M281, an anti-FcRn antibody, inhibits IgG transfer in a human ex vivo placental perfusion model

Sucharita Roy, Tatiana Nanovskaya, Svetlana Patrikeeva, Edward Cochran, Viraj Parge, Jamey Guess, John Schaeck, Amit Choudhury, Mahmoud Ahmed, Leona E. Ling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: The transfer of pathogenic immunoglobulin G antibodies from mother to fetus is a critical step in the pathophysiology of alloimmune and autoimmune diseases of the fetus and neonate. Immunoglobulin G transfer across the human placenta to the fetus is mediated by the neonatal Fc receptor, and blockade of the neonatal Fc receptor may provide a therapeutic strategy to prevent or minimize pathological events associated with immune-mediated diseases of pregnancy. M281 is a fully human, aglycosylated monoclonal immunoglobulin G1 antineonatal Fc receptor antibody that has been shown to block the neonatal Fc receptor with high affinity in nonclinical studies and in a phase 1 study in healthy volunteers. Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the transplacental transfer of M281 and its potential to inhibit transfer of immunoglobulin G from maternal to fetal circulation. Study Design: To determine the concentration of M281 required for rapid cellular uptake and complete saturation of the neonatal Fc receptor in placental trophoblasts, primary human villous trophoblasts were incubated with various concentrations of M281 in a receptor occupancy assay. The placental transfer of M281, immunoglobulin G, and immunoglobulin G in the presence of M281 was studied using the dually perfused human placental lobule model. Immunoglobulin G transfer was established using a representative immunoglobulin G molecule, adalimumab, a human immunoglobulin G1 monoclonal antibody, at a concentration of 270 μg/mL. Inhibition of immunoglobulin G transfer by M281 was determined by cotransfusing 270 μg/mL of adalimumab with 10 μg/mL or 300 μg/mL of M281. Concentrations of adalimumab and M281 in sample aliquots from maternal and fetal circuits were analyzed using a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Meso Scale Discovery assay, respectively. Results: In primary human villous trophoblasts, the saturation of the neonatal Fc receptor by M281 was observed within 30–60 minutes at 0.15–5.0 μg/mL, suggesting rapid blockade of neonatal Fc receptor in placental cells. The transfer rate of adalimumab (0.23% ± 0.21%)across dually perfused human placental lobule was significantly decreased by 10 μg/mL and 300 μg/mL of M281 to 0.07 ± 0.01% and 0.06 ± 0.01%, respectively. Furthermore, the transfer rate of M281 was 0.002% ± 0.02%, approximately 100-fold lower than that of adalimumab. Conclusion: The significant inhibition of immunoglobulin G transfer across the human placental lobule by M281 and the minimal transfer of M281 supports the development of M281 as a novel agent for the treatment of fetal and neonatal diseases caused by transplacental transfer of alloimmune and autoimmune pathogenic immunoglobulin G antibodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)498.e1-498.e9
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019


  • M281
  • autoimmune disease
  • fetal transfer
  • monoclonal antibodies
  • neonate
  • placental perfusion model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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