depletion. Plates were washed with PBS, and cells were plated (50 000 cells/well in 50 μΙ). Anti-CD28 (1 g/ml final) was added to Tregs only. 2x IL-2:Antibody complexes were prepared, and added to cells in 50 μΙ. Final assay volume was 100 μΙ, and final IL-2 concentration was 1 ng/ml. The assay was performed in Treg culture medium: X-Vivo 15 (Lonza) with 10% heat inactivated human serum. After 3 days incubation (37°C humidified CO2 incubator) proliferation was assessed using Cell Titer Glo (Promega) read out on an EnVision® plate reader. Proliferation was normalized to internal plate controls, including un-stimulated cells and isotype control, and data were plotted as percent of maximal proliferation. The area under the curve for each Ab was calculated by using the normalized Ab dose response data.

Results

IL-2 antibodies were identified belonging to different functional classes: no inhibition of IL-2-induced proliferation, inhibition of IL-2-induced proliferation in all cell types (CD8+ and Tregs), or selective inhibition of CD8+ cells while not impacting Treg proliferation (i.e., Treg sparing), such as monoclonal antibodies 24E5 and 23E6 (Figures 1A-1 C). Additionally, mAbs differed in their ability to inhibit proliferation of activated CD8+ T cells expressing high levels of CD25, as indicated in Figures 1 B and 1 C, and data shown. These results demonstrate that different anti-IL-2 Abs can promote differential functional outcomes, and that some Abs can selectively spare Treg proliferation. These data are summarized in Figure 1 D.

Example 2. Anti-IL-2 Abs inhibit activation induced CD25 expression on CD8+ T cells Tregs and CD8+ T cells (as described in Example 1 ) were stimulated with plate- bound aCD3 and IL-2:Ab complexes, as in Example 1 . 16hr after stimulation, cells were harvested, fixed (4% paraformaldehyde), permeabilized (Saponin permeabilization buffer, eBioscience) and stained for CD25 expression (BD Biosciences). Samples were analyzed by flow cytometry, and mean fluorescence intensity plotted.

Results

Up-regulation of CD25, the high affinity IL-2Ra chain on CD8+ T cells was inhibited by IL-2 Abs, both an inhibitory mAb and Treg-sparing mAb 24E5, in a dose- dependent manner (Figure 2). Tregs had high CD25 expression at the start of the experiment, and this was not altered by anti-IL-2 Ab treatment.

Example 3. Inhibition of pAKT and pSTA 75 by different functional classes of anti-IL-2 antibodies

Total CD4+ T cells were isolated from human PBMCs by magnetic negative selection (Stemcell Technologies) and expanded ex vivo using T cell expander beads (Life Technologies) in RPMI containing 10% FCS. Cultures were split as needed, and assayed on day 7 of culture. Cells were starved overnight before assay (beads removed by magnetic depletion, and cells washed and re-suspended in medium containing 1 % FCS). At time of assay, cells were counted, washed, and plated in (RPMI 0.1 % BSA) a 96 well V-bottom plate, 1 -200 000 cells/well in 60 μΙ. The plate was returned to 37°C incubator to maintain temperature. 2x IL-2:Ab complexes were prepared, incubated at 37°C for 20 min, and added to plated cell. Plates were returned to 37°C incubator, and signaling was stopped by addition of an equal volume of Fixation buffer (BD Biosciences), and incubated at 4°C for 15 min-1 hr. Cells were pelleted, and Permeabilization buffer III (BD Biosciences) was used to resuspend cells, followed by 30min incubation on ice. After washing (PBS+0.2%BSA) cells were stained with pAKT (Cell Signaling) and pSTAT5 (BD Biosciences) flow cytometry antibodies. Data were collected on LSR Fortessa, analyzed using FlowJo software, and plotted as percent positive.

Results

Inhibitory anti-IL-2 abs and Treg-sparing mAbs (24E5) inhibit pAKT and pSTAT5 levels in CD4+ T cells (Figures 4A-4B). For each anti-IL-2 monoclonal antibody, the inhibition of pSTAT5 and pAKT were comparable, and indeed the EC50 values are very similar. However, there does appear to be a difference between the potency of the inhibitory mAbs and the Treg sparing mAbs (24E5), as the EC50 for the inhibitory mAb is -10 fold lower than 24E5. These data suggest that the ratio of inhibition of pAKT:pSTAT5 at a single time point in total CD4+ T cells is not useful in identifying Treg sparing abs.

Example 4. Anti-IL-2 mAb binding kinetics

Antibody binding kinetics were measured on a Biacore T200 (GE Healthcare) in HBS-P buffer (Biacore BR100671 , diluted to 1 *). A streptavidin Biacore chip (Sensor Chip SA) was immobilized with -2000 RU of biotinylated anti-human antibody (Jackson #109-065-008). Anti-IL-2 monoclonal antibodies were expressed transiently in

Expi293F mammalian cells (Life Technologies), purified by MabSelectSure

chromatography (GE Healthcare) and diluted to 5 ng/ml, captured for 30 sec at 10 μΙ/min onto FC2 and FC4. Human IL-2 (Humanzyme, HumanKine IL-2) was diluted from 25 nM to 0.39 nM in 2-fold dilutions, injected for 3 min at 30 μΙ/min, and allowed to dissociate for 20 min. Alternatively, mouse IL-2 (Peprotech #212-12) was diluted from 50 nM down to 0.78 nM in 2-fold dilutions and injected as above. The chip was regenerated with 0.1 M glycine (pH1 .7). Data were analyzed using Biacore T200 Evaluation Software (Version 1 .0) as FC2-FC1 and FC4-FC3, where FC1 and FC3 have only the capture antibody immobilized.

The affinity of mAb JES6-1 (Rat lgG2a; JES6-1A12 - eBioscience #16-7022) for mouse IL-2 (Peprotech #212-12) was measured on a Biacore T200 (GE Healthcare) in HBS-P buffer. A sensor chip CM5 was immobilized with ~1 1000 RU of anti-mouse IgG capture antibody by amine coupling using the Biacore Mouse Antibody Capture Kit (BR- 1008-38). JES6-1 was captured for 30sec at Ι ΟμΙ/min, -135RU total. Mouse IL-2 was diluted to 0.5-20 nM, injected for 10min at 30μΙ/ηηίη, and allowed to dissociate for 20min. Results

The inhibitory Abs tested have a higher affinity for IL-2 than do the Treg-sparing Abs tested (Figures 4A-4B). Three anti-hlL-2 antibodies (16B2, 24E7, inhibitory mAb1 ) were cross-reactive to mouse IL-2, albeit at lower affinity (Figures 4D-4E). The binding affinity of IL2Ra for human IL-2 and the binding affinity of commercial antibody JES6-1 for mouse IL-2 are also shown for comparison (Figures 4C and 4F).

Example 5. IL-2 receptor blocking by anti-IL-2 mAbs

The ability of anti-IL-2 antibodies to block binding of IL-2 receptor fragments to IL-

2 was tested using flow cytometry and yeast cells displaying human IL-2 on their surface via fusion to a membrane anchored scaffold. Yeast displaying human IL-2 were incubated in PBS 0.1 %BSA with 25nM anti-IL-2 IgG with addition of 50nM extracellular domain of IL2Ra (Peprotech #200-02R) that had been biotinylated (EZ-Link Sulfo-NHS- LC-Biotin (Thermo Pierce)). Cells were washed and IL2Ra-biotin was detected with streptavidin-PE (Life Technologies). Mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) was measured on an Accuri C6 flow cytometer and analyzed with CFlow v1 .0 software. Alternatively, yeast displaying human IL-2 were incubated in PBS 0.1 %BSA with 25nM anti-IL-2 IgG, followed by addition of 100nM streptavidin-PE that had been complexed with biotin- tagged extracellular domain of IL2Rb to form PE-labeled IL2Rb tetramers. Cells were washed, and bound IL2Rb was detected by flow cytometry as above. Anti-IL-2 binding at 25nM to hlL-2 on yeast was confirmed separately for all antibodies (data not shown) by secondary labeling with anti-human IgG-PE or anti-mouse IgG-PE (for mAb5344 (BD Pharmingen) and mAb602 (R&D Systems)).

Antibody binding site epitopes were analyzed using an Octet QK384 System (Pall Life Sciences) (data not shown). Human IL-2 was fused at its N-terminus with a 6- histidine purification tag (SEQ ID NO: 81 ), expressed transiently in HEK293 mammalian cell culture, purified by Ni-NTA affinity chromatography, and chemically biotinylated with EZ-Link NHS-PEG4-Biotin (Thermo Pierce). Streptavidin coated biosensors (ForteBio 18-5019) were coated with the biotinylated IL-2 protein (1 g/ml for 10 min) and loaded with test antibodies at 25 nM in PBS 0.05% BSA buffer. The pre-loaded biosensors were then dipped in 25 nM 24E5 antibody to determine whether the two antibodies have a competitive binding epitope. The biosensors were regenerated using IgG Elution Buffer (Thermo Pierce) and neutralized in PBS 0.05% BSA.

Results

All of the antibodies tested, except non-binding isotype negative control mAb, substantially blocked binding of IL2Ra to IL-2 on yeast, indicating that the binding epitope of the antibodies overlaps with the binding epitope of the receptor IL2a (Figure 5A. In contrast, binding of IL2Rb was not blocked by any of the Treg sparing antibodies tested, but was blocked by anti-IL2 mAb 5344 (Figure 5B).

Epitope binning demonstrated that all of the disclosed antibodies were

competitive with 24E5, indicating no broad differences in binding epitope specificity. Previously reported anti-hlL-2 mAb5344 (BD Pharmingen #555051 ) did not block binding of 24E5, indicating a distinct binding epitope on IL2. Commercially available mouse IL-2 monoclonal antibody JES6-1 also blocks both the IL2Ra and IL2Rb interfaces of IL-2 (Leon et al. 2013, "Mathematical models of the impact of IL2

modulation therapies on T cell dynamics" Frontiers in Immunology 4:439).

Example 6. Anti-IL-2 antibodies can enhance Treg proliferation

Tregs and CD8+ T cells (as described in Example 1 ) were stimulated with plate- bound aCD3 and IL-2:Ab complexes. In contrast to previous assays, the mAb was kept constant at 100 nM, while IL-2 was titrated from 10 ng/ml-0.04 ng/ml (650-2.6 pM).

Proliferation was assessed at day 4 using Cell Titer Glo (Promega). Proliferation was normalized to internal plate controls, including unstimulated cells and isotype control, and data were plotted as percent of maximal proliferation for each cell type.

Results

Tregs require exogenous IL-2 to proliferate in vitro, as they do not produce it themselves. IL-2 titration demonstrates the expected dose dependent proliferation of Tregs (Isotype data). We observed that some of our Treg sparing antibodies, in particular 16C3 and 18H4, increase Treg proliferation compared to Isotype control at low concentrations of IL-2 (Figure 6A). Other Treg sparing antibodies, including 24E5 and 16H7, demonstrate partial inhibition of Treg proliferation at high concentrations of IL-2. All Abs tested inhibited CD8+ T cell proliferation, although monoclonal antibodies 16C3 and 18H4 were slightly less potent (Figure 6B).

This data demonstrates that within the Treg sparing class of antibodies, a subset exists of abs capable of increasing Treg proliferation in vitro, while inhibiting CD8+ T cell proliferation. These pro-Treg Abs (16C3, 18H4) might be of particular benefit in autoimmune settings where Treg access to IL-2 is limited.

Example 7. Phenotype of Tregs after IL-2:anti-IL-2 mAb Treatment

Tregs (as described in Example 1 ) were stimulated with plate-bound aCD3 and IL-2:Ab complexes, 1 ng/ml IL-2:100 nM Ab. On Day 4 of assay, cells were collected, fixed, permeabilized and stained using FOXP3 buffer kit and protocol (eBioscience). Cells were stained using a viability dye (Live/Dead Invitrogen) before fixation, and after permeabilization with antibodies to CD3, CD4, FOXP3 (all eBioscience), and Helios (Biolegend). Data were collected on LSR Fortessa, and analyzed using FlowJo software to gate on live, single cell CD3+CD4+ cells.

Results

Culture of Tregs with Treg sparing antibodies (24E5) did not alter Helios and FOXP3 co-expression, and indeed FOXP3 MFI was slightly increased (Figures 7A-7C). A minor population of FOXP3negHeliosneg cells was reduced when mAb 24E5 was added to the culture, as compared to the isotype control. Overall, these data suggest that the Treg phenotype is maintained after treatment with Treg sparing mAbs. Additional data (not shown) confirm expression of many markers associated with Treg phenotype, including CD25hl, CD12710, and CTLA4 expression. Treg function is also maintained following treatment with IL-2 mAbs, assessed by in vitro suppression assay, TSDR (Treg specific demethylated region) analysis, and cytokine profile (intracellular cytokine staining after PMA/lonomycin stimulation) (data not shown).

Example 8. Anti-IL-2 mAbs increase Tregs in human PBMC assay

Mononuclear cells were isolated from peripheral blood of healthy donors by gradient centrifugation. The human PBMCs were plated at the concentration of 1 x 105 per well in a 96 well round bottom plate and stimulated with soluble aCD3 (0.3ug/ml, clone UCHT1 BD Biosciences) and aCD28 (1 ug/ml, BD Biosciences). Complexes of human IL-2 (5ng/ml final) with IL-2 mAbs (1 .5, 6.25, 25, 100 nM) were pre-incubated for 30 min at 37°C prior to addition to cells. Assay medium was RPMI supplemented with pen/strep, sodium pyruvate, non-essential amino acids, hepes, and 10% heat

inactivated human serum. The cells were fed with medium and IL-2:Ab complexes (5 ng/ml IL-2: 1 .5-100 nM mAb) on day 3. On day 5 cells were harvested and stained with a viability dye (AmCyan), CD3 PeCy7, CD4 PercP-Cy5.5, CD8 APC-H7, Foxp3 APC and Helios Pe, using the Foxp3 buffer set (eBioscience) to fix and permeabilize cells. At the end of the staining, the cells were resuspended in 140 μΙ of PBS and 10ul of CountBrite beads (Life Technologies) are added. The assay was run in duplicate, with 2 or 3 donors in parallel. Flow cytometry was performed on LSR Fortessa using HTS plate sampler, and data were analyzed in FlowJo.

Absolute number is calculated based on ratio of cell events to beads and the final bead concentration, as per manufacture instructions.

Tregs were defined as live, single cells that are CD3+CD4+FOXP3+Helios+, as indicated in the dot plots in Figures 8A-8D. Fold increase is determined based on unstimulated (no aCD3/28 antibodies) sample for each donor.

Results

Anti-IL-2 mAbs complexed with IL-2 increased the number of Tregs present at the end of the assay (day 5) in a dose dependent manner (Figure 8A). Isotype control antibody had no significant effect on any cell type tested (Figures 8B-8D). NK cells were not increased by Treg sparing mAbs. These data demonstrate that the Treg sparing effects of anti-IL-2 mAbs can be observed in a heterogeneous, mixed population where competition for IL-2 is present.

Example 9. Anti-IL-2 mAbs increase the ratio of Treps to CD8+ or CD4+ T cells in a human PBMC assay

As described in Example 8, human PBMCs were stimulated with aCD3/CD28 with IL-2:Ab complexes as indicated. After 5 days culture, cells were stained with a viability dye (AmCyan), CD3 PeCy7, CD4 PercP-Cy5.5, CD8 APC-H7, Foxp3 APC and Helios Pe, and run on flow cytometer, as described in Example 8. Absolute cell numbers per well were used to calculate the ratio of Tregs to CD8+ or CD4+ (non-Treg) T cells. A representative plot from one donor is shown to demonstrate dose response (Figures 9A-9B), and data from multiple donors (>3) were compiled at a single concentration of Ab (100 nM) to assess donor variability (Figures 9C-9D). Statistical significance was determined using a paired t test (two-tailed) between mAb and Isotype groups.

Results

Anti-IL-2 mAbs increased the ratio of Tregs to CD8+ or CD4+ T cells, as compared to the isotype control, in a dose dependent manner. Data compiled from multiple donors demonstrate that at 100 nM, the ratio of Tregs to CD8+ or CD4+ T cells was significantly increased with mAbs 16C3, 16H7, 24E5, and 16B2 (2-10 fold increase) (Figures 9C-9D). IL-2 mAbs also increased the ratio of Tregs to NK cells (data not shown). These data demonstrate that Treg sparing anti-IL-2 mAbs can shift the balance of regulatory cells to effector cells in a physiologically relevant, mixed population PBMC assay ex vivo. Additional data (not shown) suggests that similar activity is observed with IL-2 mAb treatment (Treg sparing) alone, and that addition of exogenous IL-2 is not required to shift Treg: effector T cell ratio.

Example 10. Anti-IL-2 mAbs increase Treps in a mouse splenocyte assay

B6 Foxp3 GFP mice were sacrificed with CO2 and the spleens were harvested and processed. The splenocytes were plated at the concentration of 1 x 105 each well in a 96 well round bottom plate and stimulated with soluble aCD3 (100ng/ml) + aCD28 (1 ug/ml), and IL-2 mAbs (1 .5, 6.25, 25, 100 nM). The splenocytes were incubated for 3 days at 37°C. The cells were collected and stained with viability dye (AmCyan) to exclude dead cells, CD4 Pac Blue, CD8 APC, CD25 Pe-cy7. At the end of the staining, the cells were resuspended in 140 μΙ of PBS and 10 μΙ of CountBrite beads were added. Absolute cell numbers were determined as described in Example 8. The assay was run in duplicate. Tregs are defined as live, single cells that are CD3+CD4+FOXP3+Helios+. Fold increase is determined based on absolute cell numbers in unstimulated (no aCD3/CD28) sample.

Results

Some of our mAbs generated against human IL-2 cross react with mouse IL-2 (16B2 and 24E7). We tested 16B2 and 24E7 in a mouse splenocyte assay in vitro, analogous to the human PBMC assay. The Treg sparing mAbs 16B2 and 24E7 increased mouse Treg numbers, relative to an isotype control (Figures 10A-10C).

Overall, this data suggests agreement between mouse and human ex vivo assays.

Example 11. Pilot in vivo study- selective sparing of Treg proliferation in mice

C57BL/6 wild type mice received a daily intraperitoneal injection of 0.5 g recombinant mouse IL-2 complexed with increasing dose (5, 25,125 g) of anti-IL-2 mAbs 16B2, 24E7, JES6-1 , or isotype control for 5 days. Complexes were formed by incubation for 30 min at 37°C prior to injection. Mice were sacrificed with CO2 at day 7, the spleens were harvested, processed and stained with CD4 Pac Orange, CD25 PercP-Cy5.5, NK1 .1 Pac Blue, CD8 APC and Foxp3 FITC to define Treg population. Serum was collected at study termination on day 7 by a cardiac puncture. Stained single cell suspensions were analyzed with a LSRII flow cytometer running FACS Diva and files were analyzed and presented with FLOWJO Software. Tregs are plotted as percent of CD4+ T cells, and defined as previously (CD3+CD4+Helios+FOXP3+).

Results

This pilot study with wild type mice demonstrated a dose dependent increase in Tregs (as a percentage of CD4+ cells) with anti-IL-2 mAb 16B2 complexed to mouse IL- 2 (Figure 1 1 B). In parallel, CD4+ cells (non-Treg, percent of total splenocytes) demonstrated a dose dependent decrease (Figure 1 1 A). The commercially available IL- 2 Ab JES6-1 has been previously described to increase Tregs when complexed with IL- 2. The top two doses of 16B2, 25 and 125 g, showed activity comparable or greater than that observed with 5 pg JES6-1 . CD8+ cells were not inhibited by 16B2 or JES6-1 (Figure 1 1 C). No effect on NK cells was observed (Figure 1 1 D). Overall, these data are supportive of Treg sparing mAb 16B2 promoting Treg expansion in vivo.

Example 12. Kinetics and functional effects of 16C3 variant antibodies Antibody binding kinetics for the 16C3 variant antibodies were measured as described in Example 4.

16C3 variant antibodies and other anti-IL-2 antibodies were tested in proliferation assays and pSTAT5 signaling activity assays withTregs and CD8+ T cells (as described in Example 1 ). The IL-2 conentration was left constant while the antibody concentration was varied.

Results

The 16C3 variant antibodies tested have higher affinity for IL-2 than than the parent antibody (Figure 12). The variant antibodies demonstrate selective inhibition of CD8+ cells while increasing Treg proliferation (i.e., pro-Treg) at lower doses than the parent antibody and show a correlation between higher affinity and lower IC50 (Figures 13, 14A-14B, 15A-15B and 16A-16B). The effect of anti-IL-2 antibodies on pSTAT5 signaling in Tregs and CD8+ T cells also correlated with the affinity of the antibodies (Figure 17).

Table 1 : Sequence Listing Table

CDR amino acid sequences are underlined.

CLIg- SEQ ID NO:1 GQPKAAPSVTLFPPSSEELQANKATLVCLISDFYPGAVT hLambda VAWKADSSPVKAGVE I I I PSKQSNNKYAASSYLSLTP

EQWKSHRSYSCQVTHEGSTVEKTVAPTECS

CHIg- SEQ ID NO:2 ASTKGPSVFPLAPSSKSTSGGTAALGCLVKDYFPEPVT hG1 -3mut VSWNSGALTSGVHTFPAVLQSSGLYSLSSWTVPSSSL

GTQTYICNVNHKPSNTKVDKKVEPKSCDKTHTCPPCPA

PEAAGAPSVFLFPPKPKDTLMISRTPEVTCVWDVSHE

DPEVKFNWYVDGVEVHNAKTKPREEQYNSTYRWSVL

TVLHQDWLNGKEYKCKVSNKALPAPIEKTISKAKGQPR

EPQVYTLPPSREEMTKNQVSLTCLVKGFYPSDIAVEWE

SNGQPENNYKTTPPVLDSDGSFFLYSKLTVDKSRWQQ

GNVFSCSVMHEALHNHYTQKSLSLSPGK

13G8 VL SEQ ID NO:3 SYELTQPPSVSVSPGQTARITCSGDALPRKFAYWYQQ

KSGQAPVMVIYEDSKRPPGIPERFSGSSSGTMATLTIT GAQVEDEADYYCYSTDSGGDVSVFGGGTKLTVL

13G8 VH SEQ ID NO:4 QVQLQESGPGLVKPSGTLSLTCAVSGGSISSSNWWS

WVRQPPGKGLEWIGEIYHSGSTNYNPSLKSRVTISVDK SKNQFSLKLSSVTAADTAVYYCASGTEVGAPHGFDYW GRGTLVTVSS

16B2 VL SEQ ID NO:5 SYELTQPPSVSVSPGQTARITCSGDALPRKFAYWYQQ

KSGQAPVMVIYGDSKRPPGIPERFSGSSSGTMATLTIT GAQVEDEADYYCYSTDSGGDVSVFGGGTKLTVL

16B2 VH SEQ ID NO:6 QVQLVQSGAEVKKPGASVKVSCKASGYTFTSYGISWV

RQAPGQGLEWMGWISAYNGNTNYAQKLQGRVTMTTD TSTSTAYMELRSLRSDDTAVYYCAREGAIYYDSSGYYF PFDYWGQGTLVTVSS

C3VL SEQ ID NO:7 SYELTQPPSLSVSPGQTATISCSGDAFPRKFAYWYQQ

KSGQAPVLVIYEDTRRPSGIPERFSGSSSGTMATLTISG

AQVEDEADYFCYSTDTTGTHRVFGGGTKLTVL C3 VH SEQ ID NO:8 QVQLVQSGGGWQPGRSLRLSCAASGFTFSNYAMNW

VRQAPGKGLEWVTLISYDGSQKYYADSVKGRFTTSRD NSKNTLYLQMNSLRAEDTAVYYCARDSTTLGAFDVWG QGTMVTVSS H7 VL SEQ ID NO:9 SYELTQPPSVSVSPGQMATITCSGDALPRKYAYWYQQ

KSGQAPVLVIYEDSKRPSGISERFSGSSSGTVATLTITG AQVDDEADYYCFSTDLSGDRSVFGGGTKLTVL H7 VH SEQ ID NO:10 QVQLVQSGAEVKKPGESLKISCKGSGYSFTSYWIGWV

RQMPGKGLEWMGIIYPGDSDTRYSPSFQGQVTISADK SISTAYLQWSSLKASDTAMYYCARLSGSYSAFDIWGQ GTMVTVSS H4 VL SEQ ID NO:3 SYELTQPPSVSVSPGQTARITCSGDALPRKFAYWYQQ

KSGQAPVMVIYEDSKRPPGIPERFSGSSSGTMATLTIT GAQVEDEADYYCYSTDSGGDVSVFGGGTKLTVL H4 VH SEQ ID NO:1 1 EVQLVQSGAEVKKPGASVKVSCKASGYTFTSYGISWV

RQAPGQGLEWMGWISAYNGNTNYAQKLQGRVTMTTD TSTSTAYMELRSLRSDDTAVYYCARDLYSLYYYDSSGK FDYWGQGTLVTVSS E6 VL SEQ ID NO:3 SYELTQPPSVSVSPGQTARITCSGDALPRKFAYWYQQ

KSGQAPVMVIYEDSKRPPGIPERFSGSSSGTMATLTIT GAQVEDEADYYCYSTDSGGDVSVFGGGTKLTVL

23E6 VH SEQ ID NO:12 EVQLVQSGAEVKKPGASVKVSCKASGYSFTTYGISWV

RQAPGQGLEWMGWISAHNGNTDYAQKFQGRVTMTK DTSTSTVYMELRSLRSDDTAVYYCARDGYHYGSGSYD NAGFDHWGQGTLVTVSS

24E5 VL SEQ ID NO:3 SYELTQPPSVSVSPGQTARITCSGDALPRKFAYWYQQ

KSGQAPVMVIYEDSKRPPGIPERFSGSSSGTMATLTIT GAQVEDEADYYCYSTDSGGDVSVFGGGTKLTVL

24E5 VH SEQ ID NO:13 QMQLVQSGAEVKKPGESLEISCEGSGYSFSTYWIGWV

RQMPGKGLEWMGIIYPDDSDTRYSPSFQGQVTISADK SISTAYLQWSSLKASDTAVYYCARGGGPFDYWGQGTL VTVSS

24E7 VL SEQ ID NO:14 SYELTQPPSVSVSPGQTARITCSGDALPRKYAYWYQQ

KSGQAPVLVIYEDSKRPSGIPERFSGSSSGTMATLTISG

AQVEDEADYYCYSTDRSGNFWVFGGGTKVTVL

24E7 VH SEQ ID NO:15 QVQLVQSGAEVKKPGESLKISCKGSGYSFTSYWIGWV

RQMPGKGLEWMGIIYPGDSDTRYSPSFQGQVTISADK SISTAYLQWSSLKASDTAMYYCARETLAAVGSNYYYYG MDVWGQGTTVTVSS

CLIg- SEQ ID NO:16 GGTCAGCCCAAGGCTGCCCCCTCGGTCACTCTGTTC hLambda CCACCCTCCTCTGAGGAGCTTCAAGCCAACAAGGCC

ACACTG GTGTGTCTCATAAGTG ACTTCTACCCG G G A GCCGTGACAGTGGCCTGGAAGGCAGATAGCAGCCC CGTCAAGGCGGGAGTGGAGACCACCACACCCTCCA AACAAAGCAACAACAAGTACGCGGCCAGCAGCTACC

TGAGCCTGACGCCTGAGCAGTGGAAGTCCCACAGAA GCTACAGCTGCCAGGTCACGCATGAAGGGAGCACC GTG G AG AAG ACAGTG GCCCCTACAG AATGTTCA

CHIg- SEQ ID NO:17 GCCTCCACCAAGGGCCCATCGGTCTTCCCCCTGGCA hG1 -3mut CCCTCCTCCAAGAGCACCTCTGGGGGCACAGCGGC

CCTGGGCTGCCTGGTCAAGGACTACTTCCCCGAACC

GGTGACGGTGTCGTGGAACTCAGGCGCCCTGACCA

GCGGCGTGCACACCTTCCCGGCTGTCCTACAGTCCT

CAGGACTCTACTCCCTCAGCAGCGTAGTGACCGTGC

CCTCCAGCAGCTTGGGCACCCAGACCTACATCTGCA

ACGTGAATCACAAGCCCAG CAACACCAAG GTG G ACA

AGAAAGTTGAGCCCAAATCTTGTGACAAAACTCACAC

ATGCCCACCGTGCCCAGCACCTGAAGCCGCTGGGG

CACCGTCAGTCTTCCTCTTCCCTCCAAAACCCAAGG

ACACCCTCATG ATCTCCCG G ACCCCTG AG GTCACAT

GCGTGGTGGTGGACGTGAGCCACGAAGACCCTGAG

GTCAAGTTCAACTGGTACGTGGACGGCGTGGAGGT

GCATAATGCCAAGACAAAGCCGCGGGAGGAGCAGT

ACAACAGCACGTACCGTGTGGTCAGCGTCCTCACCG

TCCTGCACC AG G ACTG GCTG AATG GCAAG G AGTACA

AGTGCAAGGTCTCCAACAAAGCCCTCCCAGCCCCCA

TCGAGAAAACCATCTCCAAAGCCAAAGGGCAGCCCC

GAGAACCACAGGTGTACACCCTGCCCCCATCCCGG

GAGGAGATGACCAAGAACCAGGTCAGCCTGACCTG

CCTGGTCAAAGGCTTCTATCCCAGCGACATCGCCGT

GGAGTGGGAGAGCAATGGGCAGCCGGAGAACAACT

ACAAGACCACGCCTCCCGTGCTGGACTCCGACGGC

TCCTTCTTCCTCTATAGCAAGCTCACCGTGGACAAGA

GCAGGTGGCAGCAGGGGAACGTCTTCTCATGCTCC

GTGATGCATGAGGCTCTGCACAACCACTACACGCAG AAGAGCCTCTCCCTGTCTCCGGGTAAA G8 VL SEQ ID NO:18 AGCTATGAGCTGACACAGCCACCCTCGGTGTCAGTG

TCCCCAG G ACAAAC GGCCAG G ATC ACCTGCTCTG G A GATGCATTGCCAAGAAAA I I I GCTTATTGGTACCAGC AGAAGTCAGGCCAGGCCCCTGTGATGGTCATCTATG AGGACAGCAAACGACCCCCCGGGATCCCTGAGAGA TTCTCTG GCTCCAGCTCAG G G ACAATG GCCACCTTG ACTATCACTGGGGCCCAGGTGGAGGATGAAGCTGA CTACTATTGTTACTCAACAGACAGTGGTGGTGATGTC TCGG I I I I CGGCGGAGGGACCAAGCTGACCGTCCTA G8 VH SEQ ID NO:19 CAGGTGCAGCTGCAGGAGTCGGGCCCAGGACTGGT

GAAGCCTTCGGGGACCCTGTCCCTCACCTGCGCTGT

CTCTGGTGGCTCCATCAGCAGTAGTAACTGGTGGAG

TTGGGTCCGCCAGCCCCCAGGGAAGGGGCTGGAGT

G G ATTG G G G AAATCTATCATAGTG G G AGCACCAACT

ACAACCCGTCCCTCAAGAGTCGAGTCACCATATCAG

TAGACAAGTCCAAGAACCAGTTCTCCCTGAAGCTGA

GCTCTGTGACCGCCGCGGACACGGCCGTGTATTACT

GTGCGAGCGGAACGGAAGTGGGAGCTCCTCATGGC

I I I GACTACTGGGGCCGTGGCACCCTGGTCACCGTC

TCGAGC B2 VL SEQ ID NO:20 AGCTATGAGCTGACACAGCCACCCTCGGTGTCAGTG

TCCCCAG G ACAAAC GGCCAG G ATC ACCTGCTCTG G A GATGCATTGCCAAGAAAA I I I GCTTATTGGTACCAGC AGAAGTCAGGCCAGGCCCCTGTGATGGTCATCTATG GGGACAGCAAACGACCCCCCGGGATCCCTGAGAGA TTCTCTG GCTCCAGCTCAG G G ACAATG GCCACCTTG ACTATCACTGGGGCCCAGGTGGAGGATGAAGCTGA CTACTATTGTTACTCAACAGACAGTGGTGGTGATGTC TCGG I I I I CGGCGGAGGGACCAAGCTGACCGTCCTA B2 VH SEQ ID NO:21 CAGGTGCAGCTGGTGCAATCTGGAGCTGAGGTGAA

GAAGCCTGGGGCCTCAGTGAAGGTCTCCTGCAAGG

CTTCTGGTTACACC I I I ACCAGCTATGGTATCAGCTG

GGTGCGACAGGCCCCTGGACAAGGGCTTGAGTGGA

TGGGATGGATCAGCG CTTAC AATG GTAAC AC AAACT

ATGCACAGAAGCTCCAGGGCAGAGTCACCATGACCA

CAGACACATCCACGAGCACAGCCTACATGGAGCTGA

GGAGCCTGAGATCTGACGACACGGCCGTGTATTACT

GTGCGAGAGAGGGGGCGA I I I ACTATGATAGTAGTG

GTTATTACTTCCCC I I I GACTACTGGGGCCAGGGAA

CCCTGGTCACCGTCTCGAGC C3 VL SEQ ID NO:22 AGCTATGAGCTGACACAGCCACCCTCGCTGTCAGTG

TCCCCAGGACAAACGGCCACGATCAGCTGCTCTGGT

GATGCATTCCCAAGAAAG I I I GCTTATTGGTACCAGC

AGAAGTCAGGCCAGGCCCCTGTGTTGGTCATCTATG

AGGACACCAGACGACCCTCCGGGATCCCTGAGAGA

TTCTCTGGTTCCAGCTCAGGGACAATGGCCACCTTG

ACTATCAGTGGGGCCCAGGTGGAGGATGAAGCTGA

CTACTTCTGTTACTCAACAGACACCACTGGCACTCAT

AGAGTGTTCGGCGGAGGGACCAAGCTGACCGTCCT

A C3 VH SEQ ID NO:23 CAGGTGCAGCTGGTGCAGTCTGGGGGAGGCGTGGT

CCAGCCTGGGAGGTCCCTGAGACTCTCCTGTGCAG

CCTCTGGATTCACCTTCAGTAACTATGCTATGAACTG

GGTCCGCCAGGCTCCAGGCAAGGGGCTGGAGTGGG

TGACACTTATATCATATGATGGAAGCCAAAAATACTA

CGCAGACTCCGTGAAGGGCCGATTCACCACCTCCAG

AGACAATTCCAAGAACACTCTGTATCTGCAAATGAAC

AGCCTGAGAGCTGAGGACACGGCTGTCTATTACTGT

GCGAGAGACTCAACTACCCTTGGTGC I I I I GATGTCT GGGGCCAAGGGACAATGGTCACCGTCTCGAGC H7 VL SEQ ID NO:24 AGCTATGAGCTGACACAGCCACCCTCGGTGTCAGTG

TCCCCAGGACAAATGGCCACGATCACCTGCTCTGGA GATGCATTGCCAAGAAAATATGCTTATTGGTACCAGC AGAAGTCAGGCCAGGCCCCTGTGTTGGTCATCTATG AG G ACTCCAAACG GCCCTCCG G G ATCTCTG AG AG AT TCTCTG GCTCCAGCTCAG G G ACAGTG GCCACCTTG A CTATC ACTG G G GCCCAAGTC GATG ATG AAGCTG ACT ACTATTG I I I CTCAACAGACCTCAGTGGTGATCGTAG TGTGTTCGGCGGAGGGACCAAGCTGACCGTCCTA H7 VH SEQ ID NO:25 CAGGTCCAGCTGGTGCAGTCTGGAGCAGAGGTGAA

AAAGCCCGGGGAGTCTCTGAAGATCTCCTGTAAGGG TTCTGGATACAGC I I I ACCAGCTACTGGATCGGCTG GGTGCGCCAGATGCCCGGGAAAGGCCTGGAGTGGA TG G G G ATCATCTATCCTG GTG ACTCTG ATACCAG ATA CAGCCCGTCCTTCCAAGGCCAGGTCACCATCTCAGC CGACAAGTCCATCAGCACCGCCTACCTGCAGTGGAG CAGCCTGAAGGCCTCGGACACCGCCATGTATTACTG TGCGAGACTGAGTGGGAGCTACTCTGC I I I I GATAT CTG G G GCCAAG G GACAATG GTC ACCGTCTCG AGC H4 VL SEQ ID NO:18 AGCTATGAGCTGACACAGCCACCCTCGGTGTCAGTG

TCCCCAG G ACAAAC GGCCAG G ATC ACCTGCTCTG G A GATGCATTGCCAAGAAAA I I I GCTTATTGGTACCAGC AGAAGTCAGGCCAGGCCCCTGTGATGGTCATCTATG AGGACAGCAAACGACCCCCCGGGATCCCTGAGAGA TTCTCTG GCTCCAGCTCAG G GACAATG GCCACCTTG ACTATCACTGGGGCCCAGGTGGAGGATGAAGCTGA CTACTATTGTTACTCAACAGACAGTGGTGGTGATGTC TCGG I I I I CGGCGGAGGGACCAAGCTGACCGTCCTA H4 VH SEQ ID NO:26 GAGGTCCAGCTGGTGCAGTCTGGAGCTGAGGTGAA

GAAGCCTGGGGCCTCAGTGAAGGTCTCCTGCAAGG

CTTCTGGTTACACC I I I ACCAGCTATGGTATCAGCTG

GGTGCGACAGGCCCCTGGACAAGGGCTTGAGTGGA

TGGGATGGATCAGCG CTTAC AATG GTAAC AC AAACT

ATGCACAGAAGCTCCAGGGCAGAGTCACCATGACCA

CAGACACATCCACGAGCACAGCCTACATGGAGCTGA

GGAGCCTGAGATCTGACGACACGGCCGTGTATTACT

GTGCGAGAGATCTCTACAGTC I I I ATTACTATGATAG

TAGTGGCAAA I I I GACTACTGGGGCCAGGGAACCCT

GGTCACCGTCTCGAGC E6 VL SEQ ID NO:18 AGCTATGAGCTGACACAGCCACCCTCGGTGTCAGTG

TCCCCAG G ACAAAC GGCCAG G ATC ACCTGCTCTG G A GATGCATTGCCAAGAAAA I I I GCTTATTGGTACCAGC AGAAGTCAGGCCAGGCCCCTGTGATGGTCATCTATG AGGACAGCAAACGACCCCCCGGGATCCCTGAGAGA TTCTCTG GCTCCAGCTCAG G G ACAATG GCCACCTTG ACTATCACTGGGGCCCAGGTGGAGGATGAAGCTGA CTACTATTGTTACTCAACAGACAGTGGTGGTGATGTC TCGG I I I I CGGCGGAGGGACCAAGCTGACCGTCCTA E6 VH SEQ ID NO:27 GAGGTCCAGCTGGTGCAGTCTGGAGCTGAGGTGAA

GAAGCCTGGGGCCTCAGTGAAGGTCTCCTGCAAGG CTTCTGGTTACAGC I I I ACCACCTATGGTATCAGCTG GGTGCGACAGGCCCCTGGACAAGGGCTTGAGTGGA TG G G ATG G ATCAGCGCCCACAATG GTAACACAG ATT ATGCACAGAAG I I I CAGGGCAGAGTCACCATGACCA AAGACACATCCACGAGTACAGTCTACATGGAGCTGA GGAGCCTGAGATCTGACGACACGGCCGTGTATTATT GTGCG AG AGATG G GTATC ACTATG GTTCG G G G AGTT ATGATAACGCGGGC I I I G ACCACTG G G GCCAG G G A ACCCTGGTCACCGTCTCGAGC E5 VL SEQ ID NO:18 AGCTATGAGCTGACACAGCCACCCTCGGTGTCAGTG

TCCCCAG G ACAAAC GGCCAG G ATC ACCTGCTCTG G A GATGCATTGCCAAGAAAA I I I GCTTATTGGTACCAGC AGAAGTCAGGCCAGGCCCCTGTGATGGTCATCTATG AGGACAGCAAACGACCCCCCGGGATCCCTGAGAGA TTCTCTG GCTCCAGCTCAG G G ACAATG GCCACCTTG ACTATCACTGGGGCCCAGGTGGAGGATGAAGCTGA CTACTATTGTTACTCAACAGACAGTGGTGGTGATGTC TCGG I I I I CGGCGGAGGGACCAAGCTGACCGTCCTA E5 VH SEQ ID NO:28 CAGATGCAGCTGGTGCAGTCTGGAGCAGAAGTGAAA

AAGCCCGGGGAGTCTCTGGAGATCTCCTGTGAGGG TTCTGGATACAGC I I I AGCACCTACTGGATCGGCTG GGTGCGCCAGATGCCCGGGAAAGGCCTGGAGTGGA TG G G G ATCATCTATCCTG ATG ACTCTGATACCAG ATA CAGCCCGTCCTTCCAAGGCCAGGTCACCATCTCAGC CGACAAGTCCATCAGCACCGCCTACCTGCAGTGGAG CAGCCTGAAGGCCTCGGACACCGCCG I I I ACTATTG TGCGAGGGGCGGGGGGCCC I I I GACTACTGGGGCC AGGGAACCCTGGTCACCGTCTCGAGC E7 VL SEQ ID NO:29 AGCTATGAGCTGACACAGCCACCCTCGGTGTCAGTG

TCCCCAG G ACAAAC GGCCAG G ATC ACCTGCTCTG G A

GATGCATTGCCAAGAAAATATGCTTATTGGTACCAGC

AGAAGTCAGGCCAGGCCCCTGTGCTGGTCATCTATG

AGGACAGCAAACGACCCTCCGGGATCCCTGAGAGAT

TCTCTG GCTCCAGCTCAG G G ACAATG GCCACCTTG A

CTATCAGTGGGGCCCAGGTGGAGGATGAAGCTGAC

TACTACTGTTACTCAACAGACAGGAGTGGTAATTTTT

GGGTGTTCGGCGGAGGGACCAAGGTCACCGTCCTA 24E7 VH SEQ ID NO:30 CAGGTGCAGCTGGTGCAGTCTGGAGCAGAGGTGAA

AAAGCCGGGGGAGTCTCTGAAGATCTCCTGTAAGGG

TTCTGGATACAGC I I I ACCAGCTACTGGATCGGCTG

GGTGCGCCAGATGCCCGGGAAAGGCCTGGAGTGGA

TG G G G ATCATCTATCCTG GTG ACTCTG ATACCAG ATA

CAGCCCGTCCTTCCAAGGCCAGGTCACCATCTCAGC

CGACAAGTCCATCAGCACCGCCTACCTGCAGTGGAG

CAGCCTGAAGGCCTCGGACACCGCCATGTATTACTG

TGCGAGGGAGACATTAGCAGCAGTTGGCTCTAATTA

CTACTACTACG GTATG G ACGTCTG G G GCCAAG G GAC

CACGGTCACCGTCTCGAGC

HUMAN SEQ ID NO:31 MYRMQLLSCIALSLALVTNSAPTSSSTKKTQLQLEHLLL IL-2 DLQMILNGINNYKNPKLTRMLTFKFYMPKKATELKHLQ

CLEEELKPLEEVLNLAQSKNFHLRPRDLISNINVIVLELK GSETTFMCEYADETATIVEFLNRWITFCQSIISTLT

CYNO IL- SEQ ID NO:32 MYRMQLLSCIALSLALVTNSAPTSSSTKKTQLQLEHLLL 2 DLQMILNGINNYKNPKLTRMLTFKFYMPKKATELRHLQ

CLEEELKPLEEVLNLAQSKSFHLRDTKDLISNINVIVLEL KGSETTLMCEYADETATIVEFLNRWITFCQSIISTLT

13A10 VL SEQ ID NO:3 SYELTQPPSVSVSPGQTARITCSGDALPRKFAYWYQQ

KSGQAPVMVIYEDSKRPPGIPERFSGSSSGTMATLTIT GAQVEDEADYYCYSTDSGGDVSVFGGGTKLTVL

13A10 VH SEQ ID NO:33 QVQLVESGGGLVQPGGSLRLSCAASGFSFSTHWMTW

VRQAPGKGLEWVANINQDGGEKYYVDSVKGRFTISRD NAKNSLYLQMNSLRAEDTALYYCARGYTISDWGQGTT VTVSS

16C3.1 VL SEQ ID NO:3 SYELTQPPSVSVSPGQTARITCSGDALPRKFAYWYQQ

KSGQAPVMVIYEDSKRPPGIPERFSGSSSGTMATLTIT GAQVEDEADYYCYSTDSGGDVSVFGGGTKLTVL

16C3.1 SEQ ID NO:8 QVQLVQSGGGWQPGRSLRLSCAASGFTFSNYAMNW VH VRQAPGKGLEWVTLISYDGSQKYYADSVKGRFTTSRD

NSKNTLYLQMNSLRAEDTAVYYCARDSTTLGAFDVWG QGTMVTVSS

16C3.2 VL SEQ ID NO:7 SYELTQPPSLSVSPGQTATISCSGDAFPRKFAYWYQQ

KSGQAPVLVIYEDTRRPSGIPERFSGSSSGTMATLTISG

AQVEDEADYFCYSTDTTGTHRVFGGGTKLTVL

16C3.2 SEQ ID NO:34 QVQLVQSGGGVVQPGRSLRLSCAASGFTFSNYAMNW VH VRQAPGKGLEWVTFITYDGHWKNYADSVKGRFTTSRD NSKNTLYLQMNSLRAEDTAVYYCARDSTTLGAFDVWG QGTMVTVSS

16C3.4 VL SEQ ID NO:7 SYELTQPPSLSVSPGQTATISCSGDAFPRKFAYWYQQ

KSGQAPVLVIYEDTRRPSGIPERFSGSSSGTMATLTISG

AQVEDEADYFCYSTDTTGTHRVFGGGTKLTVL

16C3.4 SEQ ID NO:35 QVQLVQSGGGVVQPGRSLRLSCAASGFTFSNYAMNW VH VRQAPG KG LEWVTS ISYDGAN REYADSVKG RFTTS RD NSKNTLYLQMNSLRAEDTAVYYCARDSTTLGAFDVWG QGTMVTVSS

16C3.5 VL SEQ ID NO:36 SYELTQPPSLSVSPGQTATISCSGDAFPRKFAYWYQQ

KSGQAPVLVIYEDTRRPSGIPERFSGSSSGTMATLTISG

AQVEDEADYFCYTTSSSGTHPVFGGGTKLTVL

16C3.5 SEQ ID NO:8 QVQLVQSGGGVVQPGRSLRLSCAASGFTFSNYAMNW VH VRQAPGKGLEWVTLISYDGSQKYYADSVKGRFTTSRD NSKNTLYLQMNSLRAEDTAVYYCARDSTTLGAFDVWG QGTMVTVSS

16C3.7 VL SEQ ID NO:37 SYELTQPPSLSVSPGQTATISCSGDAFPRKFAYWYQQ

KSGQAPVLVIYEDTRRPSGIPERFSGSSSGTMATLTISG

AQVEDEADYFCYSTEPTVAHPIFGGGTKLTVL

16C3.7 SEQ ID NO:8 QVQLVQSGGGVVQPGRSLRLSCAASGFTFSNYAMNW VH VRQAPGKGLEWVTLISYDGSQKYYADSVKGRFTTSRD NSKNTLYLQMNSLRAEDTAVYYCARDSTTLGAFDVWG QGTMVTVSS C3.9 VL SEQ ID NO:37 SYELTQPPSLSVSPGQTATISCSGDAFPRKFAYWYQQ

KSGQAPVLVIYEDTRRPSGIPERFSGSSSGTMATLTISG

AQVEDEADYFCYSTEPTVAHPIFGGGTKLTVL

C3.9 SEQ ID NO:35 QVQLVQSGGGVVQPGRSLRLSCAASGFTFSNYAMNW

VRQAPG KG LEWVTS ISYDGAN REYADSVKG RFTTS RD NSKNTLYLQMNSLRAEDTAVYYCARDSTTLGAFDVWG QGTMVTVSS

A10 VL SEQ ID NO:18 AGCTATGAGCTGACACAGCCACCCTCGGTGTCAGTG

TCCCCAG G ACAAAC GGCCAG G ATC ACCTGCTCTG G A GATGCATTGCCAAGAAAA I I I GCTTATTGGTACCAGC AGAAGTCAGGCCAGGCCCCTGTGATGGTCATCTATG AGGACAGCAAACGACCCCCCGGGATCCCTGAGAGA TTCTCTG GCTCCAGCTCAG G G ACAATG GCCACCTTG ACTATCACTGGGGCCCAGGTGGAGGATGAAGCTGA CTACTATTGTTACTCAACAGACAGTGGTGGTGATGTC TCGG I I I I CGGCGGAGGGACCAAGCTGACCGTCCTA

A10 VH SEQ ID NO:38 CAGGTGCAGCTGGTGGAGTCTGGGGGAGGCTTGGT

CCAGCCTGGGGGGTCCCTGAGACTCTCCTGTGCAG

CCTCTGGATTCAGCTTCAGTACCCATTGGATGACCT

GGGTCCGCCAGGCTCCAGGGAAAGGGCTGGAGTGG

GTGGCCAACATAAACCAAGATGGAGGTGAGAAGTAC

TATGTG GACTCTGTG AAG G GCCG ATTCACCATCTCC

AGAGACAACGCCAAGAATTCACTGTATCTGCAAATGA

ACAGCCTGAGAGCCGAGGACACGGCCCTGTATTACT

GTGCGAGGGGGTATACCATCAGCGATTGGGGCCAA

GGGACCACGGTCACCGTCTCGAGC

C3.1 VL SEQ ID NO:18 AGCTATGAGCTGACACAGCCACCCTCGGTGTCAGTG

TCCCCAG G ACAAAC GGCCAG G ATC ACCTGCTCTG G A GATGCATTGCCAAGAAAA I I I GCTTATTGGTACCAGC AGAAGTCAGGCCAGGCCCCTGTGATGGTCATCTATG AGGACAGCAAACGACCCCCCGGGATCCCTGAGAGA TTCTCTG GCTCCAGCTCAG G G ACAATG GCCACCTTG ACTATCACTGGGGCCCAGGTGGAGGATGAAGCTGA CTACTATTGTTACTCAACAGACAGTGGTGGTGATGTC

TCGG I I I I CGGCGGAGGGACCAAGCTGACCGTCCTA

16C3.1 SEQ ID NO:23 CAGGTGCAGCTGGTGCAGTCTGGGGGAGGCGTGGT VH CCAGCCTGGGAGGTCCCTGAGACTCTCCTGTGCAG

CCTCTGGATTCACCTTCAGTAACTATGCTATGAACTG

GGTCCGCCAGGCTCCAGGCAAGGGGCTGGAGTGGG

TGACACTTATATCATATGATGGAAGCCAAAAATACTA

CGCAGACTCCGTGAAGGGCCGATTCACCACCTCCAG

AGACAATTCCAAGAACACTCTGTATCTGCAAATGAAC

AGCCTGAGAGCTGAGGACACGGCTGTCTATTACTGT

GCGAGAGACTCAACTACCCTTGGTGC I I I I GATGTCT

GGGGCCAAGGGACAATGGTCACCGTCTCGAGC

16C3.2 VL SEQ ID NO:22 AGCTATGAGCTGACACAGCCACCCTCGCTGTCAGTG

TCCCCAGGACAAACGGCCACGATCAGCTGCTCTGGT

GATGCATTCCCAAGAAAG I I I GCTTATTGGTACCAGC

AGAAGTCAGGCCAGGCCCCTGTGTTGGTCATCTATG

AGGACACCAGACGACCCTCCGGGATCCCTGAGAGA

TTCTCTGGTTCCAGCTCAGGGACAATGGCCACCTTG

ACTATCAGTGGGGCCCAGGTGGAGGATGAAGCTGA

CTACTTCTGTTACTCAACAGACACCACTGGCACTCAT

AGAGTGTTCGGCGGAGGGACCAAGCTGACCGTCCT

A

16C3.2 SEQ ID NO:39 CAGGTGCAGCTGGTGCAGTCTGGGGGAGGCGTGGT VH CCAGCCTGGGAGGTCCCTGAGACTCTCCTGTGCAG

CCTCTGGATTCACCTTCAGTAACTATGCTATGAACTG

GGTCCGCCAGGCTCCAGGCAAGGGGCTGGAGTGGG

TGACG I I I ATCACTTACGACGGTCATTGGAAGAACTA

CGCAGACTCCGTGAAGGGCCGATTCACCACCTCCAG

AGACAATTCCAAGAACACTCTGTATCTGCAAATGAAC

AGCCTGAGAGCTGAGGACACGGCTGTCTATTACTGT

GCGAGAGACTCAACTACCCTTGGTGC I I I I GATGTCT GGGGCCAAGGGACAATGGTCACCGTCTCCTCA

16C3.4 VL SEQ ID NO:22 AGCTATGAGCTGACACAGCCACCCTCGCTGTCAGTG

TCCCCAGGACAAACGGCCACGATCAGCTGCTCTGGT

GATGCATTCCCAAGAAAG I I I GCTTATTGGTACCAGC

AGAAGTCAGGCCAGGCCCCTGTGTTGGTCATCTATG

AGGACACCAGACGACCCTCCGGGATCCCTGAGAGA

TTCTCTGGTTCCAGCTCAGGGACAATGGCCACCTTG

ACTATCAGTGGGGCCCAGGTGGAGGATGAAGCTGA

CTACTTCTGTTACTCAACAGACACCACTGGCACTCAT

AGAGTGTTCGGCGGAGGGACCAAGCTGACCGTCCT

A

16C3.4 SEQ ID NO:40 CAGGTGCAGCTGGTGCAGTCTGGGGGAGGCGTGGT VH CCAGCCTGGGAGGTCCCTGAGACTCTCCTGTGCAG

CCTCTGGATTCACCTTCAGTAACTATGCTATGAACTG

GGTCCGCCAGGCTCCAGGCAAGGGGCTGGAGTGGG

TGACTTCTATCTCTTATGACGGTGCTAATCGAGAATA

CGCAGACTCCGTGAAGGGCCGATTCACCACCTCCAG

AGACAATTCCAAGAACACTCTGTATCTGCAAATGAAC

AGCCTGAGAGCTGAGGACACGGCTGTCTATTACTGT

GCGAGAGACTCAACTACCCTTGGTGC I I I I GATGTCT

GGGGCCAAGGGACAATGGTCACCGTCTCCTCA

16C3.5 VL SEQ ID NO:41 AGCTATGAGCTGACACAGCCACCCTCGCTGTCAGTG

TCCCCAGGACAAACGGCCACGATCAGCTGCTCTGGT

GATGCATTCCCAAGAAAG I I I GCTTATTGGTACCAGC

AGAAGTCAGGCCAGGCCCCTGTGTTGGTCATCTATG

AGGACACCAGACGACCCTCCGGGATCCCTGAGAGA

TTCTCTGGTTCCAGCTCAGGGACAATGGCCACCTTG

ACTATCAGTGGGGCCCAGGTGGAGGATGAAGCTGA

CTACTTCTGTTACACTACCTCCAGCTCCGGAACCCAC

CCAG I I I I CGGCGGAGGGACCAAGCTGACCGTCCTA

16C3.5 SEQ ID NO:23 CAGGTGCAGCTGGTGCAGTCTGGGGGAGGCGTGGT VH CCAGCCTGGGAGGTCCCTGAGACTCTCCTGTGCAG

CCTCTGGATTCACCTTCAGTAACTATGCTATGAACTG GGTCCGCCAGGCTCCAGGCAAGGGGCTGGAGTGGG

TGACACTTATATCATATGATGGAAGCCAAAAATACTA

CGCAGACTCCGTGAAGGGCCGATTCACCACCTCCAG

AGACAATTCCAAGAACACTCTGTATCTGCAAATGAAC

AGCCTGAGAGCTGAGGACACGGCTGTCTATTACTGT

GCGAGAGACTCAACTACCCTTGGTGC I I I I GATGTCT

GGGGCCAAGGGACAATGGTCACCGTCTCGAGC

C3.7 VL SEQ ID NO:42 AGCTATGAGCTGACACAGCCACCCTCGCTGTCAGTG

TCCCCAGGACAAACGGCCACGATCAGCTGCTCTGGT

GATGCATTCCCAAGAAAG I I I GCTTATTGGTACCAGC

AGAAGTCAGGCCAGGCCCCTGTGTTGGTCATCTATG

AGGACACCAGACGACCCTCCGGGATCCCTGAGAGA

TTCTCTGGTTCCAGCTCAGGGACAATGGCCACCTTG

ACTATCAGTGGGGCCCAGGTGGAGGATGAAGCTGA

CTACTTCTGTTACTCTACCGAACCCACCGTTGCCCAC

CCAA I I I I CGGCGGAGGGACCAAGCTGACCGTCCTA

C3.7 SEQ ID NO:23 CAGGTGCAGCTGGTGCAGTCTGGGGGAGGCGTGGT

CCAGCCTGGGAGGTCCCTGAGACTCTCCTGTGCAG

CCTCTGGATTCACCTTCAGTAACTATGCTATGAACTG

GGTCCGCCAGGCTCCAGGCAAGGGGCTGGAGTGGG

TGACACTTATATCATATGATGGAAGCCAAAAATACTA

CGCAGACTCCGTGAAGGGCCGATTCACCACCTCCAG

AGACAATTCCAAGAACACTCTGTATCTGCAAATGAAC

AGCCTGAGAGCTGAGGACACGGCTGTCTATTACTGT

GCGAGAGACTCAACTACCCTTGGTGC I I I I GATGTCT

GGGGCCAAGGGACAATGGTCACCGTCTCGAGC

C3.9 VL SEQ ID NO:42 AGCTATGAGCTGACACAGCCACCCTCGCTGTCAGTG

TCCCCAGGACAAACGGCCACGATCAGCTGCTCTGGT

GATGCATTCCCAAGAAAG I I I GCTTATTGGTACCAGC

AGAAGTCAGGCCAGGCCCCTGTGTTGGTCATCTATG

AGGACACCAGACGACCCTCCGGGATCCCTGAGAGA

TTCTCTGGTTCCAGCTCAGGGACAATGGCCACCTTG

ACTATCAGTGGGGCCCAGGTGGAGGATGAAGCTGA CTACTTCTGTTACTCTACCGAACCCACCGTTGCCCAC

CCAA I I I I CGGCGGAGGGACCAAGCTGACCGTCCTA

C3.9 SEQ ID NO:40 CAGGTGCAGCTGGTGCAGTCTGGGGGAGGCGTGGT

CCAGCCTGGGAGGTCCCTGAGACTCTCCTGTGCAG

CCTCTGGATTCACCTTCAGTAACTATGCTATGAACTG

GGTCCGCCAGGCTCCAGGCAAGGGGCTGGAGTGGG

TGACTTCTATCTCTTATGACGGTGCTAATCGAGAATA

CGCAGACTCCGTGAAGGGCCGATTCACCACCTCCAG

AGACAATTCCAAGAACACTCTGTATCTGCAAATGAAC

AGCCTGAGAGCTGAGGACACGGCTGTCTATTACTGT

GCGAGAGACTCAACTACCCTTGGTGC I I I I GATGTCT

GGGGCCAAGGGACAATGGTCACCGTCTCCTCA

Table 2

Figure imgf000121_0001
Table 3

Figure imgf000122_0001

Although the disclosed teachings have been described with reference to various applications, methods, kits, and compositions, it will be appreciated that various changes and modifications can be made without departing from the teachings herein and the claimed invention below. The foregoing examples are provided to better illustrate the disclosed teachings and are not intended to limit the scope of the teachings presented herein. While the present teachings have been described in terms of these exemplary embodiments, the skilled artisan will readily understand that numerous variations and modifications of these exemplary embodiments are possible without undue experimentation. All such variations and modifications are within the scope of the current teachings.

All references cited herein, including patents, patent applications, papers, text books, and the like, and the references cited therein, to the extent that they are not already, are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety. In the event that one or more of the incorporated literature and similar materials differs from or contradicts this application, including but not limited to defined terms, term usage, described techniques, or the like, this application controls.

The foregoing description and Examples detail certain specific embodiments of the invention and describes the best mode contemplated by the inventors. It will be appreciated, however, that no matter how detailed the foregoing may appear in text, the invention may be practiced in many ways and the invention should be construed in accordance with the appended claims and any equivalents thereof.

Claims

What is claimed is:
1 . An isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds interleukin-2 (IL-2) and inhibits proliferation of CD8+ cells more than the antibody inhibits the proliferation of regulatory T cells (Treg).
2. The isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment according to claim 1 , wherein the antibody inhibits proliferation of CD8+ cells at least two-fold more than the antibody inhibits the proliferation of Tregs.
3. An isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds interleukin-2 (IL-2) and increases the ratio of T regulatory cells (Tregs) to CD8+ or CD4+ or NK cells as measured in a peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) culture assay.
4. The isolated antibody of claim 3, wherein the antibody is not complexed with IL-2 prior to being administered to the cells.
5. The isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment according to claim 3, wherein the ratio is increased by at least two-fold.
6. An isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds interleukin-2 (IL-2) and enhances T regulatory cell (Treg) proliferation compared with an equivalent amount of isotype control antibody when IL-2 is present at a concentration of less than 1 nM in vitro.
7. The isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment according to claim 6, wherein the antibody inhibits proliferation of CD8+ or CD4+ or NK cells.
8. An isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds interleukin-2 (IL-2) and maintains expression of T regulatory cell (Treg) markers selected from the group consisting of: a) FOXP3 and Helios, b) high expression of CD25, and c) low expression of CD127.
9. An isolated Treg sparing antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds human IL-2 and mouse IL-2.
10. The antibody of claim 9, wherein the antibody is a human antibody.
1 1 . An isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds interleukin-2 (IL-2), comprising a heavy chain variable region (VH) comprising: a) a CDR-H3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 4, 6, 8, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 15, 33, 34, or 35, b) a CDR-H1 , a CDR-H2 and a CDR-H3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 4, 6, 8, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 15, 33, 34, or 35, or c) a VH as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 4, 6, 8, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 15, 33, 34, or 35.
12. The isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment according to claim 1 1 , further comprising a light chain variable region (VL) comprising: a) a CDR-L3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37, b) a CDR-L1 , a CDR-L2 and a CDR-L3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37, or c) a VL as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37.
13. An isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds IL-2 and comprises: a) a CDR-H1 , CDR-H2 and CDR-H3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 4, 6, 8, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 15, 33, 34, or 35, and b) a CDR-L1 , a CDR-L2 and a CDR-L3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37.
14. The isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment according to claim 1 1 , further comprising a heavy chain constant region comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:2.
15. The isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment according to claim 12, further comprising a heavy chain constant region comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:2 and a light chain constant region comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:1 .
16. An isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds interleukin-2 (IL-2), comprising a light chain variable region (VL) comprising: a) a CDR-L3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37, b) a CDR-L1 , a CDR-L2 and a CDR-L3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37, or c) a VL as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37.
17. The isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment according to claim 16, further comprising a light chain constant region comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:1 .
18. An isolated nucleic acid encoding the antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, of any one of claims 1 1 -17.
19. An isolated nucleic acid encoding an antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds interleukin-2 (IL-2), wherein said nucleic acid comprises: a) the nucleic acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:18, 20, 22, 24, 29, 41 or 42; b) the nucleic acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:19, 21 , 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 38, 39, or 40; c) a nucleic acid sequence selected from a) and a nucleic acid sequence selected from b); d) a nucleic acid sequence encoding the amino acid sequence of a CDR-H1 , CDR-H2 and CDR-H3 as set forth in SEQ ID NOs: 4, 6, 8, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 15, 33, 34, or 35; e) a nucleic acid sequence encoding the amino acid sequence of CDR-L1 , CDR-L2 and CDR-L3 as set forth in SEQ ID NOs: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37; f) a nucleic acid sequence encoding the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NOs: 4, 6, 8, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 15, 33, 34, or 35; or g) a nucleic acid sequence encoding the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NOs: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37.
20. A vector comprising the nucleic acid of claim 19.
21 . A host cell comprising the nucleic acid of claim 19 or the vector of claim 20.
22. The host cell of claim 21 , wherein the cell is a bacterial cell or a mammalian cell.
23. A method of producing an antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds interleukin-2 (IL-2), said method comprising culturing the host cell of claim 21 under conditions wherein said antibody is expressed, and further comprising isolating said antibody.
24 An isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds interleukin-2 (IL-2), wherein the antibody competes with the antibody of any of claims 1 1 -17 for binding to IL-2.
25. The antibody of claim 24, wherein the antibody comprises: a) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:4, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:3, b) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:6, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:5, c) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:8, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:7, d) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:10, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:9, e) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:1 1 , and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:3, f) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:12, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:3, g) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:13, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:3, h) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:15, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:14, i) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:33, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:3, j) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:34, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:7, k) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:35, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:7,
I) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:8, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:36, m) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO:8, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:37, n) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO: 35, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:37, or o) a VH sequence at least 95% identical to the VH sequence of SEQ ID NO: 8, and a VL sequence at least 95% identical to the VL sequence of SEQ ID NO:3.
26. A pharmaceutical composition comprising an antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, according to any one of claims 1 -17, 24 or 25, and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier or excipient.
27. A method for preventing or treating an autoimmune disease, disorder or condition, said method comprising administering to a subject in need thereof an effective amount of the antibody according to any one of claims 1 -17, 24, or 25, or the pharmaceutical composition of claim 26.
28. A method for treating a subject in need of immunosuppression, said method comprising administering to the subject in need thereof an effective amount of the antibody according to any one of claims 1 -17, 24, or 25, or the pharmaceutical composition of claim 26.
29. The antibody according to any one of claims 1 -17, 24, or 25, or the
pharmaceutical composition of claim 26 for use in preventing or treating an autoimmune disease, disorder or condition.
30. The antibody according to any one of claims 1 -17, 24, or 25, or the
pharmaceutical composition of claim 26 for use in treating a subject in need of immunosuppression.
31 . Use of an antibody, or antigen binding fragment thereof, of any one of claims 1 - 17, 24, or 25, in the manufacture of a medicament for treating an autoimmune disease, disorder or condition.
32. Use of an antibody, or antigen binding fragment thereof, of any one of claims 1 - 17, 24, or 25, in the manufacture of a medicament for treating a subject in need of immunosuppression.
33. The method of claim 27, antibody or pharmaceutical composition of claim 29, or use of claim 31 , wherein the disease, disorder or condition is at least one selected from the group consisting of: inflammatory responses such as inflammatory skin diseases including psoriasis and dermatitis (e. g. atopic dermatitis); dermatomyositis; systemic scleroderma and sclerosis; responses associated with inflammatory bowel disease (such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis); respiratory distress syndrome (including adult respiratory distress syndrome; ARDS); dermatitis; meningitis; encephalitis; uveitis; colitis; gastritis; glomerulonephritis; allergic conditions such as eczema and asthma and other conditions involving infiltration of T cells and chronic inflammatory responses; atherosclerosis; leukocyte adhesion deficiency; rheumatoid arthritis; systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE); diabetes mellitus (e. g. Type I diabetes mellitus or insulin dependent diabetes mellitis); multiple sclerosis; Reynaud's syndrome; autoimmune thyroiditis; allergic encephalomyelitis; Sjogren's syndrome; juvenile onset diabetes; and immune responses associated with acute and delayed hypersensitivity mediated by cytokines and T-lymphocytes typically found in tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, polymyositis, granulomatosis and vasculitis; Wegener's disease; pernicious anemia (Addison's disease); diseases involving leukocyte diapedesis; central nervous system (CNS) inflammatory disorder; multiple organ injury syndrome; hemolytic anemia (including, but not limited to cryoglobinemia or Coombs positive anemia); myasthenia gravis; antigen- antibody complex mediated diseases; anti-glomerular basement membrane disease; antiphospholipid syndrome; allergic neuritis; Graves' disease; Lambert-Eaton
myasthenic syndrome; pemphigoid bullous; pemphigus; autoimmune
polyendocrinopathies; vitiligo; Reiter's disease; stiff-man syndrome; Bechet disease; giant cell arteritis; immune complex nephritis; IgA nephropathy; IgM polyneuropathies; immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) or autoimmune thrombocytopenia and autoimmune hemolytic diseases; Hashimoto's thyroiditis; autoimmune hepatitis;
autoimmune hemophilia; autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS);
autoimmune uveoretinitis; Guillain-Barre syndrome; Goodpasture's syndrome; mixed connective tissue disease; autoimmune-associated infertility; polyarteritis nodosa;
alopecia areata; idiopathic myxedema; graft versus host disease; and muscular dystrophy (Duchenne, Becker, Myotonic, Limb-girdle, Facioscapulohumeral, Congenital, Oculopharyngeal, Distal, Emery-Dreifuss).
34. A method of detecting interleukin-2 (IL-2) in a sample, tissue, or cell using the antibody according to any one of claims 1 -17, 24, or 25, comprising contacting the sample, tissue or cell with the antibody and detecting the antibody.
35. The antibody or antigen-binding fragment of any one of claims 1 -10, comprising a heavy chain variable region (VH) comprising: a) a CDR-H3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 4, 6, 8, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 15, 33, 34, or 35; or b) a CDR-H1 , a CDR-H2 and a CDR-H3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 4, 6, 8, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13, 15, 33, 34, or 35.
36. The antibody or antigen-binding fragment of any one of claims 1 -10, comprising a light chain variable region (VL) comprising: a) a CDR-L3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37; or b) a CDR-L1 , a CDR-L2 and a CDR-L3 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 36 or 37.
37. An isolated antibody, or antigen-binding fragment thereof, that specifically binds interleukin-2 (IL-2) and a) inhibits proliferation of CD8+ cells by at least two-fold more than it inhibits the proliferation of T regulatory cells (Tregs), b) increases the ratio of Tregs to CD8+ cells in a peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) culture assay by at least two-fold; c) enhances Treg proliferation greater than an isotype control antibody when IL-2 is at a concentration of less than 1 nM in vitro; and/or d) maintains expression of Treg markers selected from the group consisting of:a) FOXP3 and Helios, b) high expression of CD25, and c) low expression of CD127.
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