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Developing Potent Affimer-drug Conjugates

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Avacta, a biotechnology company developing novel cancer immunotherapies based on its proprietary Affimer® platform, has announced that it has entered a collaboration and option agreement with ADC Therapeutics, a clinical-stage oncology-focused biotechnology company focusing on the development of highly potent and targeted antibody-drug conjugates for patients suffering from hematological malignancies and solid tumors. The agreement is to develop Affimer-drug conjugates combining Avacta’s Affimer technology with ADC Therapeutics’ pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD)-based warhead and linker technologies.

As part of the multi-target collaboration, Avacta will generate and optimize Affimer binders against three undisclosed cancer targets and provide these to ADC Therapeutics to target its proprietary cytotoxic warheads (PBDs) to the site of the tumor.  ADC Therapeutics will carry out pre-clinical research and development programmes to evaluate each of the Affimer-drug conjugates with a view to generating clinical candidates.

Dr Alastair Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Avacta Group, commented: “I am delighted to have established this collaboration with ADC Therapeutics to develop drug conjugates that harness the benefits of Affimer proteins to selectively and efficiently target ADC Therapeutics’ PBD drugs to the site of the tumor. We are very excited about the potential of this collaboration to develop breakthrough oncology treatments”.