As we plan ahead, for the upcoming digital World ADC Europe with much greater confidence, we were reflecting on what a year it has been for the ADC Community. While the ADC field saw significant success with the approvals of sacituzumab govitecan (sacituzumab govitecan-hziy; Trodelvy®; Gilead/Immunomedics) and belantamab mafodotin (belantamab mafodotin-blmf; Blenrep®; GSK) our opportunity to celebrate these successes in person was taken away as the world came to a halt.

In April of 2020, we announced the physical conference, the 11th Annual World ADC San Diego, the must-attend antibody-drug conjugate conference, and wow were we excited! Bringing to the audience our biggest and best agenda yet featuring 5 tracks, 4 seminar days, and 11 workshops, no ADC stone was left unturned.

However, we quickly realized it was not feasible, no matter how much we wanted to, to run a physical conference in the current world.

We decided to take this 4-day event and transition it completely into a digital conference, World ADC Digital. Featuring the much-loved World ADC Awards, the beloved poster session, speed networking, and everything else you would typically see at World ADC San Diego!

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Opening Plenary
The conference kicked off with an opening session from Genentech, Daiichi Sankyo and Seattle Genetics all sharing the story from their approved drugs in 2019; we learned about the journey to the approval of polatuzumab vedotin (Polivy®; Genetech/Roche) trastuzumab deruxtecan (fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki; DS-1062; Enhertu®; Daiichi Sankyo and AstraZeneca) and enfortumab vedotin (enfortumab vedotin-ejfv; Padcev®; Seattle Genetics/Astellas) and the plans and next steps for these exciting drugs.

Staring at a screen whilst these presentations are happening digitally is a completely different feeling to being onsite at a conference as you have no idea who is ‘in the room’. However, once the live Q&A kicked off with the three speakers, the questions started pouring in…more than I have ever seen at a physical conference. This was fantastic to see on so many levels. Knowing that everyone was just as engaged with the presentations, the level of conversation, and excitement around it was pretty thrilling.

After opening plenary, we broke off into our five tracks, all with a simple click; discovery, translational, clinical, process development, and manufacturing. Navigating from stream to stream without running around frantically (in high heels for the ladies!) to find the rooms was definitely a bonus of the digital experience.

7th Annual World ADC Awards
The World ADC Awards reward the innovation, leadership, and devotion shown by the best companies, teams, and individuals in the industry. Across ten categories the Awards exist to recognize the extraordinary endeavor’s, teamwork, and commercial acumen that has propelled the field to the forefront of cancer research today. This year, just like everything else, the awards were a little different. We pre-recorded a celebratory video to announce the winners and runners up and got the judges involved too with their fun home videos.

When the winners were announced the crowd went wild…in the chat function of course!
It was fantastic to be able to celebrate the ADC field after a stellar year, via the World ADC Awards, and we’re really excited that Daiichi Sankyo will be sharing the story of the most promising clinical candidate DS-1062 at World ADC Europe in March 2021.

Check out the full event guide here.

Poster session at World ADC 2019 in San Diego.

Scientific Poster Session
The Scientific Poster Session was a quick-fire session to say the least. We had an hour with 6 presenters, each with 5 minutes to present their posters and five minutes to answer some questions in the live Q&A session that followed. Over 120 people joined us to watch the poster session and it was great to see the questions flooding in for the presenters. Following its great success, this is definitely something we’ll be repeating at the virtual World ADC Europe to bring to light more of the cutting-edge research and fresh perspectives from ongoing work in the ADC space.

Overall, while we were gutted that we couldn’t bring together the ADC community in person this year, we were pleasantly surprised at actually how intimate, collaborative and progressive World ADC Digital felt, and were delighted to receive some great feedback from attendees all over the world:

“The World ADC Digital Conference was a great learning experience with excellent presentations from experts.” Daiichi Sankyo

“The 2020 digital conference was a great success and felt to me almost as good as an in-person one” Johnson & Johnson

“One more year of another outstanding meeting; digital went very smoothly!” Genentech

“It was a nice & unforgettable experience to meet lots of ADC members online.” Legochem Bio

“Very useful meeting to better understand the entire field of ADC development from early-stage to clinical experience and regulatory approvals” Pfizer

“I really enjoyed it, it was a digital event with excellent presentations and as much as possible personal interactions; well done Hanson Wade team!” Bayer

“I was impressed by the content, the active participation by the attendees, and the ease of use of the digital platform.” Quanta Biodesign

“Pleasantly surprised with the convenience and flexibility to venture around in the virtual world.” Tanabe Research Laboratories

“I enjoyed this Digital World ADC, very organized!” AbbVie

If you missed the World ADC Digital conference, or it wasn’t in your time zone, we are very excited to announce that World ADC Europe will be running as an exclusive 4-day digital event that will immerse you in discussions to enhance your existing pipeline of ADCs, discover the next generation of non-traditional ADCs and confidently define your manufacturing processes.

Take a look at the virtual World ADC Europe agenda & speaker faculty

Join your peers online to enjoy this virtual experience.

Featured image: World ADC 2019. Photo courtesy: © 2019 – 2020 Hanson Wade. Used with permission.

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