Genmab and ADC Therapeutics will be developing a new antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) product combining Genmab's HuMax-TAC antibody and ADC Therapeutics' PBD-based warhead and linker technology. The companies have reportedly since 2012 been conducting in vitro and in vivo studies to investigate different warhead and linker combinations with HuMax-TAC, and now have the product ready for pre-IND preclinical development for multiple cancer indications.
Genmab and ADC Therapeutics say they will each initially have an equal share in the product. In the first instance, ADC Therapeutics will lead and fund preclinical development. Prior to the submission of an application to conduct clinical studies in patients (IND filing), Genmab may elect to retain equal ownership of the product. Genmab will not incur any development costs prior to the IND filing decision, and Genmab will maintain a minimum 25% ownership stake in the product as it moves into clinical development.
"We believe our unique HuMax-TAC antibody has optimal characteristics for creation of an ultra-potent antibody-drug conjugate when used in combination with ADC Therapeutics' novel PBD-based warhead and linker technology, which employs an emerging class of highly potent anticancer agents," said Jan van de Winkel, Ph.D., CEO of Genmab.
Genmab isn't the only firm that has expressed interest in ADC Therapeutics' warhead technology: Last July, ADC inked a collaboration with Cancer Research Technology (CRT) to develop antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) based on CRT’s antibodies and peptides, and ADC Therapeutics' cytotoxic warheads and linker chemistries.
ADC Therapeutics was established in March of 2012 by Auven Therapeutics Management (then known as Celtic Therapeutics Management) to progress an initial pipeline of 10 ADC programs targeting multiple major cancers.