AstraZeneca has contributed to ADC Therapeutics’ €96M fundraising, the biggest round so far in Europe this year. Will this huge investment pay out for the British-Swedish Big Pharma?
ADC Therapeutics (ADCT) is a Swiss Biotech that develops antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for oncology applications. Its founder Auven Therapeutics and its partner AstraZeneca have participated in the biggest funding round of the year in Europe: a whopping €96M.
ADCT plans to use the funds to advance nothing less than 6 clinical programs in the next 18 months. Two of their candidates, ADCT-301 and ADCT-402, are already in Phase Ia. Both are being tested to treat sub-types of lymphoma and leukemia.
And what is this exciting technology that draws the attention of big Pharma? ADCs are monoclonal antibodies that are linked to a toxin. By targeting the antibodies to specific tumor antigens, the toxin can selectively kill cancer cells.
ADCT employs pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD) dimer toxins from MedImmune, AstraZeneca’s R&D arm. These molecules interact with DNA to block cell division without being caught by DNA repair mechanisms,