ADCs Pipeline Update: Avacta Partners with ADC Therapeutics

On November 1, 2019, Avacta Group and ADC Therapeutics have announced a collaboration agreement for the development of novel drug candidates.

What is the objective of the collaboration: The partnership will aim at the development of drugs combining ADC Therapeutics’ pyrrolobenzodiazepine-based cytotoxic warheads with Avacta’s Affimer targeting platform.

What are the financial terms of the agreement: The detailed financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. As per the publicly available details, ADC Therapeutics will cover all Avacta’s costs during the project. The firm also has the right to obtain exclusive licenses to the Affimer proteins for clinical development and commercialization.

What are Affimers: Affimers are small proteins that target and bind molecules on cellular surfaces in a manner analogous to monoclonal antibodies. The key difference is that affimers are optimized to enhance their structural stability. They are also more resistant than mAbs to changes in environmental pH and temperature.

How many of the ADCs in development have pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD) as warhead: Pyrrolobenzodiazepines are a class of compounds that kill cells by binding their DNA and interfering with replication. In nature, they are made by a group of bacteria known as actinomycetes. Of the ADCs in development, around 12% have PBD as the payload / warhead.

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