Antibody-based anti-cancer therapeutics have, over the last 30+ years garnered considerable success. Antibody-drug Conjugates (ADC) are included in this revolution of these novel, highly targeted, therapeutics. Being a complex and evolving class of agents specifically designed with the objective of delivering anti-cancer agents in the most precise and selectively targeted way to cancer cells, they are composed of four key components – a target antigen, an antibody construct, a cytotoxic payload, and a chemical linker moiety that couples the payload with the antibody.
Over the last decades, a better understanding of cancer biology, better antibody selection platforms, and improved antibody conjugation methodologies to create novel ADC constructs, have led to the approval of 10 ADCs by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), one ADC being approved by the Chinese regulator and one biosimilar ADC.
For example, one group of investigators is developing conditioning agents designed to ‘reset’ the immune system to halt disease progression in multiple models of sclerosis, systemic sclerosis, and inflammatory arthritis and create a targeted, disease-modifying antibody-drug conjugate designed to selectively and rapidly remove disease-causing cells in the body and enable an immune and blood system reset and long-term engraftment, without the need for aggressive chemotherapy or radiation. 
In a recent episode of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland, Ph.D. spoke with William (Bill) Newell, JD, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Sutro Biopharma.
Sutro is a clinical-stage drug discovery, development, and manufacturing company using precise protein engineering and rational design to advance the development of the next-generation oncology therapeutics for unmet medical needs and areas where the current standard of care is suboptimal.
The company’s scalable biochemical cell-free protein synthesis technology platform XpressCF®, the company’s non-natural amino acid conjugation technology XpressCF+™ and the company’s discovery technology ProteinSAR™, have led to the development of cytokine-based immuno-oncology therapies, antibody-drug conjugates or ADCs, vaccines, and bispecific antibodies.
In addition to Sutro’s own pipeline of novel drugs, including STRO-001, a CD74-targeting ADC currently being investigated in a Phase 1 clinical trial of patients with advanced B-cell malignancies, such as multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and STRO-002, a folate receptor alpha (FolRα)-targeting ADC, currently being investigated in a Phase 1 clinical trial of patients with ovarian and endometrial cancers, the company is also collaborating with select pharmaceutical and biotech companies to discover and develop novel, next-generation therapeutics.
In the broadcast, Hofland and Newell talk about ADCs in general, about Sutro and the company’s proprietary platform technology, products, and partners, and about developments in the industry confirming that antibody-drug conjugates are, indeed, coming of age.
 What are Antibody-drug Conjugates? The Review. Online. ADC Review | Journal of Antibody-drug Conjugates. Online. Last accessed on June 23, 2021
 Immune System Reset May Halt Multiple Sclerosis Progression. NIH Research Matters; National Institute of Health. Online. Last accessed on June 23, 2021.
 Gingrich J.How the Next Generation Antibody Drug Conjugates Expands Beyond Cytotoxic Payloads for Cancer Therapy. Online. ADC Review | Journal of Antibody-drug Conjugates. Online. Last accessed on June 23, 2021
Featured Image: Laboratories at Sutro BioPharma Courtesy: © 2016 – 2021 Sutro BioPharma. Used with permission.