Targeting the myeloid checkpoint receptor SIRPα potentiates innate and adaptive immune responses to promote anti-tumor activity

Tracy C. Kuo, Amy Chen, Ons Harrabi, Jonathan T. Sockolosky, Anli Zhang, Emma Sangalang, Laura V. Doyle, Steven E. Kauder, Danielle Fontaine, Sangeetha Bollini, Bora Han, Yang-Xin Fu, Janet Sim, Jaume Pons, Hong I. Wan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: Signal regulatory protein α (SIRPα) is a myeloid-lineage inhibitory receptor that restricts innate immunity through engagement of its cell surface ligand CD47. Blockade of the CD47–SIRPα interaction synergizes with tumor-specific antibodies and T-cell checkpoint inhibitors by promoting myeloid-mediated antitumor functions leading to the induction of adaptive immunity. Inhibition of the CD47–SIRPα interaction has focused predominantly on targeting CD47, which is expressed ubiquitously and contributes to the accelerated blood clearance of anti-CD47 therapeutics. Targeting SIRPα, which is myeloid-restricted, may provide a differential pharmacokinetic, safety, and efficacy profile; however, SIRPα polymorphisms and lack of pan-allelic and species cross-reactive agents have limited the clinical translation of antibodies against SIRPα. Here, we report the development of humanized AB21 (hAB21), a pan-allelic anti-SIRPα antibody that binds human, cynomolgus monkey, and mouse SIRPα alleles with high affinity and blocks the interaction with CD47. Methods: Human macrophages derived from donors with various SIRPα v1 and v2 allelic status were used to assess the ability of hAB21 to enhance phagocytosis. HAB21_IgG subclasses were evaluated for targeted depletion of peripheral blood mononuclear cells, phagocytosis and in vivo efficacy in xenograft models. Combination therapy with anti-PD1/anti-PD-L1 in several syngeneic models was performed. Immunophenotyping of tissues from MC38 tumor-bearing mice treated with AB21 and anti-PD-1 was evaluated. PK, PD and tolerability of hAB21 were evaluated in cynomolgus monkeys. Results: SIRPα blockade with hAB21 promoted macrophage-mediated antibody-dependent phagocytosis of tumor cells in vitro and improved responses to rituximab in the Raji human tumor xenograft mouse model. Combined with PD-1/PD-L1 blockade, AB21 improved response rates by facilitating monocyte activation, dendritic cell activation, and T cell effector functions resulting in long term, durable antitumor immunity. In cynomolgus monkeys, hAB21 has a half-life of 5.3 days at 10 mg/kg and complete target occupancy with no hematological toxicity or adverse findings at doses up to 30 mg/kg. Conclusions: The in vitro and in vivo antitumor activity of hAB21 broadly recapitulates that of CD47 targeted therapies despite differences in ligand expression, binding partners, and function, validating the CD47–SIRPα axis as a fundamental myeloid checkpoint pathway and its blockade as promising therapeutic intervention for treatment of human malignancies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number160
JournalJournal of Hematology and Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Adaptive immunity
  • CD47
  • Immunotherapy
  • Innate immune checkpoint
  • Macrophage
  • Phagocytosis
  • SIRPα

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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