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Safety and anti-tumour activity of the IgE antibody MOv18 in patients with advanced solid tumours expressing folate receptor-alpha: a phase I trial

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Gareth Veal



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023, The Author(s).All antibodies approved for cancer therapy are monoclonal IgGs but the biology of IgE, supported by comparative preclinical data, offers the potential for enhanced effector cell potency. Here we report a Phase I dose escalation trial (NCT02546921) with the primary objective of exploring the safety and tolerability of MOv18 IgE, a chimeric first-in-class IgE antibody, in patients with tumours expressing the relevant antigen, folate receptor-alpha. The trial incorporated skin prick and basophil activation tests (BAT) to select patients at lowest risk of allergic toxicity. Secondary objectives were exploration of anti-tumour activity, recommended Phase II dose, and pharmacokinetics. Dose escalation ranged from 70 μg–12 mg. The most common toxicity of MOv18 IgE is transient urticaria. A single patient experienced anaphylaxis, likely explained by detection of circulating basophils at baseline that could be activated by MOv18 IgE. The BAT assay was used to avoid enrolling further patients with reactive basophils. The safety profile is tolerable and maximum tolerated dose has not been reached, with evidence of anti-tumour activity observed in a patient with ovarian cancer. These results demonstrate the potential of IgE therapy for cancer.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Spicer J, Basu B, Montes A, Banerji U, Kristeleit R, Miller R, Veal GJ, Corrigan CJ, Till SJ, Figini M, Canevari S, Barton C, Jones P, Mellor S, Carroll S, Selkirk C, Nintos G, Kwatra V, Funingana I-G, Doherty G, Gould HJ, Pellizzari G, Nakamura M, Ilieva KM, Khiabany A, Stavraka C, Chauhan J, Gillett C, Pinder S, Bax HJ, Josephs DH, Karagiannis SN

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nature Communications

Year: 2023

Volume: 14

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 25/07/2023

Acceptance date: 22/06/2023

Date deposited: 10/08/2023

ISSN (electronic): 2041-1723

Publisher: Nature Research


DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-39679-9

PubMed id: 37491373


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Funder referenceFunder name
Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre
NIHR Biomedical Research Centre
UK Department of Health and Cancer Research UK