03.04.2012 - London companies PolyTherics and Spirogen collaborate for better antibody-drug-conjugates (ADCs) in the fight against cancer.
London – The buzz around antibody-drug-conjugates (ADCs), the weapons of choice in the fight against cancer, just became more blatant. After last week’s news that a novel ADC company had been founded in Switzerland PolyTherics Limited from London (UK) announced on 2 April that it would join in the treasure hunt for promising ADC candidates. Just like the Swiss ADC Therapeutics Sarl, London-seated PolyTherics relies on the cytotoxic agents provided by Spirogen Limited. The two companies want to combine PolyTherics’ linker technology TheraPEG™ with Spirogen’s potent cytotoxic pyrrolobenzodiazepines („PBDs“). The aim is to connect PBDs via the new linker to antibodys or antibody fragments in a site-specific manner. PolyTherics CEO John Burt is enthusiastic: „This is an exciting opportunity to combine our validated conjugation technology with Spirogen’s potentially best-in-class PBD warheads.“ Also Spirogen CEO Chris Martin is convinced the collaboration will bear fruit: „ADCs will represent a significant medical breakthrough in cancer therapy. PolyTherics’ TheraPEG™ conjugation technology will broaden the applications where our PBD warheads and linkers can create highly potent potentially market-leading ADC candidates.“ Spirogen’s PBDs are DNA minor groove binding agents, which bind and cross-link specific DNA-sites. They block cell division in the targeted (cancer) cells without distorting their DNA helix, thus avoiding the common phenomenon of emergent drug resistance.
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