Molecular assessment of intratumoral immune cell subsets and potential mechanisms of resistance to odronextamab, a CD20xCD3 bispecific antibody, in patients with relapsed/refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma

March, 03, 2024 | Select Oncology Journal Articles


Patients with relapsed/refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (R/R B-NHL) have a significant need for effective treatment options. Odronextamab is an Fc-silenced, human, CD20xCD3 bispecific antibody that targets CD20-expressing cells via T-cell-mediated cytotoxicity independent of T-cell/major histocompatibility complex interaction. Phase I results in patients with R/R B-NHL demonstrated that odronextamab monotherapy could achieve deep and durable responses with a generally manageable safety profile (ELM-1; NCT02290951). As part of a biomarker analysis of the same study, we investigated potential biomarkers and mechanisms of resistance to odronextamab.


Patients with R/R B-NHL enrolled in ELM-1 received one time per week doses of intravenous odronextamab for 4x21 day cycles, then doses every 2 weeks thereafter. Patient tumor biopsies were obtained at baseline, on-treatment, and at progression. Immune cell markers were analyzed by immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, single-cell RNA sequencing, and whole genome sequencing.


Baseline tumor biopsies showed that almost all patients had high proportions of B cells that expressed the CD20 target antigen, whereas expression of other B-cell surface antigens (CD19, CD22, CD79b) was more variable. Responses to odronextamab in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma were not related to the relative level of baseline CD20 expression, cell of origin, or high-risk molecular subtype. A potential link was observed between greater tumor programmed cell death-ligand 1 expression and increased likelihood of response to odronextamab. Similarly, a trend was observed between clinical response and increased levels of CD8 T cells and regulatory T cells at baseline. We also identified an on-treatment pharmacodynamic shift in intratumoral immune cell subsets. Finally, loss of CD20 expression through inactivating gene mutations was identified as a potential mechanism of resistance in patients who were treated with odronextamab until progression, as highlighted in two detailed patient cases reported here.


This biomarker analysis expands on clinical findings of odronextamab in patients with R/R B-NHL, providing verification of the suitability of CD20 as a therapeutic target, as well as evidence for potential mechanisms of action and resistance.

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