Quantitative comparison of the neutralizing capacity, immunogenicity and cross-reactivity of anti-TNF-α biologicals and an Infliximab-biosimilar
Public Library of Science (PLoS) -- PLOS ONE
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0208922


TNF-α-neutralizing antibodies, such as infliximab (IFX) and adalimumab (ADA), are effective in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), but they are expensive and become ineffective when patients develop anti-IFX or anti-ADA antibodies (ATI and ATA, respectively). Second-generation anti-TNF-α antibodies, such as Golimumab, Etanercept, Certolizumab-pegol and IFX biosimilars, may solve these issues.


To determine the neutralizing capacity of first- and second generation anti-TNF-α antibodies and to determine whether ATI show cross-reactivity with the IFX biosimilar CT-P13 (Inflectra).


TNF-α neutralization was measured using a quantitative TNF-α sensor assay consisting of HeLa 8D8 cells that express the Green Fluorescence Protein (GFP) under control of a NF-кB response element. All available anti-TNF-α drugs and the IFX biosimilar CT-P13 (Inflectra) were tested for their TNF-α-neutralizing capacity. In addition, patient sera with ATI were tested for their potential to block the activity of IFX, IFX (F)ab2-fragment, biosimilar CT-P13 (Inflectra) and ADA.


TNF-α strongly induced GFP expression in Hela 8D8 cells. Higher concentrations of first-generation anti-TNF-α drugs were required to neutralize TNF-α compared to the second-generation anti-TNF-α drugs. Serum of IBD patients with proven ATI blocked TNF-α-neutralizing properties of IFX biosimilar CT-P13 (Inflectra), whereas such sera did not block the effect of ADA.


The second-generation anti-TNF-α drugs show increased TNF-α-neutralizing potential compared to first-generation variants. ATI show cross-reactivity toward IFX biosimilar CT-P13 (Inflectra), consequently patients with ATI are unlikely to benefit from treatment with this IFX biosimilar.