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APB-F1, a long-acting feline granulocyte colony-stimulating factor fusion protein, created by exploiting FL335, a chimeric Fab specific for feline serum albumin
Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology  (IF2.046),  Pub Date : 2021-08-28, DOI: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2021.110322
Hyun-jin Chi, Mihyun Park, Jae-kyu Han, Sun-mi Kim, SeungGoo Kang, Jin-hyuk Yang, Sang-hoon Cha

Off-label use of a human granulocyte colony stimulating factor (hG-CSF) has been allowed to treat dogs and cats with neutropenia. However, repeated administration of hG-CSF induces undesirable anti-drug antibody (ADA) responses, implying the necessity of animal-derived G-CSF as a therapeutic reagent, preferably with a long-acting capability. Herein, we generated a recombinant fusion protein by genetically combining FL335, a chimeric Fab specific for feline serum albumin (FSA), and feline G-CSF (fG-CSF), with the ultimate goal of developing a long-acting therapeutic fG-CSF for cats. The resulting FL335-fG-CSF fusion protein, referred to as APB-F1, was produced well as a functional form in a Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) expression system. In in vitro analyses, APB-F1 bound to FSA at high affinity (KD = 400 pM) and possessed 0.78 × 107 U/mg G-CSF biological activity, clearly proving its biological functionality. Pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) studies using healthy cats revealed that the serum half-life (t1/2) of APB-F1 was increased five times compared with that of fG-CSF (t1/2 = 13.3 h vs. 2.7 h) in subcutaneous (SC) injections. Additionally, APB-F1 induced a profound and sustained increase in white blood cell (WBC) and actual neutrophil count (ANC) up to 10 days, which was far superior to other G-CSF preparations, including filgrastim (Neupogen™) and even pegfilgrastim (Neulasta™). Conclusively, a long-acting fG-CSF with potent in vivo bioactivity was successfully created by using FL335; thus, we provided evidence that our “anti-serum albumin Fab-associated” (SAFA) technology can be applied reliably in developing valuable long-acting biologics in veterinary medicine.