the Korea Healthcare technology R&D project, Ministry for Health & Welfare Affairs, Republic of Korea
ARTICLE ABSTRACTThe EGFR-targeted monoclonal antibodies are a valid therapeutic strategy for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). However, only a small subset of mCRC patients has therapeutic benefits and there are high demands for EGFR therapeutics with a broader patient pool and more potent efficacy. In this study, we report GC1118 exhibiting a different character in terms of binding epitope, affinity, mode of action, and efficacy from other anti-EGFR antibodies. Structural analysis of the EGFR–GC1118 crystal complex revealed that GC1118 recognizes linear, discrete N-terminal epitopes of domain III of EGFR, critical for EGF binding but not overlapping with those of other EGFR-targeted antibodies. GC1118 exhibited superior inhibitory activity against high-affinity EGFR ligands in terms of EGFR binding, triggering EGFR signaling, and proliferation compared with cetuximab and panitumumab. EGFR signaling driven by low-affinity ligands, on the contrary, was well inhibited by all the antibodies tested. GC1118 demonstrated robust antitumor activity in tumor xenografts with elevated expression of high-affinity ligands in vivo, whereas cetuximab did not. Considering the significant role of high-affinity EGFR ligands in modulating tumor microenvironment and inducing resistance to various cancer therapeutics, our study suggests a potential therapeutic advantage of GC1118 in terms of efficacy and a range of benefited patient pool. Mol Cancer Ther; 15(2); 251–63. ©2015 AACR.