ADC Therapeutics, a company specializing in the development of antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) for several cancer indications, has raised $200 million through a private placement.
Both ADCT-301 and ADCT-402 are antibody-drug conjugates (ADC), meaning they are composed of an antibody specific for cancer cells, bound to an anti-cancer drug.
ADCT-301 uses a CD25 antibody (licensed from Genmab), linked to a toxin based on the PBD (pyrrolobenzodiazepine) compound. CD25 is found in Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL) and many types of NHL, including follicular lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. When the ADCT-301 binds to a CD25-positive cell, the toxin enters the cell, killing it.
Preclinical studies have shown that PBD is a highly potent killer of cancer cells, even when such cells are resistant to current best therapies. ADCT-301 outperformed Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin), a drug approved for the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and anaplastic large cell lymphoma, in mice models.
Earlier this year, ADC Therapeutics presented the preliminary results from this trial during the 14th International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma (ICML) in Lugano, Switzerland. Results revealed promising overall response rates and low-degree toxicity effects.
Another ongoing Phase 1 trial (NCT02588092) is also studying the drug in patients with acute myeloid leukemia. With the new funds, ADCT also is advancing ADCT-301 into a combination study for solid tumors.
ADCT-402, which is being developed for NHL and B-cell leukemia, is made of a CD19 antibody also linked to a PBD toxin. The drug is being evaluated in two ongoing Phase 1 trials (NCT02669017 and NCT02669264) for the treatment of relapsed or refractory NHL, and B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
The funding also will allow the company to continue the development of ADCT-502 in patients with advanced HER-positive solid tumors, to file investigational new drug (IND) applications for ADCT-602 and ADCT-601, and to progress a pipeline of pre-clinical ADC programs.
“With more than 250 patients dosed, and encouraging data to be presented at the upcoming congress of the American Society of Hematology, this financing is a key step in our strategy and will enable us to accelerate our lead programs and to continue to develop our pipeline,” Chris Martin, CEO of ADC Therapeutics, said in a press release. “This transaction also reflects the potential value to patients of rapidly developing these active drugs as stand alone and combination therapies. We continue to grow our pipeline of proprietary antibody-drug conjugates in important hematological and solid tumor indications both on our own and in partnerships.”