Targeting multiple EGFR expressing tumors with a highly potent tumor-selective antibody drug conjugate Academic Article uri icon


  • ABBV-321 (serclutamab talirine), a next-generation EGFR-targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) incorporates a potent pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD) dimer toxin conjugated to the EGFR-targeting ABT-806 affinity-matured AM1 antibody. ABBV-321 follows the development of related EGFR-targeted ADCs including depatuxizumab mafodotin (depatux-m, ABT-414), ABT-806 conjugated to monomethyl auristatin F (MMAF), and ABBV-221 (losatuxizumab vedotin), AM1 antibody conjugated to monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE). The distinct tumor selectivity of ABBV-321 differentiates it from many previous highly active antibody PBD conjugates that lack a therapeutic window. Potency of the PBD dimer, combined with increased binding of AM1 to EGFR-positive tumor cells, opens the possibility to target a wide array of tumors beyond those with high levels of EGFR overexpression or amplification, including those insensitive to auristatin-based ADCs. ABBV-321 exhibits potent antitumor activity in cellular and in vivo studies including xenograft cell line and patient-derived xenograft glioblastoma, colorectal, lung, head and neck, and malignant mesothelioma tumor models that are less sensitive to depatux-m or ABBV-221. Combination studies with ABBV-321 and depatux-m suggest a promising treatment option permitting suboptimal, and potentially better tolerated, doses of both ADCs while providing improved potency. Collectively, these data suggest that ABBV-321 may offer an extended breadth of efficacy relative to other EGFR ADCs while extending utility to multiple EGFR-expressing tumor indications. Despite its highly potent PBD dimer payload, the tumor selectivity of ABBV-321, coupled with its pharmacology, toxicology, and pharmacokinetic profiles, support continuation of ongoing phase I clinical trials in patients with advanced EGFR-expressing malignancies.


  • Anderson, Mark G
  • Falls, Hugh D
  • Mitten, Michael J
  • Oleksijew, Anatol
  • Vaidya, Kedar S
  • Boghaert, Erwin R
  • Gao, Wenqing
  • Palma, Joann P
  • Cao, Diana
  • Chia, Puey Ling
  • John, Thomas
  • Gan, Hui K
  • Scott, Andrew M
  • Reilly, Edward B

publication date

  • 2020