Adcentrx Links with AvantGen To Advance Superior Antibody-Drug Conjugate Therapies

This huge deal between Adcentrx and AvantGen to advance antibody-drug conjugate therapies.

This huge deal between Adcentrx and AvantGen to advance antibody-drug conjugate therapies. 

Adcentrx Therapeutics has signed a deal with AvantGen to discover and develop antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) candidates that may treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

The three-year, multi-target agreement leverages AvantGen's yeast display technology for human antibody discovery and optimization to engineering antibodies into ADC treatments. Adcentrx will specify the targets against which the antibodies will be screened and has worldwide development and commercialization rights for the products it creates through the partnership. AvantGen stands to receive milestone payments down the line for every development goal achieved.

What Do Both Companies Say About the Deal for Elevating Antibody-Drug Conjugate

"We are excited to enter this partnership to accelerate our ADC development efforts. Through our ongoing collaboration, AvantGen has demonstrated its capabilities in rapidly discovering a diverse antibody repertoire with high developability against defined targets. A key objective at Adcentrx, through this collaboration and opportunistic licensing activities, is to identify the best antibodies which we can leverage to assemble a pipeline of next-generation ADC therapeutics," commented Hui Li, Ph.D., the president, and chief executive officer of Adcentrx, in a statement. 

The movement has been fast for Adcentrx, which generated $50 million in April 2021 through a Series A financing round to fuel its development efforts for next-generation Antibody-Drug Conjugate-based treatment options.

The funding round was led by CBC Group, alongside Boyu Capital's Zoo Capital. Adcentrx is no stranger to ADCs as it was founded with ADC veterans Li, who has extensive experience in ADC conjugation, Dr. Pia Challita-Eid, who was instrumental in the development of a dozen ADCs including the FDA-approved PADCEV, and Dr. Alexander Chu-Kung, who oversaw the development of ADC drugs while he served as principal engineer at AbbVie.

ADCs (antibody-drug conjugate) represent a class of targeted chemotherapeutic agents that aim to achieve site-specific delivery of cytotoxic agents to target cells. They consist of monoclonal antibodies that are attached to biologically active drugs through cleavable chemical linkers. Further developments on the method aim to improve pharmacodelivery by minimizing the exposure of healthy cells. 

"The speed that Adcentrx is able to take lead antibody candidates to development stage with its ADC technology is truly remarkable. We believe that this new partnership will enable Adcentrx to develop the most promising Next-Generation Antibody-Drug Conjugate's therapeutics with our high-quality antibodies," noted Xiaomin Fan, Ph.D., the president and CEO of AvantGen, in the same press release. 

Another company that has recently placed much attention on ADCs is Daiichi Sankyo. In September 2021, the Japanese firm said it was trying to create a molecule that helps reduce payload release as the drug moves toward target cells. With its membrane-permeable topoisomerase I inhibitor, the payload that's shed off during the process is able to diffuse back to a nearby cell. 

Back to news