Monday, October 28, 2019

What's New in ADC's This Week - Oct 28th, 2019

Hello all,

I'm back, and in record time.  As promised, I have completed my link aggregation to get us all back up to date with the world of ADC.  So please enjoy the latest news and happenings related to antibody-drug conjugates.

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Yes, this will get you this article in your inbox.  Also, you will get the full list of links that I have found and thought was interesting.  But coming very soon, I am working on how to get you all involved in this with me.  So if you are interested in being directly plugged in to the latest ADC news, and contributing on anything from answering a poll question to who knows what, then sign up here.  

As a first example of subscriber participation.  Coming soon, I will be putting out a summary of World ADC San Diego highlighting all of the most interesting points from the conference this year.  But instead of just my opinions, I am enlisting the help of some fellow readers who were also conference attendees.  It should be fun.  So expect to see that article coming soon.

And as always, please reshare this article to spread the love and keep these articles coming.  But for now, lets go to the links

1. ADCs in Space!!!

International Space Station
I cannot describe how happy this article makes me.  On one hand I can espouse the logic of testing cancer therapies in microgravity because it more closely mimics a tumor microenvironment than a typical cell culture would.  But the reality is, this is just combining two awesome things to make for something even awesome-er.  

A smart man once proposed a theory to me:  You can take anything in the world, and make it cooler by putting it in space.  

Pen --> Space Pen.  
Monkey --> Space Monkey.  
And now, 
Tumor Regression --> Space Tumor Regression.

Way to go AngieX team, you have made my day

2. Lots of New Companies Jumping into the ADC Space

There is a ton of new companies jumping into the fold.  And while their each coming from a very different place.  It's great to see all of the diversity and interest coming into the space: 

Cancer Therapy Advisor
- Oxford has been in the oncology space for a long time, but this is their first forray into ADCs. They have received approval to start a clinical trial for their ADC targeting CD205 with a DM4 payload in pancreatic cancer in partnership with Menarini. All I can say is, Welcome to the ADC party Oxford. Best of luck with your trials

Now for the next company, I saw their presentation at World ADC and was really impressed.  It does sound like an added complication on top of a complicated process, but it is an interesting approach along with prodrugs like CytomX is working on.  The benefit here is that the change is reversible so it can go back to inert when it leaves the area:

USPatent Office
- I generally don't report on patents, but I just love the technology of BioAtla. The primary technology allows for mAbs which are only active in the tumor microenvironment, but this patent is leveraging their tech to enable crossing through the blood-brain barrier. As far as unique approaches, BioAtla, is looking pretty interesting right now

And last but not least, another conjugation technology focused company is bringing in the big guns to its Board of Directors

- Rakesh Dixit and John Lambert are joining the board at Araris.  Both of whom can bring an extensive amount of experience to the table and a long rolodex of connections as well.  Paired with some cool conjugation tech, it will be fun to watch what types of moves Araris takes next.

3. Unique Applications of ADC technologies

Clearly this is my favorite category of new stories to write about.  Each one coming with their own complexities and novel modalities.  First up, Oncomatrix:

Annals of Oncology
- Oncomatryx is yet another company looking at a novel approach to ADC treatments.  For them the focus is not the tumor itself but the stromal cells surrounding it.  They looked a individual treatment and a combination with Pembrolizumab and showed decent results in both cases.  Is this going to be a fruitful avenue for cancer treatment?  I don't know, but I'm glad that someone is trying to find out

And if oncomatryx is going down a more traditional ADC path, this team was going in a completely different direction entirely.  One could argue that this isn't an ADC, but one can't argue that this isn't really cool:

Systems and Synthetic Biology
- OK, the chemical engineer in me is very happy right now.  This team out of the University of Alabama is attempting to harvest exosomes from cell culture which include integrated mAbs in the outer membrane that can specifically bind to cancer cells.  This sounds ridiculously complicated to me, but that complication is matched in equal amounts by cool factor that must be appreciated

4. PBDs aren't dead

Until a PBD based ADC is commercially approved, there will always be the sting of some recent failures hanging around in the background. However, that doesn't mean that great stuff isn't underway:

Technology Networks
- ADC T and Avacta are partnering up to attach PBD payloads to their proprietary affimer technology that builds small peptide strands that are specific to certain targets.  It's an interesting approach to ADCs without all of the mess of mAbs, and the ADC T partnership makes a bunch of sense since they can provide the payload

And if one collaboration was not enough for ADC T, they are continuing along the approval path with internal products as well:

- ADC T is starting dosing of their cohort of patients in their pivotal trial for ADCT-301 which means that their PBD is going to be tested for efficacy instead of just safety for the first time.  Fingers crossed for good results

And lastly, Iksuda is using some Femtogenix tech to push forward their folate receptor candidate:

Annals of Oncology
- Iksuda (formerly Glythera) is coming into the ADC space with some high powered help.  Bob Lutz from Immunogen has joined the team, and they have an incredible tagline : "We build superior ADCs"  They are using a combination of their proprietary permalink tech along with Femtogenix unique take on PBD warheards to target FRa with their ADC.  Models are showing good response with pM potency, but as any statistician will tell you.  All models are wrong...some are useful.  Only time will tell which on Iksuda has on their hands

5. When the FDA speaketh - thou shalt Listen

New England Journal of Medicine
- When the directors of CDER and CBER come together to write an op-ed about individualized therapies.  Its probably worth taking the time to read.  Gene and Cell therapies are certainly big right now, but like ADCs they are an unknown quantity and everyone is proceeding cautiously

Justin's Thoughts:

If you ask most people in the industry, they will tell you that there are 5 commercial ADC products right now.  But Wikipedia says that there are 6. And while using Wiki as a primary source is never a good idea, it makes you wonder why Moxteumomab pasudotox is flying under the radar of our general consciousness.  Well not anymore:

Blood Advances
- Moxetumomab pasudotox, the mystery ADC which doesn't ever get invited to the ADC party.  There is an Fv antigen binding region, a linker section, and a toxin.  All of which are internalized into a cancer cell, and broken apart in order to induce apoptosis.  It has shown a 30% complete remission rate and is commercially available right now, so why don't we ever talk about it as an ADC?

And if you have made it this far, then maybe you would be willing to go one step further and answer a question for me:
What is the next ADC related event that you are planning to attend?  Be it conference, seminar, industry happy hour, or whatever.  Obviously World ADC is the big one, but beyond that is there anything else that you look forward to attending?

Have a great week everyone!

Thats it for today. There are always more coming down the pike. Is there something I missed? Contact me.
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