Date: 2012-07-06

Type of information: Development agreement

Compound: antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) using CRT antibodies and peptides, and ADC Therapeutics ‘warhead’ and linker chemistries.

Company: Cancer Research Technology (UK) ADC Therapeutics (Switzerland)

Therapeutic area: Cancer - Oncology

Type agreement:


Action mechanism:

ADCs combine the specificity of antibodies with novel ‘warhead’ chemistries. The antibody component selectively targets the cancer cells to deliver tumour-destroying chemicals which are internalised into the cancer cell while avoiding damage to healthy tissue. Once inside the cancer cell, the linker degrades and the active toxin is released, binding to the cell’s DNA and killing the cancer cell. ADCT’s toxic chemicals interact with DNA without disrupting the double helix structure which avoids triggering DNA repair processes – with the prospect that this will prevent drug resistance.

Disease: undisclosed cancers


Cancer Research Technology (CRT), the commercial arm of Cancer Research UK, and ADC Therapeutics (ADCT)  have signed agreements to develop cancer treatments called Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs) using CRT antibodies and peptides, and ADCT ‘warhead’ and linker chemistries.
ADCT’s warheads are based on proprietary pyrrolobenzodiazepines (PBDs) technology developed by London-based Spirogen Limited.  ADCT will initially fund preclinical studies for the new ADCs in a range of cancer models in laboratories at Queen Mary, University of London and King’s College London.  Deal terms are not disclosed, nor the cancer targets.
ADCT is an oncology drug development company focused on proprietary ADC programs targeting major areas such as breast lung, prostate, renal and haematological cancers.It was recently established with $50m (£32M) of funding from Celtic Therapeutics management, a private equity firm, to develop a pipeline of up to 10 new therapies based on ADCs. In March 2012, ADCT and Spirogen announced their partnership to develop proprietary ADC products.

Financial terms:

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Is general: Yes