Background In a subset of patients, anti tumour necrosis factor (TNF) therapeutic antibodies are immunogenic, resulting in the formation of antidrug antibodies (ADAs). Neutralising ADAs compete with TNF for its binding site and reduces the effective serum concentration, causing clinical non-response. It is however unknown to which extent ADAs are neutralising.
Objectives To study which proportion of antibodies to human(ised) anti-TNF (adalimumab, golimumab, certolizumab) as well as chimeric anti-TNF (infliximab) is neutralising.
Methods Neutralising capacity of ADAs was assessed using a TNF competition assay in ADA-positive sera of patients treated with adalimumab (n=21), golimumab (n=4), certolizumab (n=9) or infliximab (n=34) sent in to our diagnostic department.
Results In 34 sera with ADAs to adalimumab, golimumab or certolizumab, >97% of the antibodies were neutralising. In 34 sera with ADAs to infliximab >90% of the antibodies were neutralising. Further characterisation of the broader antibody response to infliximab revealed that non-neutralising antibodies to infliximab do not target murine domains, but may bind infliximab-unique domains not involved in TNF binding (located outside the paratope).
Conclusions Our study shows that ADAs to human(ised) as well as chimeric anti-TNF therapeutic antibodies are largely neutralising. This highly restricted ADA response suggests an immunodominant role for the paratope of anti-TNF therapeutics.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis