Also known as: HCD122
Drug Information: Lucatumumab is one of several experimental anti-CD40 monoclonal antibodies. CD40 is a cellular surface protein involved in immune system signaling, which is present on cancerous B cells. The drug's developer, Novartis, believes that it both blocks proliferation of malignant cells and attracts other immune system cells to attack the cancer. It is given intravenously on a weekly basis for multi-week treatment cycles.
Lucatumumab is a fully human antibody, meaning it may cause less adverse reactions than mouse-based and chimeric antibodies already in use.
Side Effects: No information yet.
Clinical Trials: A Phase I/II trial for follicular lymphoma patients was initiated by Novartis in 2010 and is listed on ClinicalTrials.gov. It involves lucatumumab given in combination with bendamustine.
A Phase I/II clinical trial in 79 lymphoma patients, including follicular lymphoma patients, reported a 40% response rate in patients who failed to respond to rituximab. In 49 patients given the maximum tolerable dose, 4 of 12 (33%) of follicular lymphoma patients responded to lucatumumab monotherapy, including one who achieved complete remission.
Arnold S. Freedman et al. "Clinical Activity of Lucatumumab (HCD122)." ASH Annual Meeting (December 2010).