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
Recently Roche announced positive data from a Phase 3 study demonstrating the ability of the company’s antibody drug conjugate (ADC), T-DM1, or trastuzumab emtansine, to increase progression-free survival of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer patients who had previously received treatment with Herceptin® and a taxane (chemotherapy).
Based on these positive data, Roche plans to file for approval of the drug in the European Union and United States this year. The results from the study will likely be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual meeting in June.
ADCs are a new class of therapeutics comprised of an antibody linked to a chemotherapy drug. Often described as “smart bombs,” ADCs hold much promise due to their targeted and potent nature, which allows the therapeutic to deliver an active chemotherapy drug to a specific cell while minimizing damage to healthy cells. Because of this ability, ADCs are currently being developed for cancer indications; they can, however, be directed to other types of targets beyond tumor cells that are implicated in autoimmune or cardiovascular disorders.
Due to the promise and potential of these drugs, there has recently been a surge of interest in ADCs, with both big pharma as well as small biotechnology companies pursuing programs. Companies developing ADCs include Ambrx and Sutro Biopharma, which are both developing next-generation ADCs. Ambrx is utilizing its protein medicinal chemistry technology to precisely link the antibody to the drug, creating an ADC with a potentially improved safety and efficacy profile. Sutro is using its protein synthesis technology to create best-in-class ADCs and bispecific antibodies, as well as proteins that have previously been inaccessible when using other technologies.
Russo Partners looks forward to bringing awareness to Ambrx’s and Sutro’s ADC programs in the coming months as interest in the space continues to grow.
Find out more information about Roche’s announcement in the following article from The Wall Street Journal:
The Wall Street Journal