FcRH5 is a cell surface marker enriched on malignant plasma cells when compared to other hematologic malignancies and normal tissues. DFRF4539A is an anti-FcRH5 antibody-drug conjugated to monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE), a potent anti-mitotic agent. This phase I study assessed safety, tolerability, maximum tolerated dose (MTD), anti-tumor activity, and pharmacokinetics of DFRF4539A in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. DFRF4539A was administered at 0.3–2.4 mg/kg every 3 weeks or 0.8–1.1 mg/kg weekly as a single-agent by intravenous infusion to 39 patients. Exposure of total antibody and antibody-conjugate-MMAE analytes was linear across the doses tested. There were 37 (95%) adverse events (AEs), 8 (21%) serious AEs, and 15 (39%) AEs ≥ grade 3. Anemia (n = 10, 26%) was the most common AE considered related to DFRF4539A. Two cases of grade 3 acute renal failure were attributed to DFRF4539A. There were no deaths; the MTD was not reached. DFRF4539A demonstrated limited activity in patients at the doses tested with 2 (5%) partial response, 1 (3%) minimal response, 18 (46%) stable disease, and 16 (41%) progressive disease. FcRH5 was confirmed to be expressed and occupied by antibody post-treatment and thus remains a valid myeloma target. Nevertheless, this MMAE-based antibody-drug-conjugate targeting FcRH5 was unsuccessful for myeloma.
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