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Hail the antibody, cure with ease

27.03.2012

London/Lausanne – The global private equity firm Celtic Therapeutic L.L.L.P. believes in the power of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). It is investing $50m in a new Switzerland-based company called ADC Therapeutics Sarl which takes off with ten proprietary ADC oncology programmes in the pipeline. Among them are ADCs against prostate, lung, renal, breast and blood cancers. Bringing the cytotoxic therapeutics to the desired cancer cells with the help of antibodies has some advantages: ADCs are thought to be target-selective and highly potent. They have fewer side effects and could minimize drug resistance. "We believe that ADCs will represent a significant medical breakthrough in cancer therapy over the coming decade", says Celtic co-founder Stephen Evans-Freke. ADC Therapeutics can rely on the know-how of London's very own Spirogen, an ADC company controlled by Celtic. Spirogen's PBD (proprietary pyrrolobenzodiazepines) 'payload' technology constitutes, if anything, the 'best-in-class' ADC cytotoxic weapon ("warhead"). Scientific wisdom is also provided by British Cancer Research Technology Ltd as a shareholder and US-specialists Samuel Broder and Barrie Ward as non-executive directors. Celtic Therapeutics was founded in 2007 by Evans-Freke and Peter B. Corr, who retired from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer in 2006. Evans-Freke outlines the new company's strategy as follows: "The anticipated investment of up to $50 million into ADC Therapeutics will lead to clinical proof of concept in 2-3 lead oncology programmes. We are committed to fully fund ADC Therapeutics and will raise additional capital if warranted." After having resilient Phase II data promising ADCs could be then contracted to pharma giants.

Politics / Law

23.03.2012

Brussels/Strasbourg – Health claims are set to be drastically limited in the EU. On Wednesday 21 March the Environment Committee of the European Parliament confirmed a proposal of the European Commission to prohibit 1,600 health...

Politics / Law

15.03.2012

Parma/Stockholm – Foodborne bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter are becoming more and more resistant to antimicrobial drugs, according to a joint report published by the European food watchdog EFSA and the European...

BioFunding

09.03.2012

In mid-February, scientists and entrepreneurs from nine EU countries met at the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona to launch the 4DCellFate project. Positioned within the FP7 Programme, the consortium will receive...

BioFunding

09.03.2012

Brussels – The EU’s Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) will establish the European Lead Factory, an EU-wide public-private partnership aiming to facilitate drug discovery efforts. The Lead Factory will comprise a...

Editorial

07.03.2012

T    he societal and economic challenges facing Europe and the world are complex and interconnected. The Bioeconomy Strategy and Action Plan “Innovating for Sustainable Growth: a Bioeconomy for Europe”, which was adopted by the...

Tech Review

07.03.2012

Intellectual Property (IP) is without question one of the most vital aspects of any bio­tech venture, a key and undisputed factor for success. However, most bio­tech companies are still incapable of unlocking the value of their...

Clinical Trial

07.03.2012

Schlieren – Swiss Cytos Biotechnology Ltd. has been authorised to restructure a convertible bond by Canton of Zurich authorities. The company does not have enough cash to pay it back. Negotiations with bond holders failed in a...

Clinical Trial

06.03.2012

Munich – German 4SC AG jumped 39% to €2.05/share after oncology drug candidate resminostat met the primary endpoint of at least a 20% progression-free survival rate in a Phase II trial to treat patients with hepatocellular...

Editorial

06.03.2012

The start of 2012 witnessed the tides turning in favour of small and mid-cap names in the European Life Sciences sector. Major global biotechnology indices like the NBI, BTK, and BIOTK are up over 15% year to date. The pace of...

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