Preclinical Activity of JNJ-7957, a Novel BCMA ×CD3 Bispecific Antibody for the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma, Is Potentiated by Daratumumab

Kristine A. Frerichs, Marloes E. C. Broekmans, Jhon A. Marin Soto, Berris van Kessel, Martijn W. Heymans, Lisa C. Holthof, Christie P. M. Verkleij, Rengasamy Boominathan, Bhavesh Vaidya, Jocelyn Sendecki, Amy Axel, Francois Gaudet, Kodandaram Pillarisetti, Sonja Zweegman, Homer C. Adams, Tuna Mutis, Niels W. C. J. van de Donk*, Niels W. C. J. van de Donk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: Multiple myeloma (MM) patients with disease refractory to all available drugs have a poor outcome, indicating the need for new agents with novel mechanisms of action. Experimental Design: We evaluated the anti-MM activity of the fully human BCMA_CD3 bispecific antibody JNJ-7957 in cell lines and bone marrow (BM) samples. The impact of several tumorand host-related factors on sensitivity to JNJ-7957 therapy was also evaluated. Results: We show that JNJ-7957 has potent activity against 4 MM cell lines, against tumor cells in 48 of 49 BM samples obtained from MM patients, and in 5 of 6 BM samples obtained from primary plasma cell leukemia patients. JNJ- 7957 activity was significantly enhanced in patients with prior daratumumab treatment, which was partially due to enhanced killing capacity of daratumumab-exposed effector cells. BCMA expression did not affect activity of JNJ-7957. High T-cell frequencies and high effector:target ratios were associated with improved JNJ-7957-mediated lysis of MM cells. The PD-1/ PD-L1 axis had a modest negative impact on JNJ-7957 activity against tumor cells from daratumumab-naïve MM patients. Soluble BCMA impaired the ability of JNJ-7957 to kill MM cells, although higher concentrations were able to overcome this negative effect. Conclusions: JNJ-7957 effectively kills MM cells ex vivo, including those from heavily pretreated MM patients, whereby several components of the immunosuppressive BM microenvironment had only modest effects on its killing capacity. Our findings support the ongoing trial with JNJ-7957 as single agent and provide the preclinical rationale for evaluating JNJ-7957 in combination with daratumumab in MM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2203-2215
Number of pages13
JournalClinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020

Cite this