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Cancer Research Technology UK and the University of Copenhagen announced their agreement with Switzerland-based ADC-Therapeutics SA  to develop novel antibody therapeutics for the treatment of cancer.

The University of Copenhagen agreed with ADC Therapeutics to license antibodies against a cancer-specific cell surface protein. The antibodies will be used by ADC-Therapeutics to develop a novel antibody-drug conjugate or ADC that could potentially treat a range of cancers.

The antibodies – jointly developed by scientists from Cancer Research UK and the University of Copenhagen – target a protein overexpressed on the surface of some cancer cells, which is not expressed on healthy cells.

ADC-Therapeutics intends to incorporate the antibodies into a novel antibody-drug conjugate using its proprietary linker and pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD) cytotoxic warhead technology. The antibodies are expected to selectively target the PBD cytotoxic to cancer cells, sparing normal tissue. [1]

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Pyrrolobenzodiazepines are a class of sequence-selective DNA minor-groove binding crosslinking agents originally discovered in Streptomyces species. They are significantly more potent than systemic chemotherapeutic drugs. Novel results demonstrate that PBDs can be effectively used for antibody-targeted therapy.[1]

New cancer treatments
“We are very pleased and proud that research from the University’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences has been licensed to ADC-Therapeutics for the development of new cancer therapeutics,” noted Thomas Bjørnholm, Pro-Vice-chancellor for Research and Innovation, the University of Copenhagen.

“Our mission as a public university is precisely to make sure that our leading-edge research is disseminated and is taken to the market together with commercial partners for the benefit of society at large,” Bjørnholm continued.

“This important license deal brings together CRT’s access to world class research and ADCT’s cutting edge technology to develop exciting new therapeutics for cancer,” added Keith Blundy, Ph.D, Cancer Research Technology’s chief executive.

“We hope this agreement will pave the way for promising new ways to treat a range of cancers in a targeted way without damaging healthy tissue,” Blundy concluded.

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