Epratuzumab is a humanized antibody which targets CD22, an antigen found on the surface of B-lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell critical to proper immune system function. Elevated expression of CD22 and other B-cell receptor-associated (BCR) proteins on B-lymphocytes has been associated with blood cancers and autoimmune diseases. Epratuzumab's mechanism of action includes the transfer of BCR-proteins to helper cells called effector cells, thereby reducing B-cell destruction and epratuzumab’s impact on the immune system. We believe epratuzumab is the only antibody in development targeting the reduction of these proteins without severely depleting B cells through a process known as trogocytosis.
We have a research collaboration with Bayer to study epratuzumab as a thorium-227 labeled antibody. We also have some other collaborations ongoing in oncology with independent study groups.
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
The IntreALL Inter-European study group is conducting a large, randomized, Phase 3 trial combining epratuzumab with chemotherapy in children with relapsed ALL at clinical sites in Australia, Europe, and Israel. This Phase 3 study, which is partially funded by the European Commission, assesses the efficacy and safety of this combination therapy using event-free survival as the surrogate for survival, the primary endpoint. For additional information about the IntreALL trial, please see clinicaltrials.gov.
For adult patients with ALL, there is one ongoing clinical trial. The CheprALL study, sponsored by the French GRAALL study group, is a multicenter Phase 2 trial of epratuzumab combined with chemotherapy also in adult patients with relapsed ALL. Information can be found at clinicaltrials.gov.
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