Bispecific antibodies are currently being used in clinical trials in increasing numbers in the areas of breast cancer, prostate cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Hodgkin's lymphoma. We have previously performed two clinical trials in patients with Hodgkin's disease with an anti-CD30/anti-CD16 bispecific antibody and demonstrated a 30% response rate in a cohort of patients otherwise resistant to standard therapeutic modalities. However, no surrogate marker could be defined in these trials indicative of optimal antibody dosing/scheduling or predictive for favorable response. In order to evaluate accurately the potential biodistribution properties of bispecific antibody in patients, we have performed a detailed analysis of the binding properties and animal model in vivo characteristics of these constructs. For this purpose, the parental antibodies (anti-CD30 and anti-CD16) and the bispecific antibody (anti-CD30/anti-CD16) were radiolabeled with either 125I or 111In. Antibody integrity and binding properties after labeling were confirmed by Scatchard plot and Lindmo analysis. 111In-labeled antibodies revealed superior targeting properties in a standard SCID mouse tumor model. Both the bivalent parental anti-CD30 monoclonal antibody and the monovalent anti-CD30/anti-CD16 bispecific antibody showed excellent uptake in CD30+ tumors which did not differ significantly between the two (maximum uptake 16.5%+/-4.2% vs. 18.4%+/-3.8% injected dose/gram tissue). The equivalent targeting properties of the bispecific antibody compared with the parental anti-CD30 antibody encourages the further clinical development of this bispecific antibody, and might help to explain the clinical responses seen with this antibody so far in patients suffering from Hodgkin's disease.