Daratumumab (DARA) is an FDA-approved high-affinity monoclonal antibody targeting CD38 that has shown promising therapeutic efficacy in double refractory multiple myeloma (MM) patients. Despite the well-established clinical efficacy of DARA, not all heavily pretreated patients respond to single-agent DARA, and the majority of patients who initially respond eventually progress. Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) combine the highly targeted tumor antigen recognition of antibodies with the cell killing properties of chemotherapy for effective internalization and processing of the drug. In this study, we evaluated the anti-tumor efficacy of DARA conjugated to the maytansine derivative, mertansine (DM1), linked via a non-cleavable bifunctional linker. The ADC was labelled with the near-infrared (NIR) fluorophore IRDye800 (DARA-DM1-IR) to evaluate its stability, biodistribution and pharmacokinetics in vitro and in vivo. We demonstrated the conjugation of: 1) DM1 enhanced tumor-killing efficacy of the native DARA and 2) IRDye800 allowed for visualization of uptake and tumor targeting ability of the ADC. With the advent of other classes of immunoconjugates for use in MM, we reasoned that such imaging techniques can be utilized to evaluate other promising conjugates in preclinical MM models on a whole-body and cellular level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2039-2050
Number of pages12
Issue number20
StatePublished - Sep 28 2021


  • Antibody-drug conjugate (ADC)
  • Cluster of differentiation 38 (CD38)
  • Multiple myeloma (MM)
  • Near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence
  • Small animal optical imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Tissue biodistribution and tumor targeting of near-infrared labelled anti-CD38 antibody-drug conjugate in preclinical multiple myeloma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this