Acquisition is expected to strengthen capabilities in oncology.

Netherlands-based Synthon has acquired fellow Dutch firm, Syntarga, to take over the latter’s cancer-focused antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) platform. Synthon’s own roots are in the generics field, but it is working to expand its expertise into biopharmaceuticals development. Just last month the firm officially opened its 6,850 m2 biotechnology laboratory.

“Through this acquisition we can further strengthen our capabilities in the therapeutic area of oncology,” comments Rudy Mareel, Synthon CEO. “We strongly believe that combining Syntarga’s highly potent cell-killing drugs, releasable liner technologies, and linker-drug combinations for conjugation to tumor-specific antibodies with our own expertise and knowledge in small molecule and monoclonal antibody products will lead to a new generation of effective, targeted medicines.”

The Payload ADC platform developed by Syntarga combines expertise in cytotoxic drug and linker chemistries. The firm has developed a family of complementary linker platforms. The SpaceLink technology reversibly links the drug via a linear releasable linker. The MultiLink technology enables the linkage of multiple drugs to an antibody, while the Syntarga AbLoad technology comprises a synthetic approach to introducing the antibody-reactive group in the final step of the linker-drug construct synthesis.

The ADC constructs use duocarmycins with subnanomolar to picomolar activity as the cytotoxic drug molecules. Syntarga claims these cytotoxic entities have been optimized in terms of target toxicity to off-target toxicity ratios. Syntarga was founded in 2002 as a spin-off from the Radboud University in Nijmegen.

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