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Enhanced Delivery of Rituximab Into Brain and Lymph Nodes Using Timed-Release Nanocapsules in Non-Human Primates.

  • Author(s): Qin, Meng
  • Wang, Lan
  • Wu, Di
  • Williams, Christopher K
  • Xu, Duo
  • Kranz, Emiko
  • Guo, Qi
  • Guan, Jiaoqiong
  • Vinters, Harry V
  • Lee, YooJin
  • Xie, Yiming
  • Luo, Yun
  • Sun, Guibo
  • Sun, Xiaobo
  • He, Zhanlong
  • Lu, Yunfeng
  • Kamata, Masakazu
  • Wen, Jing
  • Chen, Irvin SY
  • et al.
Abstract

Tumor metastasis into the central nervous system (CNS) and lymph nodes (LNs) is a major obstacle for effective therapies. Therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAb) have revolutionized tumor treatment; however, their efficacy for treating metastatic tumors-particularly, CNS and LN metastases-is poor due to inefficient penetration into the CNS and LNs following intravenous injection. We recently reported an effective delivery of mAb to the CNS by encapsulating the anti-CD20 mAb rituximab (RTX) within a thin shell of polymer that contains the analogs of choline and acetylcholine receptors. This encapsulated RTX, denoted as n-RTX, eliminated lymphoma cells systemically in a xenografted humanized mouse model using an immunodeficient mouse as a recipient of human hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells and fetal thymus more effectively than native RTX; importantly, n-RTX showed notable anti-tumor effect on CNS metastases which is unable to show by native RTX. As an important step toward future clinical translation of this technology, we further analyzed the properties of n-RTX in immunocompetent animals, rats, and non-human primates (NHPs). Our results show that a single intravenous injection of n-RTX resulted in 10-fold greater levels in the CNS and 2-3-fold greater levels in the LNs of RTX, respectively, than the injection of native RTX in both rats and NHPs. In addition, we demonstrate the enhanced delivery and efficient B-cell depletion in lymphoid organs of NHPs with n-RTX. Moreover, detailed hematological analysis and liver enzyme activity tests indicate n-RTX treatment is safe in NHPs. As this nanocapsule platform can be universally applied to other therapeutic mAbs, it holds great promise for extending mAb therapy to poorly accessible body compartments.

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