Glutazumab, a novel long-lasting GLP-1/anti-GLP-1R antibody fusion protein, exerts anti-diabetic effects through targeting dual receptor binding sites

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Graphical abstractAimsGlucagon like-peptide-1 (GLP-1)-based drugs have been proposed as mono- or combined therapy for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Thus we characterized a novel antibody fusion protein engineered by linking the human GLP-1 derivative to a humanized GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) antibody via a peptide linker.Materials and methodsGlutazumab was characterized by receptor binding and reporter activation assays, and its specificity was investigated with the aid of the cognate receptor antagonist exendin (9-39) and antibody Ab1. Pharmacokinetics was evaluated in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats and cynomolgus monkeys, and pharmacodynamics was assessed in normal ICR and spontaneous type 2 diabetic KKAy mice. Hypoglycemic effects were evaluated after acute administration and glucose metabolism and β-cell function were assessed with repeated administrations. Dulaglutide was a positive control in all experiments.ResultsGlutazumab significantly bound and activated GLP-1R, but the receptor antagonist exendin (9-39) did not inhibit the activation except when combined with Ab1. Single injection of glutazumab reduced the blood glucose in ICR mice and KKAy mice, and the half-lives in SD rats and cynomolgus monkeys were 18 h and 33.6 h. Repeated injections of glutazumab controlled glycemic fluctuations and improved β-cell function in KKAy mice.ConclusionsAs a novel GLP-1R agonist, glutazumab may be a potential treatment for T2DM.

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