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  Pharmaceutical Patents  

 

Title:  Mutated Anti-CD22 antibodies with increased affinity to CD22-expressing leukemia cells
United States Patent: 
7,777,019
Issued: 
August 17, 2010

Inventors:
 Pastan; Ira (Potomac, MD), Salvatore; Giuliana (Naples, IT), Beers; Richard (Rockville, MD), Kreitman; Robert J. (Potomac, MD)
Assignee:
  The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services (Washington, DC)
Appl. No.:
 12/030,828
Filed:
 February 13, 2008


 

Training Courses -- Pharm/Biotech/etc.


Abstract

Recombinant immunotoxins are fusion proteins composed of the Fv domains of antibodies fused to bacterial or plant toxins. RFB4 (Fv)-PE38 is an immunotoxin that targets CD22 expressed on B cells and B cell malignancies. The present invention provides antibodies and antibody fragments that have improved ability to bind the CD22 antigen of B cells and B cell malignancies compared to RFB4. Immunotoxins made with the antibodies and antibody fragments of the invention have improved cytotoxicity to CD22-expressing cancer cells. Compositions that incorporate these antibodies into chimeric immunotoxin molecules that can be used in medicaments and methods for inhibiting the growth and proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cells.

Description of the Invention

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides improved antibodies for binding to CD22-expressing cells (a "CD22+" cell), especially cancer cells that express CD22 on their exterior surface (a "CD22+ cancer cell"). In this regard, the invention provides anti-CD22 antibodies with a variable light (V.sub.L) chain having the sequence of antibody RFB4 and a variable heavy (V.sub.H) chain having the sequence of antibody RFB4, but in which residues 100, 100A and 100B of CDR3 of said V.sub.H chain (as numbered by the Kabat and Wu numbering system) have an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of: THW, YNR, TTW, and STY. The antibody can be a full length antibody molecule, but is preferably a single chain Fv ("scFv"), a disulfide stabilized Fv ("dsFv"), an Fab, or an F(ab'). In a particularly preferred form, the antibody is a dsFv. (For convenience of reference, the term "antibody" in the text below refers to full length antibodies and, more preferably, to scFv, dsFv, Fab, or F(ab')).

The invention further provides compositions comprising one of these antibodies conjugated or fused to a therapeutic moiety or a detectable label. The therapeutic moiety can be a cytotoxin, a drug, a radioisotope, or a liposome loaded with a drug or a cytotoxin. In preferred embodiments, the effector moiety is a cytotoxin. The cytotoxin can be selected from the group consisting of ricin A, abrin, ribotoxin, ribonuclease, saporin, calicheamycin, diphtheria toxin or a cytotoxic subunit or mutant thereof, a Pseudomonas exotoxin, a cytotoxic portion thereof, a mutated Pseudomonas exotoxin, a cytotoxic portion thereof, and botulinum toxins A through F. In preferred forms, the cytotoxin is a Pseudomonas exotoxin or cytotoxic fragment thereof, or a mutated Pseudomonas exotoxin or a cytotoxic fragment thereof. In particularly preferred forms, the Pseudomonas exotoxin is selected from the group consisting of PE35, PE38, PE38 KDEL, PE40, PE4E, and PE38QQR. In the most preferred embodiment, the Pseudomonas exotoxin is PE38. The compositions may further comprise a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier.

The invention further provides the use of an anti-CD22 antibody with a variable light (V.sub.L) chain having the sequence of antibody RFB4 and a variable heavy (V.sub.H) chain having the sequence of antibody RFB4, provided that residues 100, 100A and 100B of CDR3 of said V.sub.H chain have an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of: THW, YNR, TTW, and STY, for the manufacture of a medicament to inhibit the growth of a CD22+ cancer cell. The antibody can be, for example, a full length antibody, an scFv, dsFv, a Fab, or a F(ab').sub.2. In a particularly preferred form, the antibody is a dsFv. The invention further provides for the use of a composition for the manufacture of a medicament for inhibiting growth of a CD22+ cancer cell, which composition comprises an antibody as just described conjugated or fused to a therapeutic moiety or a detectable label. The therapeutic moiety can be, for example, a cytotoxin, a drug, a radioisotope, or a liposome loaded with a drug or a cytotoxin. In preferred forms, the therapeutic moiety is a cytotoxin. The cytotoxin is preferably selected from the group consisting of ricin A, abrin, ribotoxin, ribonuclease, saporin, calicheamycin, diphtheria toxin or a cytotoxic subunit or mutant thereof, a Pseudomonas exotoxin, a cytotoxic portion thereof, a mutated Pseudomonas exotoxin, a cytotoxic portion thereof, and botulinum toxins A through F. In preferred uses, the cytotoxin is a Pseudomonas exotoxin or cytotoxic fragment thereof, or a mutated Pseudomonas exotoxin or a cytotoxic fragment thereof and, in particularly preferred uses, is selected from the group consisting of PE35, PE38, PE38 KDEL, PE40, PE4E, and PE38QQR, with PE38 being the most preferred.

In another group of embodiments, the invention provides nucleic acids encoding anti-CD22 antibodies with a variable light (V.sub.L) chain having the sequence of antibody RFB4 and a variable heavy (V.sub.H) chain having the sequence of antibody RFB4, in which residues 100, 100A and 100B of CDR3 of said V.sub.H chain have an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of: THW, YNR, TTW, and STY. The antibody can, for example, be a full-length antibody, or can be selected from the group consisting of an scFv, a dsFv, a Fab, or a F(ab').sub.2. In particularly preferred forms, the antibody is a dsFv. The nucleic acid can further encode a polypeptide which is a therapeutic moiety or a detectable label. The therapeutic moiety can be a drug or a cytotoxin. The cytotoxin can be, for example, a Pseudomonas exotoxin or cytotoxic fragment thereof, or a mutated Pseudomonas exotoxin or a cytotoxic fragment thereof and is preferably selected from the group consisting of PE35, PE38, PE38 KDEL, PE40, PE4E, and PE38QQR. In the most preferred form, the Pseudomonas exotoxin is PE38. The invention further provides expression vectors comprising any of the nucleic acids described above operably linked to a promoter.

In yet another group of embodiments, the invention provides methods of inhibiting growth of a CD22+ cancer cell. The methods comprise contacting the cell with an anti-CD22 antibody with a variable light (V.sub.L) chain having the sequence of antibody RFB4 and a variable heavy (V.sub.H) chain having the sequence of antibody RFB4, provided that residues 100, 100A and 100B of CDR3 of said V.sub.H chain have an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of: THW, YNR, TTW, and STY, which antibody is fused or conjugated to a therapeutic moiety, which therapeutic moiety inhibits growth of said cell. The antibody can be an scFv, a dsFv, a Fab, or a F(ab').sub.2. In a particularly preferred form, the antibody is a dsFv. The therapeutic moiety can be, for example, a cytotoxin, a drug, a radioisotope, or a liposome loaded with a drug or a cytotoxin. In preferred forms, the therapeutic moiety is a cytotoxin. The cytotoxin can be, for example, ricin A, abrin, ribotoxin, ribonuclease, saporin, calicheamycin, diphtheria toxin or a cytotoxic subunit or mutant thereof, a Pseudomonas exotoxin, a cytotoxic portion thereof, a mutated Pseudomonas exotoxin, a cytotoxic portion thereof, and botulinum toxins A through F. In preferred forms, the cytotoxin is a Pseudomonas exotoxin or cytotoxic fragment thereof, or a mutated Pseudomonas exotoxin or a cytotoxic fragment thereof. In particularly preferred embodiments, the Pseudomonas exotoxin is selected from the group consisting of PE35, PE38, PE38 KDEL, PE40, PE4E, and PE38QQR. In the most preferred embodiment, the Pseudomonas exotoxin is PE38.

The invention further provides methods for detecting the presence of a CD22+ cancer cell in a biological sample, said method comprising contacting cells of said biological sample with an anti-CD22 antibody with a variable light (V.sub.L) chain having the sequence of a V.sub.L chain of antibody RFB4 and a variable heavy (V.sub.H) chain having the sequence of a V.sub.H chain antibody RFB4, provided that residues 100, 100A and 100B of CDR3 of the V.sub.H chain of said anti-CD22 antibody have an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of: THW, YNR, TTW, and STY, said antibody being fused or conjugated to a detectable label; and detecting the presence or absence of said label, wherein detecting the presence of said label indicates the presence of a CD22+ cancer cell in said sample. The antibody can be, for example, selected from the group consisting of an scFv, a dsFv, a Fab, or a F(ab').sub.2. In a particularly preferred form, the antibody is a dsFv.

In another group of embodiments, the invention provides kits for detecting the presence of a CD22+ cancer cell in a biological sample, said kit comprising a container, and an anti-CD22 antibody with a variable light (V.sub.L) chain having the sequence of a V.sub.L chain of antibody RFB4 and a variable heavy (V.sub.H) chain having the sequence of a V.sub.H chain antibody RFB4, provided that residues 100, 100A and 100B of CDR3 of the V.sub.H chain of said anti-CD22 antibody have an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of: THW, YNR, TTW, and STY which antibody is fused or conjugated to a detectable label. In some embodiments, the antibody is selected from the group consisting of an scFv, a dsFv, a Fab, or a F(ab').sub.2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Introduction

The present invention provides antibodies and antibody fragments that have increased binding affinity for cancer cells bearing the CD22 antigen compared to the anti-CD22 antibody known in the art as RFB4. Mutated scFvs have been discovered and isolated that have increases in affinity of from 3.5 to 15-fold the affinity of wild-type RFB4. Immunotoxins made with these high affinity variants had a significant increase in cytotoxic activity compared to a like immunotoxin made with wild-type RFB4.

These mutants change the amino acid sequence of the residues at positions 100, 100A, and 100B of CDR3 of the V.sub.H chain of RFB4 from the wild type sequence SSY to THW, YNR, or STY. A single amino acid change, for example, the one amino acid difference between the sequence SSY and STY, reduced the dissociation constant (K.sub.D) of a chimeric immunotoxin made with the resulting scFV to 49 kD, compared to the 85 kD of a like immunotoxin using the parental antibody RFB4 sequence. A change of SSY to TTW lowered the kD of the resulting immunotoxin to 24 kD. Even more impressively, the mutation of the residues SSY to YNW improved the affinity of the resulting immunotoxin from the 85 kD of the immunotoxin employing the parental, wild-type RFB4 antibody to 10 kD. And, substituting THW for the wild-type sequence of SSY improved the affinity even more, to 6 kD.

These improved affinities are reflected in improved cytotoxic activity of immunotoxins made by fusing or conjugating the antibodies or fragments thereof which retain antigen recognition ability to a cytotoxin. For example, tests of an exemplar immunotoxin made from combining an scFv having an RFB4 V.sub.H CDR3 sequence in which SSY was mutated to STY to a cytotoxin showed that the amount of the immunotoxin needed to inhibit 50% of the protein synthesis (known as the IC.sub.50 of the immunotoxin) in CD22-expressing cancer cells from patients was reduced by as much as much as 7-fold compared to a like immunotoxin made with the wild-type SSY sequence. Similar tests showed with an immunotoxin made with the THW sequence showed that the THW sequence increased the cytotoxic activity of the immunotoxin to cells of the CD22-bearing cancer chronic lymphocytic leukemia by 50 times. An immunotoxin was also made with a dsFv having the THW sequence and tested for cytotoxicity against cells from patients having chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or hairy cell leukemia (HCL). The THW dsFv immunotoxin showed 10 to 40 times higher cytotoxicity against CLL cells than did the wild type RFB4 dsFv immunotoxin, and 4 to 7 times higher cytotoxicity against HCL cells than the wild type RFB4 dsFv immunotoxin.

The improved affinity of the improved antibody and antibody fragments provided by the present invention can be incorporated into chimeric immunoconjugates to improve the ability of the chimeric immunoconjugate to target B-cells bearing the CD22 antigen. The immunoconjugates can, for example, bear a detectable label such as a radioisotope or a reporter enzyme. These labeled immunoconjugates be used, for example, in in vitro assays to detect the presence of CD22-expressing cells in a biological sample. Typically, the biological sample will be a blood sample or lymphocytes from a blood sample.

In another set of in vitro uses, the immunoconjugate bears a cytotoxin rather than a detectable label. Such immunotoxins can be used to purge a blood sample or culture of lymphocytes from a patient. The purged sample or culture can then be readministered to the patient to boost the functional white-blood cell population.

In in vivo uses, immunotoxins made with the antibodies or antibody fragments of the invention can be used to inhibit the growth and proliferation of cancer cells bearing the CD22 antigen. As noted in the Background section, an immunotoxin made with the parental antibody, RFB4, is currently in human clinical trials and, when tested against an exemplar CD22-expressing cancer, caused complete remissions in 86% of the patients. The greater affinity of the antibodies and antibody fragments of the invention compared to the parental antibody, RFB4, and the greater cytotoxicity of the resulting immunotoxins means that smaller amounts of the immunotoxins can be administered, thereby achieving the same therapeutic effect while reducing the chance of side effects.

In preferred embodiments, the antibody is a scFv or a dsFv. Many of the recombinant immunotoxins produced from constructs of scFv are one-third the size of IgG-toxin chemical conjugates and are homogeneous in composition. Elimination of the constant portion of the IgG molecule from the scFv results in faster clearance of the immunotoxin after injection into animals, including primates, and the smaller size of the conjugates improves drug penetration in solid tumors. Together, these properties lessen the side effects associated with the toxic moiety by reducing the time in which the immunotoxin (IT) interacts with non-target tissues and tissues that express very low levels of antigen. Making disulfide stabilized Fvs (dsFvs) from anti-CD22 antibodies is discussed in the co-owned application of FitzGerald et al., International Publication Number WO 98/41641, which is incorporated herein by reference.

These advantages, however, are offset to some degree by the loss of antigen binding affinity that occurs when IgGs are converted to scFvs (Reiter et al., Nature Biotechnol. 14:239-1245 (1996)). Increasing affinity has been shown to improve selective tumor delivery of scFvs (Adams et al., Cancer Res. 58:485-490 (1998)), and is likely to increase their usefulness in tumor imaging and treatment. Therefore, increasing the affinity of scFvs and other targeting moieties (such as dsFvs, Fabs. and F(ab')2 of immunoconjugates is desirable to improve the efficiency of these agents in delivering effector molecules, such as toxins and other therapeutic agents, to their intended targets. The improved affinity of the antibodies of the invention therefore is an important advance in the delivery of toxins, drugs, and other therapeutic agents to cell of CD22-expressing cancers.

Numbering of Amino Acid Residues in the RFB4 Heavy and Light Chains

The positions of amino acid residues in an antibody heavy chain or light chain are conveniently referred to in the art by standard numbering as set forth in Kabat, E., et al., SEQUENCES OF PROTEINS OF IMMUNOLOGICAL INTEREST, U.S. Government Printing Office, NIH Publication No. 91-3242 (1991). See also, Johnson, G. and Wu, T., Nuc. Acids Res. 29:205-206 (2001). The Kabat et al. database is typically referred to in the art as either "Kabat" or "Kabat and Wu". It is now maintained on the worldwidw web at immuno.bme.nwu.edu/. The heavy and light chains of RFB4 have been cloned. See, Mansfield et al., Blood 90:2020-2026 (1997). The amino acid sequences of the RFB4 V.sub.L and V.sub.H chains and a list of the Kabat numbering of the position of each amino acid residue are set forth in the Kabat database under Entry Numbers 038145 and 038146, respectively. FIG. 2 (see Original Patent) shows the comparison of the numbering of the amino acids of the RFB4 V.sub.L chain to the corresponding Kabat positions as set forth in Kabat Entry 038145; FIG. 3 (see Original Patent) shows the same comparison for the amino acids of the RFB4 V.sub.H chain, as set forth in Kabat Entry 038146.

Binding of Antibodies and Immunoassays

A. Binding Affinity of Antibodies

The antibodies of this invention bind to their target antigens with an affinity better than that of the parental RFB4 antibody. The antibodies are anti-CD22 antibodies which bind to an extracellular epitope of CD22. Binding affinity for a target antigen is typically measured or determined by standard antibody-antigen assays, such as competitive assays, saturation assays, or immunoassays such as ELISA or RIA.

Such assays can be used to determine the dissociation constant of the antibody. The phrase "dissociation constant" refers to the affinity of an antibody for an antigen. Specificity of binding between an antibody and an antigen exists if the dissociation constant (K.sub.D=1/K, where K is the affinity constant) of the antibody is <1 .mu.M, preferably <100 nM, and most preferably <0.1 nM. Antibody molecules will typically have a K.sub.D in the lower ranges. K.sub.D=[Ab-Ag]/[Ab][Ag] where [Ab] is the concentration at equilibrium of the antibody, [Ag] is the concentration at equilibrium of the antigen and [Ab-Ag] is the concentration at equilibrium of the antibody-antigen complex. Typically, the binding interactions between antigen and antibody include reversible noncovalent associations such as electrostatic attraction, Van der Waals forces and hydrogen bonds. This method of defining binding specificity applies to single heavy and/or light chains, CDRs, fusion proteins or fragments of heavy and/or light chains, that are specific for CD22 if they bind CD22 alone or in combination.

B. Immunoassays

The antibodies can be detected and/or quantified using any of a number of well recognized immunological binding assays (see, e.g., U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,366,241; 4,376,110; 4,517,288; and 4,837,168). For a review of the general immunoassays, see also METHODS IN CELL BIOLOGY, VOL. 37, Asai, ed. Academic Press, Inc. New York (1993); BASIC AND CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY 7TH EDITION, Stites & Terr, eds. (1991). Immunological binding assays (or immunoassays) typically utilize a ligand (e.g., CD22) to specifically bind to and often immobilize an antibody. The antibodies employed in immunoassays of the present invention are discussed in greater detail supra.

Immunoassays also often utilize a labeling agent to specifically bind to and label the binding complex formed by the ligand and the antibody. The labeling agent may itself be one of the moieties comprising the antibody/analyte complex, i.e., the anti-CD22 antibody. Alternatively, the labeling agent may be a third moiety, such as another antibody, that specifically binds to the antibody/CD22 protein complex.

In one aspect, a competitive assay is contemplated wherein the labeling agent is a second anti-CD22 antibody bearing a label. The two antibodies then compete for binding to the immobilized CD22. Alternatively, in a non-competitive format, the CD22 antibody lacks a label, but a second antibody specific to antibodies of the species from which the anti-CD22 antibody is derived, e.g., murine, and which binds the anti-CD22 antibody, is labeled.

Other proteins capable of specifically binding immunoglobulin constant regions, such as Protein A or Protein G may also be used as the label agent. These proteins are normal constituents of the cell walls of streptococcal bacteria. They exhibit a strong non-immunogenic reactivity with immunoglobulin constant regions from a variety of species (see, generally Kronval, et al., J. Immunol. 111: 1401-1406 (1973); and Akerstrom, et al., J. Immunol. 135:2589-2542 (1985)).

Throughout the assays, incubation and/or washing steps may be required after each combination of reagents. Incubation steps can vary from about 5 seconds to several hours, preferably from about 5 minutes to about 24 hours. However, the incubation time will depend upon the assay format, antibody, volume of solution, concentrations, and the like. Usually, the assays will be carried out at ambient temperature, although they can be conducted over a range of temperatures, such as 11.degree. C. to 40.degree. C.

While the details of the immunoassays of the present invention may vary with the particular format employed, the method of detecting anti-CD22 antibodies in a sample containing the antibodies generally comprises the steps of contacting the sample with an antibody which specifically reacts, under immunologically reactive conditions, to the CD22/antibody complex.

Production of Immunoconjugates

Immunoconjugates include, but are not limited to, molecules in which there is a covalent linkage of a therapeutic agent to an antibody. A therapeutic agent is an agent with a particular biological activity directed against a particular target molecule or a cell bearing a target molecule. One of skill in the art will appreciate that therapeutic agents may include various drugs such as vinblastine, daunomycin and the like, cytotoxins such as native or modified Pseudomonas exotoxin or Diphtheria toxin, encapsulating agents, (e.g., liposomes) which themselves contain pharmacological compositions, radioactive agents such as .sup.125I, .sup.32P, .sup.14C, .sup.3H and .sup.35S and other labels, target moieties and ligands.

The choice of a particular therapeutic agent depends on the particular target molecule or cell and the biological effect is desired to evoke. Thus, for example, the therapeutic agent may be a cytotoxin which is used to bring about the death of a particular target cell. Conversely, where it is merely desired to invoke a non-lethal biological response, the therapeutic agent may be conjugated to a non-lethal pharmacological agent or a liposome containing a non-lethal pharmacological agent.

With the therapeutic agents and antibodies herein provided, one of skill can readily construct a variety of clones containing functionally equivalent nucleic acids, such as nucleic acids which differ in sequence but which encode the same EM or antibody sequence. Thus, the present invention provides nucleic acids encoding antibodies and conjugates and fusion proteins thereof.

A. Recombinant Methods

The nucleic acid sequences of the present invention can be prepared by any suitable method including, for example, cloning of appropriate sequences or by direct chemical synthesis by methods such as the phosphotriester method of Narang, et al., Meth. Enzymol. 68:90-99 (1979); the phosphodiester method of Brown, et al., Meth. Enzymol. 68:109-151 (1979); the diethylphosphoramidite method of Beaucage, et al., Tetra. Lett. 22:1859-1862 (1981); the solid phase phosphoramidite triester method described by Beaucage & Caruthers, Tetra. Letts. 22(20):1859-1862 (1981), e.g., using an automated synthesizer as described in, for example, Needham-VanDevanter, et al. Nucl. Acids Res. 12:6159-6168 (1984); and, the solid support method of U.S. Pat. No. 4,458,066. Chemical synthesis produces a single stranded oligonucleotide. This may be converted into double stranded DNA by hybridization with a complementary sequence, or by polymerization with a DNA polymerase using the single strand as a template. One of skill would recognize that while chemical synthesis of DNA is limited to sequences of about 100 bases, longer sequences may be obtained by the ligation of shorter sequences.

In a preferred embodiment, the nucleic acid sequences of this invention are prepared by cloning techniques. Examples of appropriate cloning and sequencing techniques, and instructions sufficient to direct persons of skill through many cloning exercises are found in Sambrook, et al., MOLECULAR CLONING: A LABORATORY MANUAL (2ND ED.), Vols. 1-3, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (1989)), Berger and Kimmel (eds.), GUIDE TO MOLECULAR CLONING TECHNIQUES, Academic Press, Inc., San Diego Calif. (1987)), or Ausubel, et al. (eds.), CURRENT PROTOCOLS IN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, Greene Publishing and Wiley-Interscience, NY (1987). Product information from manufacturers of biological reagents and experimental equipment also provide useful information. Such manufacturers include the SIGMA chemical company (Saint Louis, Mo.), R&D systems (Minneapolis, Minn.), Pharmacia LKB Biotechnology (Piscataway, N.J.), CLONTECH Laboratories, Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif.), Chem Genes Corp., Aldrich Chemical Company (Milwaukee, Wis.), Glen Research, Inc., GIBCO BRL Life Technologies, Inc. (Gaithersberg, Md.), Fluka Chemica-Biochemika Analytika (Fluka Chemie AG, Buchs, Switzerland), Invitrogen, San Diego, Calif., and Applied Biosystems (Foster City, Calif.), as well as many other commercial sources known to one of skill.

Nucleic acids encoding native EM or anti-CD22 antibodies can be modified to form the EM, antibodies, or immunoconjugates of the present invention. Modification by site-directed mutagenesis is well known in the art. Nucleic acids encoding EM or anti-CD22 antibodies can be amplified by in vitro methods. Amplification methods include the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the ligase chain reaction (LCR), the transcription-based amplification system (TAS), the self-sustained sequence replication system (3SR). A wide variety of cloning methods, host cells, and in vitro amplification methodologies are well known to persons of skill.

In a preferred embodiment, immunoconjugates are prepared by inserting the cDNA which encodes an anti-CD22 scFv antibody into a vector which comprises the cDNA encoding the EM. The insertion is made so that the scFv and the EM are read in frame, that is in one continuous polypeptide which contains a functional Fv region and a functional EM region. In a particularly preferred embodiment, cDNA encoding a diphtheria toxin fragment is ligated to a scFv so that the toxin is located at the carboxyl terminus of the scFv. In more preferred embodiments, cDNA encoding PE is ligated to a scFv so that the toxin is located at the amino terminus of the scFv.

Once the nucleic acids encoding an EM, anti-CD22 antibody, or an immunoconjugate of the present invention are isolated and cloned, one may express the desired protein in a recombinantly engineered cell such as bacteria, plant, yeast, insect and mammalian cells. It is expected that those of skill in the art are knowledgeable in the numerous expression systems available for expression of proteins including E. coli, other bacterial hosts, yeast, and various higher eucaryotic cells such as the COS, CHO, HeLa and myeloma cell lines. No attempt to describe in detail the various methods known for the expression of proteins in prokaryotes or eukaryotes will be made. In brief, the expression of natural or synthetic nucleic acids encoding the isolated proteins of the invention will typically be achieved by operably linking the DNA or cDNA to a promoter (which is either constitutive or inducible), followed by incorporation into an expression cassette. The cassettes can be suitable for replication and integration in either prokaryotes or eukaryotes. Typical expression cassettes contain transcription and translation terminators, initiation sequences, and promoters useful for regulation of the expression of the DNA encoding the protein. To obtain high level expression of a cloned gene, it is desirable to construct expression cassettes which contain, at the minimum, a strong promoter to direct transcription, a ribosome binding site for translational initiation, and a transcription/translation terminator. For E. coli this includes a promoter such as the T7, trp, lac, or lambda promoters, a ribosome binding site and preferably a transcription termination signal. For eukaryotic cells, the control sequences can include a promoter and preferably an enhancer derived from immunoglobulin genes, SV40, cytomegalovirus, and a polyadenylation sequence, and may include splice donor and acceptor sequences. The cassettes of the invention can be transferred into the chosen host cell by well-known methods such as calcium chloride transformation or electroporation for E. coli and calcium phosphate treatment, electroporation or lipofection for mammalian cells. Cells transformed by the cassettes can be selected by resistance to antibiotics conferred by genes contained in the cassettes, such as the amp, gpt, neo and hyg genes.

One of skill would recognize that modifications can be made to a nucleic acid encoding a polypeptide of the present invention (i.e., anti-CD22 antibody, PE, or an immunoconjugate formed from their combination) without diminishing its biological activity. Some modifications may be made to facilitate the cloning, expression, or incorporation of the targeting molecule into a fusion protein. Such modifications are well known to those of skill in the art and include, for example, termination codons, a methionine added at the amino terminus to provide an initiation, site, additional amino acids placed on either terminus to create conveniently located restriction sites, or additional amino acids (such as poly His) to aid in purification steps.

In addition to recombinant methods, the immunoconjugates, EM, and antibodies of the present invention can also be constructed in whole or in part using standard peptide synthesis. Solid phase synthesis of the polypeptides of the present invention of less than about 50 amino acids in length may be accomplished by attaching the C-terminal amino acid of the sequence to an insoluble support followed by sequential addition of the remaining amino acids in the sequence. Techniques for solid phase synthesis are described by Barany & Merrifield, THE PEPTIDES: ANALYSIS, SYNTHESIS, BIOLOGY. VOL. 2: SPECIAL METHODS IN PEPTIDE SYNTHESIS, PART A. pp. 3-284; Merrifield, et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 85:2149-2156 (1963), and Stewart, et al., SOLID PHASE PEPTIDE SYNTHESIS, 2ND ED., Pierce Chem. Co., Rockford, Ill. (1984). Proteins of greater length may be synthesized by condensation of the amino and carboxyl termini of shorter fragments. Methods of forming peptide bonds by activation of a carboxyl terminal end (e.g., by the use of the coupling reagent N,N'-dicycylohexylcarbodiimide) are known to those of skill.

B. Purification

Once expressed, the recombinant immunoconjugates, antibodies, and/or effector molecules of the present invention can be purified according to standard procedures of the art, including ammonium sulfate precipitation, affinity columns, column chromatography, and the like (see, generally, R. Scopes, PROTEIN PURIFICATION, Springer-Verlag, N.Y. (1982)). Substantially pure compositions of at least about 90 to 95% homogeneity are preferred, and 98 to 99% or more homogeneity are most preferred for pharmaceutical uses. Once purified, partially or to homogeneity as desired, if to be used therapeutically, the polypeptides should be substantially free of endotoxin.

Methods for expression of single chain antibodies and/or refolding to an appropriate active form, including single chain antibodies, from bacteria such as E. coli have been described and are well-known and are applicable to the antibodies of this invention. See, Buchner, et al., Anal. Biochem. 205:263-270 (1992); Pluckthun, Biotechnology 9:545 (1991); Huse, et al., Science 246:1275 (1989) and Ward, et al., Nature 341:544 (1989), all incorporated by reference herein.

Often, functional heterologous proteins from E. coli or other bacteria are isolated from inclusion bodies and require solubilization using strong denaturants, and subsequent refolding. During the solubilization step, as is well-known in the art, a reducing agent must be present to separate disulfide bonds. An exemplary buffer with a reducing agent is: 0.1 M Tris pH 8, 6 M guanidine, 2 mM EDTA, 0.3 M DTE (dithioerythritol). Reoxidation of the disulfide bonds can occur in the presence of low molecular weight thiol reagents in reduced and oxidized form, as described in Saxena, et al., Biochemistry 9: 5015-5021 (1970), incorporated by reference herein, and especially as described by Buchner, et al., supra.

Renaturation is typically accomplished by dilution (e.g., 100-fold) of the denatured and reduced protein into refolding buffer. An exemplary buffer is 0.1 M Tris, pH 8.0, 0.5 M L-arginine, 8 mM oxidized glutathione (GSSG), and 2 mM EDTA.

As a modification to the two chain antibody purification protocol, the heavy and light chain regions are separately solubilized and reduced and then combined in the refolding solution. A preferred yield is obtained when these two proteins are mixed in a molar ratio such that a 5 fold molar excess of one protein over the other is not exceeded. It is desirable to add excess oxidized glutathione or other oxidizing low molecular weight compounds to the refolding solution after the redox-shuffling is completed.

Pseudomonas Exotoxin and Other Toxins

Toxins can be employed with antibodies of the present invention to yield immunotoxins. Exemplary toxins include ricin, abrin, diphtheria toxin and subunits thereof, as well as botulinum toxins A through F. These toxins are readily available from commercial sources (e.g., Sigma Chemical Company, St. Louis, Mo.). Diphtheria toxin is isolated from Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Ricin is the lectin RCA60 from Ricinus communis (Castor bean). The term also references toxic variants thereof. For example, see, U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,079,163 and 4,689,401. Ricinus communis agglutinin (RCA) occurs in two forms designated RCA.sub.60 and RCA.sub.120 according to their molecular weights of approximately 65 and 120 kD, respectively (Nicholson & Blaustein, J. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 266:543 (1972)). The A chain is responsible for inactivating protein synthesis and killing cells. The B chain binds ricin to cell-surface galactose residues and facilitates transport of the A chain into the cytosol (Olsnes, et al., Nature 249:627-631 (1974) and U.S. Pat. No. 3,060,165).

Abrin includes toxic lectins from Abrus precatorius. The toxic principles, abrin a, b, c, and d, have a molecular weight of from about 63 and 67 kD and are composed of two disulfide-linked polypeptide chains A and B. The A chain inhibits protein synthesis; the B-chain (abrin-b) binds to D-galactose residues (see, Funatsu, et al., Agr. Biol. Chem. 52:1095 (1988); and Olsnes, Methods Enzymol. 50:330-335 (1978)).

In preferred embodiments of the present invention, the toxin is Pseudomonas exotoxin (PE). The term "Pseudomonas exotoxin" as used herein refers to a full-length native (naturally occurring) PE or a PE that has been modified. Such modifications may include, but are not limited to, elimination of domain Ia, various amino acid deletions in domains Ib, II and III, single amino acid substitutions and the addition of one or more sequences at the carboxyl terminus such as KDEL (SEQ ID NO:5) and REDL (SEQ ID NO:6). See Siegall, et al., J. Biol. Chem. 264:14256-14261 (1989). In a preferred embodiment, the cytotoxic fragment of PE retains at least 50%, preferably 75%, more preferably at least 90%, and most preferably 95% of the cytotoxicity of native PE. In a most preferred embodiment, the cytotoxic fragment is more toxic than native PE.

Native Pseudomonas exotoxin A (PE) is an extremely active monomeric protein (molecular weight 66 kD), secreted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which inhibits protein synthesis in eukaryotic cells. The native PE sequence is provided in commonly assigned U.S. Pat. No. 5,602,095, incorporated herein by reference. The method of action is inactivation of the ADP-ribosylation of elongation factor 2 (EF-2). The exotoxin contains three structural domains that act in concert to cause cytotoxicity. Domain Ia (amino acids 1-252) mediates cell binding. Domain II (amino acids 253-364) is responsible for translocation into the cytosol and domain III (amino acids 400-613) mediates ADP ribosylation of elongation factor 2. The function of domain Ib (amino acids 365-399) remains undefined, although a large part of it, amino acids 365-380, can be deleted without loss of cytotoxicity. See Siegall, et al., (1989), supra.

PE employed in the present invention include the native sequence, cytotoxic fragments of the native sequence, and conservatively modified variants of native PE and its cytotoxic fragments. Cytotoxic fragments of PE include those which are cytotoxic with or without subsequent proteolytic or other processing in the target cell (e.g., as a protein or pre-protein). Cytotoxic fragments of PE include PE40, PE38, and PE35.

In preferred embodiments, the PE has been modified to reduce or eliminate non-specific cell binding, frequently by deleting domain Ia. as taught in U.S. Pat. No. 4,892,827, although this can also be achieved, for example, by mutating certain residues of domain Ia. U.S. Pat. No. 5,512,658, for instance, discloses that a mutated PE in which Domain Ia is present but in which the basic residues of domain Ia at positions 57, 246, 247, and 249 are replaced with acidic residues (glutamic acid, or "E")) exhibits greatly diminished non-specific cytotoxicity. This mutant form of PE is sometimes referred to as PE4E.

PE40 is a truncated derivative of PE as previously described in the art. See, Pai, et al., Proc. Nat'l Acad. Sci. USA 88:3358-62 (1991); and Kondo, et al., J. Biol. Chem. 263:9470-9475 (1988). PE35 is a 35 kD carboxyl-terminal fragment of PE in which amino acid residues 1-279 have deleted and the molecule commences with a met at position 280 followed by amino acids 281-364 and 381-613 of native PE. PE35 and PE40 are disclosed, for example, in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,602,095 and 4,892,827.

In some preferred embodiments, the cytotoxic fragment PE38 is employed. PE38 is a truncated PE pro-protein composed of amino acids 253-364 and 381-613 which is activated to its cytotoxic form upon processing within a cell (see e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 5,608,039, and Pastan et al., Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1333:C1-C6 (1997)).

As noted above, some or all of domain Ib may be deleted, and the remaining portions joined by a linker or directly by a peptide bond. Some of the amino portion of domain II may be deleted. And, the C-terminal end may contain the native sequence of residues 609-613 (REDLK (SEQ ID NO:7)), or may contain a variation found to maintain the ability of the construct to translocate into the cytosol, such as REDL (SEQ ID NO:6) or KDEL (SEQ ID NO:5), and repeats of these sequences. See, e.g., U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,854,044; 5,821,238; and 5,602,095 and WO 99/51643. While in preferred embodiments, the PE is PE4E, PE40, or PE38, any form of PE in which non-specific cytotoxicity has been eliminated or reduced to levels in which significant toxicity to non-targeted cells does not occur can be used in the immunotoxins of the present invention so long as it remains capable of translocation and EF-2 ribosylation in a targeted cell.

A. Conservatively Modified Variants of PE

Conservatively modified variants of PE or cytotoxic fragments thereof have at least 80% sequence similarity, preferably at least 85% sequence similarity, more preferably at least 90% sequence similarity, and most preferably at least 95% sequence similarity at the amino acid level, with the PE of interest, such as PE38.

The term "conservatively modified variants" applies to both amino acid and nucleic acid sequences. With respect to particular nucleic acid sequences, conservatively modified variants refer to those nucleic acid sequences which encode identical or essentially identical amino acid sequences, or if the nucleic acid does not encode an amino acid sequence, to essentially identical nucleic acid sequences. Because of the degeneracy of the genetic code, a large number of functionally identical nucleic acids encode any given polypeptide. For instance, the codons GCA, GCC, GCG and GCU all encode the amino acid alanine. Thus, at every position where an alanine is specified by a codon, the codon can be altered to any of the corresponding codons described without altering the encoded polypeptide. Such nucleic acid variations are "silent variations," which are one species of conservatively modified variations. Every nucleic acid sequence herein which encodes a polypeptide also describes every possible silent variation of the nucleic acid. One of skill will recognize that each codon in a nucleic acid (except AUG, which is ordinarily the only codon for methionine) can be modified to yield a functionally identical molecule. Accordingly, each silent variation of a nucleic acid which encodes a polypeptide is implicit in each described sequence.

As to amino acid sequences, one of skill will recognize that individual substitutions, deletions or additions to a nucleic acid, peptide, polypeptide, or protein sequence which alters, adds or deletes a single amino acid or a small percentage of amino acids in the encoded sequence is a "conservatively modified variant" where the alteration results in the substitution of an amino acid with a chemically similar amino acid.

B. Assaying for Cytotoxicity of PE

Pseudomonas exotoxins employed in the invention can be assayed for the desired level of cytotoxicity by assays well known to those of skill in the art. Thus, cytotoxic fragments of PE and conservatively modified variants of such fragments can be readily assayed for cytotoxicity. A large number of candidate PE molecules can be assayed simultaneously for cytotoxicity by methods well known in the art. For example, subgroups of the candidate molecules can be assayed for cytotoxicity. Positively reacting subgroups of the candidate molecules can be continually subdivided and reassayed until the desired cytotoxic fragment(s) is identified. Such methods allow rapid screening of large numbers of cytotoxic fragments or conservative variants of PE.

C. Other Therapeutic Moieties

Antibodies of the present invention can also be used to target any number of different diagnostic or therapeutic compounds to cells expressing CD22 on their surface. Thus, an antibody of the present invention, such as an anti-CD22 scFv, may be attached directly or via a linker to a drug that is to be delivered directly to cells bearing CD22. Therapeutic agents include such compounds as nucleic acids, proteins, peptides, amino acids or derivatives, glycoproteins, radioisotopes, lipids, carbohydrates, or recombinant viruses. Nucleic acid therapeutic and diagnostic moieties include antisense nucleic acids, derivatized oligonucleotides for covalent cross-linking with single or duplex DNA, and triplex forming oligonucleotides.

Alternatively, the molecule linked to an anti-CD22 antibody may be an encapsulation system, such as a liposome or micelle that contains a therapeutic composition such as a drug, a nucleic acid (e.g. an antisense nucleic acid), or another therapeutic moiety that is preferably shielded from direct exposure to the circulatory system. Means of preparing liposomes attached to antibodies are well known to those of skill in the art. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,957,735; and Connor, et al., Pharm. Ther. 28:341-365 (1985).

D. Detectable Labels

Antibodies of the present invention may optionally be covalently or non-covalently linked to a detectable label. Detectable labels suitable for such use include any composition detectable by spectroscopic, photochemical, biochemical, immunochemical, electrical, optical or chemical means. Useful labels in the present invention include magnetic beads (e.g. DYNABEADS), fluorescent dyes (e.g., fluorescein isothiocyanate, Texas red, rhodamine, green fluorescent protein, and the like), radiolabels (e.g., .sup.3H, .sup.125I, .sup.35S, .sup.14C, or .sup.32P), enzymes (e.g., horse radish peroxidase, alkaline phosphatase and others commonly used in an ELISA), and colorimetric labels such as colloidal gold or colored glass or plastic (e.g. polystyrene, polypropylene, latex, etc.) beads.

Means of detecting such labels are well known to those of skill in the art. Thus, for example, radiolabels may be detected using photographic film or scintillation counters, fluorescent markers may be detected using a photodetector to detect emitted illumination. Enzymatic labels are typically detected by providing the enzyme with a substrate and detecting the reaction product produced by the action of the enzyme on the substrate, and colorimetric labels are detected by simply visualizing the colored label.

E. Conjugation to the Antibody

In a non-recombinant embodiment of the invention, effector molecules, e.g., therapeutic, diagnostic, or detection moieties, are linked to the anti-CD22 antibodies of the present invention using any number of means known to those of skill in the art. Both covalent and noncovalent attachment means may be used with anti-CD22 antibodies of the present invention.

The procedure for attaching an effector molecule to an antibody will vary according to the chemical structure of the EM. Polypeptides typically contain a variety of functional groups; e.g., carboxylic acid (COOH), free amine (--NH.sub.2) or sulfhydryl (--SH) groups, which are available for reaction with a suitable functional group on an antibody to result in the binding of the effector molecule.

Alternatively, the antibody is derivatized to expose or to attach additional reactive functional groups. The derivatization may involve attachment of any of a number of linker molecules such as those available from Pierce Chemical Company, Rockford Ill.

A "linker", as used herein, is a molecule that is used to join the antibody to the effector molecule. The linker is capable of forming covalent bonds to both the antibody and to the effector molecule. Suitable linkers are well known to those of skill in the art and include, but are not limited to, straight or branched-chain carbon linkers, heterocyclic carbon linkers, or peptide linkers. Where the antibody and the effector molecule are polypeptides, the linkers may be joined to the constituent amino acids through their side groups (e.g., through a disulfide linkage to cysteine). However, in a preferred embodiment, the linkers will be joined to the alpha carbon amino and carboxyl groups of the terminal amino acids.

In some circumstances, it is desirable to free the effector molecule from the antibody when the immunoconjugate has reached its target site. Therefore, in these circumstances, immunoconjugates will comprise linkages which are cleavable in the vicinity of the target site. Cleavage of the linker to release the effector molecule from the antibody may be prompted by enzymatic activity or conditions to which the immunoconjugate is subjected either inside the target cell or in the vicinity of the target site. When the target site is a tumor, a linker which is cleavable under conditions present at the tumor site (e.g. when exposed to tumor-associated enzymes or acidic pH) may be used.

In view of the large number of methods that have been reported for attaching a variety of radiodiagnostic compounds, radiotherapeutic compounds, drugs, toxins, and other agents to antibodies one skilled in the art will be able to determine a suitable method for attaching a given agent to an antibody or other polypeptide.

Pharmaceutical Compositions and Administration

The antibody and/or immunoconjugate compositions of this invention (i.e., PE linked to an anti-CD22 antibody of the invention) are particularly useful for parenteral administration, such as intravenous administration or administration into a body cavity.

The compositions for administration will commonly comprise a solution of the antibody and/or immunoconjugate dissolved in a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, preferably an aqueous carrier. A variety of aqueous carriers can be used, e.g., buffered saline and the like. These solutions are sterile and generally free of undesirable matter. These compositions may be sterilized by conventional, well known sterilization techniques. The compositions may contain pharmaceutically acceptable auxiliary substances as required to approximate physiological conditions such as pH adjusting and buffering agents, toxicity adjusting agents and the like, for example, sodium acetate, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, calcium chloride, sodium lactate and the like. The concentration of fusion protein in these formulations can vary widely, and will be selected primarily based on fluid volumes, viscosities, body weight and the like in accordance with the particular mode of administration selected and the patient's needs.

Thus, a typical pharmaceutical immunotoxin composition of the present invention for intravenous administration would be about 0.1 to 10 mg per patient per day. Dosages from 0.1 up to about 100 mg per patient per day may be used. Actual methods for preparing administrable compositions will be known or apparent to those skilled in the art and are described in more detail in such publications as REMINGTON'S PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCE, 19TH ED., Mack Publishing Company, Easton, Pa. (1995).

The compositions of the present invention can be administered for therapeutic treatments. In therapeutic applications, compositions are administered to a patient suffering from a disease, in an amount sufficient to cure or at least partially arrest the disease and its complications. An amount adequate to accomplish this is defined as a "therapeutically effective dose." Amounts effective for this use will depend upon the severity of the disease and the general state of the patient's health. An effective amount of the compound is that which provides either subjective relief of a symptom(s) or an objectively identifiable improvement as noted by the clinician or other qualified observer.

Single or multiple administrations of the compositions are administered depending on the dosage and frequency as required and tolerated by the patient. In any event, the composition should provide a sufficient quantity of the proteins of this invention to effectively treat the patient. Preferably, the dosage is administered once but may be applied periodically until either a therapeutic result is achieved or until side effects warrant discontinuation of therapy. Generally, the dose is sufficient to treat or ameliorate symptoms or signs of disease without producing unacceptable toxicity to the patient.

Controlled release parenteral formulations of the immunoconjugate compositions of the present invention can be made as implants, oily injections, or as particulate systems. For a broad overview of protein delivery systems see, Banga, A. J., THERAPEUTIC PEPTIDES AND PROTEINS: FORMULATION, PROCESSING, AND DELIVERY SYSTEMS, Technomic Publishing Company, Inc., Lancaster, Pa., (1995) incorporated herein by reference. Particulate systems include microspheres, microparticles, microcapsules, nanocapsules, nanospheres, and nanoparticles. Microcapsules contain the therapeutic protein as a central core. In microspheres the therapeutic is dispersed throughout the particle. Particles, microspheres, and microcapsules smaller than about 1 .mu.m are generally referred to as nanoparticles, nanospheres, and nanocapsules, respectively. Capillaries have a diameter of approximately 5 .mu.m so that only nanoparticles are administered intravenously. Microparticles are typically around 100 .mu.m in diameter and are administered subcutaneously or intramuscularly. See, e.g., Kreuter, J., COLLOIDAL DRUG DELIVERY SYSTEMS, J. Kreuter, ed., Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, N.Y., pp. 219-342 (1994); and Tice & Tabibi, TREATISE ON CONTROLLED DRUG DELIVERY, A. Kydonieus, ed., Marcel Dekker, Inc. New York, N.Y., pp. 315-339, (1992) both of which are incorporated herein by reference.

Polymers can be used for ion-controlled release of immunoconjugate compositions of the present invention. Various degradable and nondegradable polymeric matrices for use in controlled drug delivery are known in the art (Langer, R., Accounts Chem. Res. 26:537-542 (1993)). For example, the block copolymer, polaxamer 407 exists as a viscous yet mobile liquid at low temperatures but forms a semisolid gel at body temperature. It has shown to be an effective vehicle for formulation and sustained delivery of recombinant interleukin-2 and urease (Johnston, et al., Pharm. Res. 9:425-434 (1992); and Pec, et al., J. Parent. Sci. Tech. 44(2):58-65 (1990)). Alternatively, hydroxyapatite has been used as a microcarrier for controlled release of proteins (Ijntema, et al., Int. J. Pharm. 112:215-224 (1994)). In yet another aspect, liposomes are used for controlled release as well as drug targeting of the lipid-capsulated drug (Betageri, et al., LIPOSOME DRUG DELIVERY SYSTEMS, Technomic Publishing Co., Inc., Lancaster, Pa. (1993)). Numerous additional systems for controlled delivery of therapeutic proteins are known. See, e.g., U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,055,303, 5,188,837, 4,235,871, 4,501,728, 4,837,028 4,957,735 and 5,019,369, 5,055,303; 5,514,670; 5,413,797; 5,268,164; 5,004,697; 4,902,505; 5,506,206, 5,271,961; 5,254,342 and 5,534,496, each of which is incorporated herein by reference.

Among various uses of the immunotoxins of the present invention are included a variety of disease conditions caused by specific human cells that may be eliminated by the toxic action of the fusion protein. One preferred application for the immunotoxins of the invention is the treatment of malignant cells expressing CD22. Exemplary malignant cells include those of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and hairy cell leukemia.

Diagnostic Kits and In Vitro Uses

In another embodiment, this invention provides for kits for the detection of CD22 or an immunoreactive fragment thereof, (i.e., collectively, a "CD22 protein") in a biological sample. A "biological sample" as used herein is a sample of biological tissue or fluid that contains CD22. Such samples include, but are not limited to, tissue from biopsy, blood, and blood cells (e.g., white cells). Preferably, the cells are lymphocytes. Biological samples also include sections of tissues, such as frozen sections taken for histological purposes. A biological sample is typically obtained from a multicellular eukaryote, preferably a mammal such as rat, mouse, cow, dog, guinea pig, or rabbit, and more preferably a primate, such as a macaque, chimpanzee, or human. Most preferably, the sample is from a human.

Kits will typically comprise an anti-CD22 antibody of the present invention. In some embodiments, the anti-CD22 antibody will be an anti-CD22 Fv fragment, such as a scFv or dsFv fragment.

In addition the kits will typically include instructional materials disclosing means of use of an antibody of the present invention (e.g. for detection of mesothelial cells in a sample). The kits may also include additional components to facilitate the particular application for which the kit is designed. Thus, for example, the kit may additionally contain means of detecting the label (e.g. enzyme substrates for enzymatic labels, filter sets to detect fluorescent labels, appropriate secondary labels such as a sheep anti-mouse-HRP, or the like). The kits may additionally include buffers and other reagents routinely used for the practice of a particular method. Such kits and appropriate contents are well known to those of skill in the art.

In one embodiment of the present invention, the diagnostic kit comprises an immunoassay. As described above, although the details of the immunoassays of the present invention may vary with the particular format employed, the method of detecting CD22 in a biological sample generally comprises the steps of contacting the biological sample with an antibody of the present invention which specifically reacts, under immunologically reactive conditions, to CD22. The antibody is allowed to bind to CD22 under immunologically reactive conditions, and the presence of the bound antibody is detected directly or indirectly.

Due to the increased affinity of the antibodies of the invention, the antibodies will be especially useful as diagnostic agents and in in vitro assays to detect the presence of CD22 in biological samples. For example, the antibodies taught herein can be used as the targeting moieties of immunoconjugates in immunohistochemical assays to determine whether a sample contains cells expressing CD22. Detection of CD22 in lymphocytes would indicate either that the patient has a cancer characterized by the presence of CD22-expressing cells, or that a treatment for such a cancer has not yet been successful at eradicating the cancer.

In another set of uses for the invention, immunotoxins targeted by antibodies of the invention can be used to purge targeted cells from a population of cells in a culture. Thus, for example, cells cultured from a patient having a cancer expressing CD22 can be purged of cancer cells by contacting the culture with immunotoxins which use the antibodies of the invention as a targeting moiety.
 

Claim 1 of 24 Claims

1. An isolated nucleic acid encoding an anti-CD22 antibody with a variable light (V.sub.L) chain having the sequence of a V.sub.L chain of antibody RFB4 and a variable heavy (V.sub.H) chain having the sequence of a V.sub.H chain of antibody RFB4, provided that residues 100, 100A and 100B of CDR3 of the V.sub.H chain of said anti-CD22 antibody, as the residues of the V.sub.H chain are numbered in the column of FIG. 3 (see Original Patent) according to "Kabat Numbering System," have an amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of: THW, YNW, TTW, and STY.
 

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