Evaluation of efficacy and safety of the anti-VWF Nanobody ALX-0681 in a preclinical baboon model of acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura

Filip Callewaert, Jan Roodt, Hans Ulrichts, Thomas Stohr, Walter Janse van Rensburg, Seb Lamprecht, Stefaan Rossenu, Sofie Priem, Wouter Willems and Josefin-Beate Holz


ALX-0681 is a therapeutic Nanobody targeting the A1-domain of VWF. It inhibits the interaction between ultra-large VWF and platelet GpIb-IX-V, which plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). In the present study, we report the efficacy and safety profile of ALX-0681 in a baboon model of acquired TTP. In this model, acute episodes of TTP are induced by administration of an ADAMTS13-inhibiting mAb. ALX-0681 completely prevented the rapid onset of severe thrombocytopenia and schistocytic hemolytic anemia. After induction of TTP, platelet counts also rapidly recovered on administration of ALX-0681. This effect was corroborated by the full neutralization of VWF activity. The schistocytic hemolytic anemia was also halted and partially reversed by ALX-0681 treatment. Brain CT scans and post mortem analysis did not reveal any sign of bleeding, suggesting that complete neutralization of VWF by ALX-0681 under conditions of thrombocytopenia was not linked with an excessive bleeding risk. The results obtained in this study demonstrate that ALX-0681 can successfully treat and prevent the most important hallmarks of acquired TTP without evidence of a severe bleeding risk. Therefore, ALX-0681 offers an attractive new therapeutic option for acquired TTP in the clinical setting.

  • Submitted April 3, 2012.
  • Accepted August 16, 2012.
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