This week at the European Society of Medical Oncology, Roche presented additional impressive data involving its antibody drug conjugate (ADC), T-DM1. In a large study of women with HER2-positive breast cancer, patients were shown to have a statistically significant improvement in overall survival of 30.9 months when treated with T-DM1, compared to 25.1 months for patients treated with the standard of care (lapatinib/capecitabine). This study was simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
These results only add to the excitement generated by ADCs, which has steadily grown since last year’s FDA approval of the first ADC, Seattle Genetics’ ADCETRISTM. Russo Partners works with multiple companies developing drug conjugates, including Ambrx, Sutro Biopharma and Endocyte.
Ambrx is using its site-specific protein medicinal chemistry technology to create next-generation drug conjugates. This June, the company formed a partnership with Merck worth up to $303 million to design and develop drug conjugates based on Ambrx’s technology for oncology and non-oncology indications.
Endocyte is developing small molecule drug conjugates (SMDCs), which are comprised of a small molecule conjugated to a potent chemotherapy drug as well as companion imaging diagnostics for each therapeutic. The company recently formed a partnership with Merck work up to $1 billion for its lead SMDC, etarfolatide.
Sutro’s biochemical protein synthesis technology enables the development of best-in-class ADCs as well as next-generation bi-specific/multispecific antibodies. The company recently closed a second tranche of Series C financing of $16.5 million that will be used to advance development of therapeutics created with the technology.
Read more about the T-DM1 data in the article below from MedPage Today:
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Tagged ADCETRIS, Ambrx, bi-speci, bi-specific antibodies, chemotherapy, drug conjugate, drug conjugates, Endocyte, Etarfolatide, imaging diagnostics, Merck, multi-specific antibodies, Series C Financing, SMDC, Sutro Biopharma, T-DM1
Last week, Ambrx announced a collaboration with Merck to develop and design drug conjugates based on the company’s technology in a deal worth $15 million up front and $288 million in milestone payments. This is the first partnership involving drugs of this class to focus on both oncology and non-oncology indications.
Drug conjugates are formed by joining a highly specific therapeutic, such as an antibody, with a drug. This class of therapeutics holds much promise due to their ability to deliver an active therapeutic to a specific cell while minimizing damage to healthy cells. Recently, Genentech’s drug conjugate, T-DM1, generated much attention at ASCO with the presentation of data demonstrating unprecedented improvements in metastatic breast cancer patients, delaying disease progression while also reducing side effects.
While drug conjugates are particularly promising for cancer indications, Ambrx’s site-specific technology enables this class of therapeutics to treat non-oncology indications as well, such as chronic and more common, non-life threatening diseases, including autoimmune, inflammatory, metabolic and cardiovascular disorders.
Russo Partners worked to secure coverage of the announcement in business-focused trade publications, including “The Pink Sheet” DAILY, BioWorld Today, Scrip, Xconomy; science-focused trade publications, including Chemical & Engineering News; as well as local publications, including the U-T San Diego and San Diego Daily Transcript.
Read more about the partnership in the articles below:
Chemical & Engineering News
U-T San Diego