The potency and breadth of the recently isolated neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies to HIV-1 have stimulated interest in their use to prevent or to treat HIV-1 infection. Due to the antigenically diverse nature of the HIV-1 envelope (Env), no single antibody is highly active against all viral strains. While the physical combination of two broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) can improve coverage against the majority of viruses, the clinical-grade manufacturing and testing of two independent antibody products are time and resource intensive. In this study, we constructed bispecific immunoglobulins (IgGs) composed of independent antigen-binding fragments with a common Fc region. We developed four different bispecific IgG variants that included antibodies targeting four major sites of HIV-1 neutralization. We show that these bispecific IgGs display features of both antibody specificities and, in some cases, display improved coverage over the individual parental antibodies. All four bispecific IgGs neutralized 94% to 97% of antigenically diverse viruses in a panel of 206 HIV-1 strains. Among the bispecific IgGs tested, VRC07 × PG9-16 displayed the most favorable neutralization profile. It was superior in breadth to either of the individual antibodies, neutralizing 97% of viruses with a median 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 0.055 μg/ml. This bispecific IgG also demonstrated in vivo pharmacokinetic parameters comparable to those of the parental bNAbs when administered to rhesus macaques. These results suggest that IgG-based bispecific antibodies are promising candidates for the prevention and treatment of HIV-1 infection in humans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science