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Safety, Tolerability, Pharmacokinetics, and Immunogenicity of Motavizumab, a Humanized, Enhanced-Potency Monoclonal Antibody for the Prevention of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection in At-Risk Children

Abarca, Katia MD*; Jung, Elizabeth MD; Fernández, Pilar MD; Zhao, Liang PhD§; Harris, Brian MS§; Connor, Edward M. MD§; Losonsky, Genevieve A. MD§for the Motavizumab Study Group

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal: April 2009 - Volume 28 - Issue 4 - p 267-272
doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e31818ffd03
Original Studies

Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of lower respiratory tract infection in young children. Motavizumab is an investigational humanized monoclonal antibody for RSV prophylaxis.

Methods: A dose-escalation study was conducted followed by assessment of safety, tolerability, serum concentrations, and immunogenicity during a second consecutive RSV season. In season 1, premature infants aged ≤6 months or children ≤24 months with chronic lung disease of prematurity received monthly motavizumab (3 or 15 mg/kg). In season 2, children who received ≥3 motavizumab doses in season 1 were randomized to receive monthly motavizumab or palivizumab 15 mg/kg.

Results: Of 217 children enrolled in season 1, 211 (97.2%) received motavizumab 15 mg/kg and 205 (94.5%) patients completed the study through 90 days after the final dose. In season 2, 136 children were randomized to receive motavizumab (n = 66) or palivizumab (n = 70). The most commonly reported related adverse event was transient injection site erythema. In season 1, mean trough motavizumab concentrations were 7.9 and 50.2 μg/mL after the 3- and 15-mg/kg doses, respectively. Trough concentrations increased with repeated motavizumab dosing; a similar pattern was seen in season 2. Antimotavizumab reactivity occurred infrequently (3.3%) in season 1. In season 2, no treatment group–specific antidrug antibody was detected through 90 to 120 days after dosing with either product.

Conclusions: The pharmacokinetic profile of motavizumab was similar to that of other IgG1 antibodies. Increased adverse reactions or immunogenicity were not observed during and after a second season of treatment with motavizumab. Safety findings from these studies supported the continued development of motavizumab.

From the *Hospital Clínico Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile; †St. John's Mercy Medical Center, St. Louis, MO; ‡Hospital Clínico Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile; and §MedImmune, Gaithersburg, MD.

Accepted for publication October 2, 2008.

Dr. Connor is currently at Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC.

Sponsored by MedImmune. Drs. Abarca and Jung have received consultation/research grants from MedImmune. Brian Harris and Drs. Zhao and Losonsky are employees of MedImmune. Dr. Connor was an employee of MedImmune at the time of the study and is a consultant for MedImmune.

Clinical Trial Registration: identifiers: NCT00192478 and NCT00113490.

Address for correspondence: Genevieve A. Losonsky, MD, MedImmune, One MedImmune Way, Gaithersburg, MD 20878. E-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.