New synthesis of phenyl-isothiocyanate C-functionalised cyclams. Bioconjugation and 64Cu phenotypic PET imaging studies of multiple myeloma with the te2a derivative†
Azamacrocyclic bifunctional chelating agents (BCAs) are essential for the development of radiopharmaceuticals in nuclear medicine and we wish to prove that their bioconjugation by a function present on a carbon atom of the macrocyclic skeleton is a solution of choice to maintain their in vivo inertness. Based on our very recent methodology using a bisaminal template and selective N-alkylation approach, a new synthesis of conjugable C-functionalised teta, te2a and cb-te2a has been developed. These chelators have indeed a growing interest in nuclear medicine for positron emission tomography (PET) and radioimmunotherapy (RIT) where they show in several cases better complexation properties than dota or dota-like macrocycles, especially with 64Cu or 67Cu radioisotopes. Chelators are bearing an isothiocyanate grafting function introduced by C-alkylation to avoid as much as possible a critical decrease of their chelating properties. The synthesis is very efficient and yields the targeted ligands, teta-Ph-NCS, te2a-Ph-NCS and cb-te2a-Ph-NCS without fastidious work-up and could be easily extended to other cyclam based-BCAs. The newly synthetised te2a-Ph-NCS has been conjugated to an anti mCD138 monoclonal antibody (mAb) to evaluate its in vivo behavior and potentiality as BCA and to explore a first attempt of PET-phenotypic imaging in multiple myeloma (MM). Mass spectrometry analysis of the immunoconjugate showed that up to 4 chelates were conjugated per 9E7.4 mAb. The radiolabeling yield and specific activity post-purification of the bioconjugate 9E7.4-CSN-Ph-te2a were 95 ± 2.8% and 188 ± 27 MBq mg−1 respectively and the immunoreactivity of 64Cu-9E7.4-CSN-Ph-te2a was 81 ± 7%. Animal experiments were carried out on 5T33-Luc(+) tumor bearing mice, either in subcutaneous or orthotopic. To achieve PET imaging, mice were injected with 64Cu-9E7.4-CNS-Ph-te2a and acquisitions were conducted 2 and 20 h post-injection (PI). A millimetric bone uptake was localised in a sacroiliac of a MM orthotopic tumor. Nonspecific uptakes were observed at 2 h PI but, unlike for the tumor, a significant decrease was observed at 20 h PI which improves the contrast of the images.