Bispecific antibodies are of great interest due to their ability to simultaneously bind and engage different antigens or epitopes. Nevertheless, it remains a challenge to assemble, produce and/or purify them. Here we present an innovative dual anti-idiotypic purification process, which provides pure bispecific antibodies with native immunoglobulin format. Using this approach, a biparatopic IgG1 antibody targeting two distinct, HGF-competing, non-overlapping epitopes on the extracellular region of the MET receptor, was purified with camelid single-domain antibody fragments that bind specifically to the correct heavy chain/light chain pairings of each arm. The purity and functionality of the anti-MET biparatopic antibody was then confirmed by mass spectrometry and binding experiments, demonstrating its ability to simultaneously target the two epitopes recognized by the parental monoclonal antibodies. The improved MET-inhibitory activity of the biparatopic antibody compared to the parental monoclonal antibodies, was finally corroborated in cell-based assays and more importantly in a tumor xenograft mouse model. In conclusion, this approach is fast and specific, broadly applicable and results in the isolation of a pure, novel and native-format anti-MET biparatopic antibody that shows superior biological activity over the parental monospecific antibodies both in vitro and in vivo.
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