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1620 A Phase 1b Study Investigating the Combination of the Tetravalent Bispecific NK Cell Engager AFM13 and Pembrolizumab in Patients with Relapsed/Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma after Brentuximab Vedotin Failure: Updated Safety and Efficacy Data

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 624. Hodgkin Lymphoma and T/NK Cell Lymphoma—Clinical Studies: Poster I
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
antibodies, Biological, Diseases, Therapies, Hodgkin Lymphoma, immunotherapy, Clinically relevant, Lymphoid Malignancies, NK cells
Saturday, December 1, 2018, 6:15 PM-8:15 PM
Hall GH (San Diego Convention Center)

Nancy L. Bartlett, MD1, Robert W. Chen, MD2, Eva Domingo-Domenech, MD3*, Andres Forero-Torres, MD4*, Ramon Garcia-Sanz, MD, PhD5, Philippe Armand, MD, PhD6, Sumana Devata, MD7, Antonia Rodriguez Izquierdo, MD8*, Izidore S. Lossos, MD9, Craig B. Reeder, MD10, Taimur Sher, MD11, Cassandra Choe-Juliak, MD, MS12, Kim Prier13*, Sylvia Schwarz, PhD13*, Andras Strassz, MD13*, Leila Alland, MD12* and Stephen M. Ansell, MD, PhD14

1Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO
2Department of Hematology/Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
3Institut Catala D'oncologia, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
4Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
5University Hospital of Salamanca, Salamanca, ESP
6Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
7Internal Medicine/Hematology/Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
8Hospital Doce de Octubre, Madrid, Spain
9Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL
10Mayo Clinic Hospital, Phoenix, AZ
11Division of Hematology-Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL
12Affimed, Inc., New York, NY
13Affimed GmbH, Heidelberg, Germany
14Division of Hematology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN


AFM13 is a bispecific, tetravalent NK cell-engaging antibody construct binding to CD30 on CD30+ tumor cells and CD16A on NK cells. By engaging CD16A-positive NK cells, AFM13 leads to NK cell-mediated killing of CD30-positive lymphoma cells (Reusch et al., 2014) making it an attractive agent to target classical Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). Pembrolizumab is a PD-1 blocking antibody which has shown high single-agent response rates in patients (pts) with relapsed/refractory HL (RRHL; Armand et al., 2016, Chen et al., 2017). AFM13 has shown clinical activity in RRHL as a single agent in a preceding Phase 1 study (Rothe et al., 2015). Preclinical in vivo data of the combination of AFM13 with PD-1 blockade showed synergistic activity and the potential for induction of cross-talk between innate and adaptive immunity (Zhao et al., 2016). We hypothesize that the combination of the two agents could improve outcomes in pts with RRHL.


This Phase 1b study is evaluating the safety and tolerability of the combination of AFM13 with pembrolizumab (Keytruda) as salvage therapy after failure of standard therapies including brentuximab vedotin (BV) in HL (NCT02665650). Pts receive escalating doses of AFM13 in combination with pembrolizumab at a dose of 200 mg flat administered every 3 weeks following a classical 3+3 design, followed by enrollment into an extension cohort at the maximum tolerated dose (MTD)/maximum administered dose (MAD). Response assessment is performed every 12 weeks by PET/CT according to the Lugano Classification (Cheson et al., 2014). The main objectives of the study is to ascertain the MTD/MAD along with the preliminary efficacy of the combination.


As of June 29, 2018, 30 pts have been enrolled into the study. The median age is 34 years (range, 18-73), with a median of 4 (range 3-7) prior lines of therapy. All pts had relapsed or refractory disease (43% relapsed, 57% refractory) and had failed standard treatments including BV and 43% of pts (13/30) had BV as their latest therapy. Thirty seven percent (11/30) had undergone prior autologous stem cell transplantation.

All 30 pts have completed the 6-week dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) observation period. Twelve pts were enrolled into the dose escalation cohorts (Cohorts 1 (n=3), 2 (n=3), and 3 (n=6)) and 18 into the Extension Cohort, with a total of 24 patients treated at the MAD (dose level 3). One DLT was observed in Cohort 3 (missing ≥25% of AFM13 during the DLT period) and another observed in the Extension Cohort (G4 infusion-related reaction; IRR). The most common related adverse events (AEs) were IRRs (80%), rash (30%), pyrexia (23%), nausea (23%), diarrhea (20%), fatigue (17%), headache (17%), increased aspartate aminotransferase (13%), and increased alanine aminotransferase (10%). Treatment related G3/4 AEs included IRRs (13%), elevated AST (3%), gastritis (3%), hypotension (3%), nausea (3%), neutropenia (3%), and vomiting (3%). The majority of IRRs were manageable with standard of care measures and did not lead to treatment discontinuations.

Included in the efficacy analysis were the best response from 29 evaluable pts who had at least one post-baseline disease assessment as of the data cutoff on June 29, 2018. The overall response rate (ORR) and complete response (CR) rate for evaluable pts treated at the dose and schedule chosen for expansion (n=23; Cohort 3 and Extension Cohort) were 87% and 35% by the investigator-confirmed assessment, respectively. Independent assessment resulted in an ORR of 87% and CR rate of 39% for these pts. Updated data for all 30 patients will be presented at the meeting.


The combination of AFM13 and pembrolizumab is a well-tolerated salvage therapy in pts with RRHL. IRRs were the most frequently observed adverse events; however, most of these events were of mild or moderate severity and manageable. Both the ORR and CR rate compare favorably to monotherapy pembrolizumab in a similar RRHL population (Chen et al., 2017). The combination of AFM13 and pembrolizumab could be a potential new therapeutic option for HL patients.

Disclosures: Bartlett: Immune Design: Research Funding; Affimed: Research Funding; Bristol-Meyers Squibb: Research Funding; Merck & Co: Research Funding; Pharmacyclics: Research Funding; Celgene: Research Funding; Pharmacyclics: Research Funding; Genentech: Research Funding; Forty Seven: Research Funding; Novartis: Research Funding; Novartis: Research Funding; Millennium: Research Funding; ImaginAB: Research Funding; Pfizer: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Gilead: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Janssen: Research Funding; KITE: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Astra Zeneca: Research Funding; Acerta: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees. Chen: Affimed: Research Funding; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Research Funding; Genentech Inc.: Consultancy; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; Merck & Co., Inc.: Consultancy, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; Millennium Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy, Research Funding; Pharmacyclics: Consultancy, Research Funding. Domingo-Domenech: Affimed: Research Funding. Forero-Torres: Affimed: Research Funding. Garcia-Sanz: Affimed: Research Funding. Devata: Affimed: Research Funding. Rodriguez Izquierdo: Affimed: Research Funding. Lossos: Affimed: Research Funding. Reeder: Affimed: Research Funding. Sher: Affimed: Research Funding. Choe-Juliak: Affimed: Employment. Prier: Affimed: Research Funding. Schwarz: Affimed: Employment. Strassz: Affimed: Employment. Alland: Affimed: Employment. Ansell: Seattle Genetics: Research Funding; Pfizer: Research Funding; Merck & Co: Research Funding; Trillium: Research Funding; Regeneron: Research Funding; Celldex: Research Funding; LAM Therapeutics: Research Funding; Takeda: Research Funding; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Research Funding; Affimed: Research Funding.

*signifies non-member of ASH