Endocyte Inc.

West Lafayette, IN, United States

Endocyte Inc.

West Lafayette, IN, United States
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Maurer A.H.,Temple University | Elsinga P.,University of Groningen | Fanti S.,Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria di Bologna | Nguyen B.,Endocyte Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Nuclear Medicine | Year: 2014

Folate receptor (FR) can be used as a therapeutic target because of its expression on different epithelial cancers, such as ovarian, non- small cell lung, endometrial, and breast cancer. Assessing FR expression in tumors may help to identify patients who can benefit from FR-targeted therapeutics, such as vintafolide and farletuzumab. Different methods exist to detect FR expression. Tissue sampling has limited clinical utility, mainly because it requires an invasive procedure. 99mTc-etarfolatide, a 99mTc-labeled folate conjugate, is in latephase trials in Europe and the United States. It allows noninvasive, whole-body imaging of the FR. This review focuses on this FRimaging agent and how it may be used to direct FR-targeted therapy. © 2014 by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Inc.


Muller C.,Paul Scherrer Institute | Vlahov I.R.,Endocyte Inc. | Santhapuram H.K.R.,Endocyte Inc. | Leamon C.P.,Endocyte Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Nuclear Medicine and Biology | Year: 2011

Introduction: Use of folic acid radioconjugates for folate receptor (FR) targeting is a promising strategy for imaging purposes as well as for potential therapy of cancer and inflammatory diseases due to the frequent FR overexpression found on cancer cells and activated macrophages. Herein, we report on preclinical results using a novel DOTA-Bz-EDA-folate conjugate radiolabeled with [67Ga]-gallium. Methods: DOTA-Bz-EDA-folate was prepared by conjugation of ethylenediamine-(γ)-folate with 2-(p-isothiocyanobenzyl)-DOTA. Radiolabeling was carried out with 67GaCl3 according to standard procedures. Biodistribution studies of the tracer were performed in mice bearing FR-positive KB tumor xenografts. The effects on radiofolate biodistribution with coadministered renal uptake-blocking amino acids, diuretic agents, antifolates as well as different routes of administration were likewise investigated. Supportive imaging studies were performed using a small-animal single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/CT scanner. Results: 67Ga-DOTA-Bz-EDA-folate showed a high and specific accumulation in tumors (6.30%±0.75% ID/g, 1 h pi and 6.08%±0.89% ID/g, 4 h pi). Nonspecific radioactivity uptake in nontargeted tissues was negligible, but significant accumulation was found in FR-positive kidneys, which resulted in unfavorably low tumor-to-kidney ratios (<0.1). Coadministered amino acids or diuretics did not effectively reduce renal accumulation; in contrast, predosed pemetrexed did significantly reduce kidney uptake (<29% of control values). The SPECT/CT studies confirmed the excellent tumor-to-background contrast of 67Ga-radiofolate and the favorable reduction in kidney uptake (with improved imaging quality) resulting from pemetrexed administration. Conclusion: Conventional methods to reduce kidney uptake of radiofolates fail. However, the novel 67Ga-radiolabeled DOTA-Bz-EDA-folate can effectively be used to image FR-positive cancer and potentially inflammatory diseases. Due to its rapid blood clearance properties, this tracer is also a promising candidate for positron emission tomography imaging if radiolabeled with the short-lived [68Ga]-gallium radionuclide. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Muller C.,Paul Scherrer Institute | Reber J.,Paul Scherrer Institute | Schlup C.,Paul Scherrer Institute | Leamon C.P.,Endocyte Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Molecular Pharmaceutics | Year: 2013

Folate receptor (FR) targeting is an attractive strategy for nuclear imaging of cancer and activated macrophages through application of folic acid radioconjugates. However, significant renal accumulation of folate radioconjugates and hence exceedingly high emission of radiation from the kidneys may mask uptake of radioactivity at sites of interest such as small metastases in the abdominal region of animal models of ovarian cancer. Recently it was observed that the antifolate pemetrexed (PMX) reduces undesired renal uptake of radiofolates. A disadvantage of this strategy is the fact that pemetrexed is a chemotherapeutic agent which may have toxic side effects. The aims of this study were therefore to investigate whether the desired effect of PMX to reduce renal accumulation of folate radioconjugates would be maintained if it was applied as a cocktail together with its antidote, thymidine, and to explore whether thymidine was an effective rescue agent against PMX's related toxicity in vitro and in vivo. In vitro internalization of 67Ga- EC0800 was investigated using FR-positive KB tumor cells and embryonic monkey MA104 kidney cells in the absence and presence of PMX alone and in combination with thymidine. Uptake of 67Ga-EC0800 into KB cells was increased by coincubation of the cells with PMX. In contrast uptake of 67Ga-EC0800 into MA104 cells was reduced under the same conditions. In both cell lines coincubation of thymidine did not change the results obtained with PMX. Biodistribution and SPECT/CT imaging studies of 67Ga-EC0800 were performed with KB tumor bearing mice injected with PMX alone or with a cocktail of PMX and thymidine. The radiofolate's kidney uptake reducing effect of PMX in mice was maintained also if PMX was employed together with its antidote thymidine. The tumor uptake of 67Ga-EC0800 remained unchanged independent of the administration of PMX or a combination of PMX and thymidine. The effect of thymidine to abrogate PMX-induced cytotoxicity was demonstrated in vitro with an MTT assay using KB and MA104 cells. Cell viability was reduced to 50% (KB cells) and 70% (MA104 cells) of untreated controls if PMX (5 μM and 15 μM, respectively) was coincubated. Addition of thymidine (10 μM or 100 μM) compensated PMX's toxic effects in a dose-dependent manner. The effect of thymidine was also investigated in non-tumor bearing mice treated with high-dosed PMX. Rescue of mice with side effects after the third and fourth cycles of PMX application (1 mg/mouse) was achieved by application of thymidine (20 mg/mouse) at five consecutive days starting the day of PMX injection. Application of PMX together with thymidine as a cocktail is effective to improve the tissue distribution of radiofolates while preventing pharmacological and potentially toxic side effects of the chemotherapeutic agent PMX. These findings open new perspectives for folate-based nuclear imaging in preclinical research potentially allowing longitudinal investigations and monitoring therapies in animal models of cancer and inflammatory diseases. © 2013 American Chemical Society.


Ahmed T.,Mount Sinai Medical Center | Smith G.,Mount Sinai Medical Center | Vlahov I.,Endocyte Inc. | Abraham W.M.,Mount Sinai Medical Center
Respiratory Research | Year: 2012

Background: Previous studies showed that heparin's anti-allergic activity is molecular weight dependent and resides in oligosaccharide fractions of <2500 daltons.Objective: To investigate the structural sequence of heparin's anti-allergic domain, we used nitrous acid depolymerization of porcine heparin to prepare an oligosaccharide, and then fractionated it into disaccharide, tetrasaccharide, hexasaccharide, and octasaccharide fractions. The anti-allergic activity of each oligosaccharide fraction was tested in allergic sheep.Methods: Allergic sheep without (acute responder) and with late airway responses (LAR; dual responder) were challenged with Ascaris suum antigen with and without inhaled oligosaccharide pretreatment and the effects on specific lung resistance and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) to carbachol determined. Additional inflammatory cell recruitment studies were performed in immunized ovalbumin-challenged BALB/C mice with and without treatment.Results: The inhaled tetrasaccharide fraction was the minimal effective chain length to show anti-allergic activity. This fraction showed activity in both groups of sheep; it was also effective in inhibiting LAR and AHR, when administered after the antigen challenge. Tetrasaccharide failed to modify the bronchoconstrictor responses to airway smooth muscle agonists (histamine, carbachol and LTD 4), and had no effect on antigen-induced histamine release in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in sheep. In mice, inhaled tetrasaccharide also attenuated the ovalbumin-induced peribronchial inflammatory response and eosinophil influx in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Chemical analysis identified the active structure to be a pentasulfated tetrasaccharide ([IdoU2S (1→4)GlcNS6S (1→4) IdoU2S (1→4) AMan-6S]) which lacked anti-coagulant activity.Conclusions: These results demonstrate that heparin tetrasaccharide possesses potent anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties, and that the domains responsible for anti-allergic and anti-coagulant activity are distinctly different. © 2012 Ahmed et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Dhawan D.,Purdue University | Ramos-Vara J.A.,Purdue University | Naughton J.F.,Purdue University | Cheng L.,Indiana University | And 12 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2013

Folate receptors (FR) may be of use for targeted delivery of cytotoxic drugs in invasive urothelial carcinoma (iUC), for which improved therapy is needed. FR expression and function in iUC were explored and the antitumor activity and toxicity of a folate-targeted vinblastine conjugate were evaluated in dogs with naturally occurring iUC, an excellent model for human iUC. FR immunohistochemistry was carried out on iUC and normal human and dog bladder tissues together with nuclear scintigraphy in dogs to monitor iUC folate uptake. Dose escalation of a folate-targeted vinblastine compound, EC0905, was conducted in dogs with biopsy-confirmed, FR-positive iUC. FRs were detected by immunohistochemistry (PU17) in most primary iUC and many nodal and lung metastases from dogs, and scintigraphy confirmed folate uptake in both primary and metastatic lesions. The maximum tolerated dose of EC0905 in dogs was 0.25 mg/kg IV weekly, with neutropenia at higher doses. Tumor responses included partial remission (≥50% reduction in tumor volume) in five dogs and stable disease (<50% change in tumor volume) in four dogs. Immunoreactivity to PU17 was similar in humans (78% of primary iUC, 80% of nodal metastases). Less immunoreactivity to mab343 (22% of cases) occurred. FR-b was noted in 21% of human iUC cases. Our findings suggest folate-targeted therapy holds considerable promise for treating iUC, where FR-b may be important in addition to FR-α. © 2012 AACR.


Lu Y.,Endocyte Inc. | Stinnette T.W.,Endocyte Inc. | Westrick E.,Endocyte Inc. | Klein P.J.,Endocyte Inc. | And 5 more authors.
Arthritis Research and Therapy | Year: 2010

Introduction: Folate receptor (FR)-expressing macrophages have been shown to accumulate at sites of inflammation, where they promote development of inflammatory symptoms. To target such a macrophage population, we designed and evaluated the biologic activity of EC0746, a novel folic acid conjugate of the highly potent antifolate, aminopterin.Methods: Using a FR-positive subclone of murine macrophage-derived RAW264.7 cells and rat thioglycollate-elicited macrophages, we studied the effect of EC0746 on dihydrofolate reductase activity, cell proliferation, and cellular response towards bacterial lipopolysaccharide as well as IFNγ activation. The EC0746 anti-inflammatory activity, pharmacokinetics, and toxicity were also evaluated in normal rats or in rats with adjuvant-induced arthritis; that is, a FR-positive macrophage model that closely resembles rheumatoid arthritis in humans.Results: EC0746 suppresses the proliferation of RAW264.7 cells and prevents the ability of nonproliferating rat macrophages to respond to inflammatory stimuli. In the macrophage-rich rat arthritis model, brief treatment with subcutaneously administered EC0746 is shown to mediate an FR-specific anti-inflammatory response that is more potent than either orally administered methotrexate or subcutaneously delivered etanercept. More importantly, EC0746 therapy is also shown to be ~40-fold less toxic than unmodified aminopterin, with fewer bone marrow and gastrointestinal problems.Conclusions: EC0746 is the first high FR-binding dihydrofolate reductase inhibitor that demonstrates FR-specific anti-inflammatory activities both in vitro and in vivo. Our data reveal that a relatively toxic anti-inflammatory drug, such as aminopterin, can be targeted with folic acid to inflammatory macrophages and thereby relieve inflammatory symptoms with greatly reduced toxicity. © 2011 Lu et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Vlahov I.R.,Endocyte Inc. | Leamon C.P.,Endocyte Inc.
Bioconjugate Chemistry | Year: 2012

The folate receptor (FR) is a potentially useful biological target for the management of many human cancers. This membrane protein binds extracellular folates with very high affinity and, through an endocytic process, physically delivers them inside the cell for biological consumption. There are now many examples of how this physiological system can be exploited for the targeted delivery of biologically active molecules to cancer. In fact, strong preclinical as well as emerging clinical evidence exists showing how FR-positive cancers can be (i) anatomically identified using folate conjugates of radiodiagnostic imaging agents and (ii) effectively treated with companion folate-targeted chemotherapies. While the biological results are compelling, it is of equal importance to understand the conjugation chemistries that were developed to produce these active molecules. Therefore, this review will focus on the methods utilized to construct folate-based small-molecule drug conjugates (SMDCs), with particular attention focused on modular design, hydrophilic spacers, and self-immolative linkers. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Reddy J.A.,Endocyte Inc. | Dorton R.,Endocyte Inc. | Bloomfield A.,Endocyte Inc. | Nelson M.,Endocyte Inc. | And 3 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2014

Purpose: When evaluated in patients with ovarian and other cancer, vintafolide (EC145), a potent folatetargeted vinca alkaloid conjugate, displayed a toxicity profile that seemed to be nonoverlapping with many standard-of-care cancer therapeutics. It was, therefore, hypothesized that combining vintafolide with certain approved anticancer drugs may afford greater therapeutic efficacy compared with single-agent therapy. To explore this concept, vintafolide was evaluated in combination with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD; DOXIL), cisplatin, carboplatin, paclitaxel, docetaxel, topotecan, and irinotecan against folate receptor (FR)- positive models. Experimental Design: FR-expressing KB, M109, IGROV, and L1210 cells were first exposed to graded concentrations of vintafolide, either alone or in combination with doxorubicin (active ingredient in PLD), and isobologram plots and combination index values generated. The vintafolide combinations were also studied in mice bearing various FR-expressing tumors. Results: Vintafolide displayed strong synergistic activity against KB cells when combined with doxorubicin, and no less-than-additive effects resulted when tested against M109, IGROV, and L1210 cells. In contrast, when either desacetylvinblastine hydrazide (DAVLBH; the vinca alkaloid moiety in vintafolide) or vindesine (the vinca alkaloid most structurally similar to DAVLBH) were tested in combination with doxorubicin, less-than-additive antitumor effects were observed. In vivo, all vintafolide drug combinations produced far greater antitumor effect (complete responses and cures) compared with the single agents alone, without significant increase in overall toxicity. Importantly, these benefits were not observed with combinations of PLD and DAVLBH or vindesine. Conclusions: On the basis of these encouraging preclinical results, clinical studies to evaluate vintafolide drug combination therapies are now under way. © 2014 AACR.


Amato R.J.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | Shetty A.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | Lu Y.,Endocyte Inc. | Ellis R.,Endocyte Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Immunotherapy | Year: 2013

This is the first phase I, open-label study to assess the safety, pharmacokinetics, and antitumor activity of a novel immunotherapeutic regimen known as Folate Immune (EC90 vaccine administered with GPI-0100 adjuvant followed by EC17, a folate-targeted hapten immunotherapy that targets folate receptor expressing cancer cells), which is designed to convert poorly immunogenic tumors to highly immunogenic tumors in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Three to 6 patients were enrolled in each cohort. In the vaccination phase, patients were given once weekly vaccinations of 0.2 mg of EC90 plus 3.0 mg of GPI-0100 for 3-5 weeks. In the treatment phase, patients were treated with 0.031, 0.092, or 0.276 mg/kg of EC17, 5 d/wk, for weeks 3, 4, or 6. Forty-one patients were enrolled in the study of which 33 patients received ≥1 treatment of EC17. Two dose-limiting toxicities were observed including grade 4 anaphylaxis and grade 3 pancreatitis. During the vaccination phase, mild to moderate injection site reactions were the most frequently reported adverse events. During the treatment phase, transient hypersensitivity reactions were the most common adverse event. Partial response was noted in 4% (1/28) of patients, and stable disease was noted in 54% (15/28) of patients after cycle 1 and was maintained in the majority of patients entering the extension phase of the study. EC90 vaccine with GPI-0100 adjuvant followed by EC17 is safe and well tolerated. The recommended regimen for further studies is 4 weekly vaccinations with 0.2 mg of EC90 plus 3.0 mg GPI-0100 followed by treatment with 0.3 mg of EC17. © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Reber J.,Paul Scherrer Institute | Haller S.,Paul Scherrer Institute | Leamon C.P.,Endocyte Inc. | Muller C.,Paul Scherrer Institute
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics | Year: 2013

Targeted radionuclide therapy has shown impressive results for the palliative treatment of several types ofcancer diseases. The folate receptor has been identified as specifically associated with a variety of frequent tumor types. Therefore, it is an attractive target for the development of new radionuclide therapies using folatebased radioconjugates. Previously, we found that pemetrexed (PMX) has a favorable effect in reducing undesired renal uptake of radiofolates. Moreover, PMX also acts as a chemotherapeutic and radiosensitizing agent on tumors. Thus, the aim of our study was to investigate the combined application of PMX and the therapeutic radiofolate 177Lu-EC0800. Determination of the combination index (CI) revealed a synergistic inhibitory effect of 177Lu-EC0800 andPMXon the viability of folate receptor-positive cervical (KB) and ovarian (IGROV-1) cancer cells in vitro (CI < 0.8). In an in vivo study, tumor-bearing mice were treated with 177Lu-EC0800 (20 MBq) and a subtherapeutic (0.4 mg) or therapeutic amount (1.6 mg) of PMX. Application of 177Lu-EC0800 with PMXther resulted in a two- to four-fold enhanced tumor growth delay and a prolonged survival of KB and IGROV-1 tumor-bearing mice, as compared to the combination with PMXsubther or untreated control mice. PMXsubther protected the kidneys fromundesired side effects of 177Lu-EC0800 (20MBq) byreducing the absorbed radiation dose. Intact kidney function was shown by determination of plasma parameters and quantitative single-photon emission computed tomography using99mTc-DMSA. Our results confirmed the anticipated dual role of PMX. Its unique features resulted in an improved antitumor effect of folate-based radionuclide therapy and prevented undesired radio-nephrotoxicity. Mol Cancer Ther; 12(11); 2436-45. © 2013 AACR.

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