Preclinical Characterization Of 1-7F9, A Novel Human Anti–KIR Receptor Therapeutic Antibody That Augments Natural Killer–mediated Killing Of Tumor Cells
Inhibitory-cell killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) negatively regulate natural killer (NK) cell–mediated killing of HLA class I–expressing tumors. Lack of KIR-HLA class I interactions has been associated with potent NK-mediated antitumor efficacy and increased survival in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients upon haploidentical stem cell transplantation from KIR-mismatched donors. To exploit this pathway pharmacologically, we generated a fully human monoclonal antibody, 1-7F9, which cross-reacts with KIR2DL1, -2, and -3 receptors, and prevents their inhibitory signaling. The 1-7F9 monoclonal antibody augmented NK cell–mediated lysis of HLA-C–expressing tumor cells, including autologous AML blasts, but did not induce killing of normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells, suggesting a therapeutic window for preferential enhancement of NK-cell cytotoxicity against malignant target cells. Administration of 1-7F9 to KIR2DL3-transgenic mice resulted in dose-dependent rejection of HLA-Cw3–positive target cells. In an immunodeficient mouse model in which inoculation of human NK cells alone was unable to protect against lethal, autologous AML, preadministration of 1-7F9 resulted in long-term survival. These data show that 1-7F9 confers specific, stable blockade of KIR, boosting NK-mediated killing of HLA-matched AML blasts in vitro and in vivo, providing a preclinical basis for initiating phase 1 clinical trials with this candidate therapeutic antibody.