Interaction of PEGylated interferon-beta with antibodies to recombinant interferon-beta

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Abstract

Because PEGylated molecules exhibit different physicochemical properties from those of the parent molecules, PEGylated interferonβ-1a (pegIFNβ-1a) may be able to be used with retained bioactivity in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients who have previously developed neutralizing antibodies (NABs) to recombinant interferonβ (rIFNβ). Hence, the objective of the present study was to test whether pegIFNβ-1a is less antigenic for NABs in vitro than rIFNβ. Two in vitro assays were used to quantitate NABs in 115 sera obtained from MS patients included in the INSIGHT study: the cytopathic effect (CPE) assay, and the MxA protein induction assay. NABs cross-reactivity was assessed by comparing dilutions of serum with fixed doses of rIFNβ-1a Avonex® and pegIFNβ-1a Plegridy®. NABs were shown to cross-react in both assays. The y-intercept (c), the slope of the line of agreement (b), the Pearson coefficients as well as the Bland-Altman analysis, indicated that there is good level of agreement between NAB titers against the two IFNβ-1a formulations, with both the CPE (c = 0.1044 ± 0.1305; b = 0.8438 ± 0.06654; r2 = 0.587; bias index ± SD = −0.01702 ± 0.6334), and the MxA protein induction (c = 0.08246 ± 0.1229; b = 0.8878 ± 0.06613; r2 = 0.615; bias index ± SD = −0.09965 ± 0.6467) assays. Until further in vivo evidence is established, clinicians should consider the current in vitro data demonstrating NAB cross-reactivity between pegIFNβ-1a and rIFNβ when discussing new treatment options with MS patients.

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