ARTICLE ABSTRACTAgonistic CD40 monoclonal antibodies (mAb) have demonstrated some clinical activity, but with dose-limiting toxicity. To reduce systemic toxicity, we developed a bispecific molecule that was maximally active in the presence of a tumor antigen and had limited activity in the absence of the tumor antigen. LB-1 is a bispecific molecule containing single-chain Fv domains targeting mouse CD40 and the tumor antigen mesothelin. LB-1 exhibited enhanced activity upon binding to cell-surface mesothelin but was less potent in the absence of mesothelin binding. In a mouse model implanted with syngeneic 4T1 tumors expressing cell-surface mesothelin, LB-1 demonstrated comparable antitumor activity as an agonistic CD40 mAb but did not cause elevation of serum cytokines and liver enzymes, as was observed in anti-CD40–treated mice. The results from our study of LB-1 were used to develop a human cross-reactive bispecific molecule (ABBV-428) that targeted human CD40 and mesothelin. ABBV-428 demonstrated enhanced activation of antigen-presenting cells and T cells upon binding to cell-surface mesothelin, and inhibition of cultured or implanted PC3 tumor cell growth after immune activation. Although expression of cell-surface mesothelin is necessary, the bispecific molecules induced immune-mediated antitumor activity against both mesothelin+ and mesothelin− tumor cells. ABBV-428 represents a class of bispecific molecules with conditional activity dependent on the binding of a tumor-specific antigen, and such activity could potentially maximize antitumor potency while limiting systemic toxicity in clinical studies.