ADC Therapeutics has presented preliminary Phase I data in lymphoma patients suggesting its ADC technology is effective even at low doses.

ADC Therapeutics is a Swiss biotech that, as it name hints, develops antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), a promising approach to treating cancer that combines small molecule cytotoxicity with antibody specificity. The company presented very promising data regarding its candidate ADCT-301 yesterday at the International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma (ICML) in Lugano, Switzerland.

The results presented come from an ongoing Phase I trial whose main endpoint is to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) in 37 patients with lymphoma. Although the highest dose has not been reached yet, some patients are already responding surprisingly well to the treatment.

We’ve seen some quite impressive responses, particularly in patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, at doses we know are below the MTD,said principal investigator Steven M. Horwitz from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “These are primarily patients who have exhausted standard therapies, including checkpoint inhibitors, [which] is very encouraging.

ADC Therapeutics ADCT-301 lymphoma

ADCT-301 is composed of a pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD) toxin conjugated to a HuMax-TAC antibody against CD25 licensed from Genmab. CD25 is a protein mainly expressed on activated T-cells in a wide range of hematological tumors, while its expression in healthy organs is restricted.

In addition to lymphoma, ADCT-301 is also being tested in acute myeloid and acute lymphoblastic leukemia in another ongoing Phase I trial. In total, the Swiss biotech is now running six Phase I trials with four different ADCs containing the PDB toxin. One of them, MEDI3726, is being developed in partnership with AstraZeneca’s biologics arm MedImmune to treat prostate cancer.

ADC Therapeutics is running all other programs itself thanks to a massive €96M fundraising round last October, with the participation of AstraZeneca and ADC Therapeutic’s parent company Auven Therapeutics. All big pharma are getting hold of ADC candidates, including Roche, Genentech, Novartis, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly and Pfizer. With a comprehensive pipeline that targets not only blood cancer, but also solid tumors, ADC Therapeutics seems well positioned to take a portion of the ADC market, which is expected to reach €16Bn ($18Bn) by 2022.


Images via extender_01 / Shutterstock; ADC Therapeutics

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