The recent FDA approvals of brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris®; Seattle Genetics) andtrastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla®; Genentech/Roche), show that antibody-drug conjugates are indeed becoming an important class of biotherapeutics in oncology.

The strong pipeline of ADC in clinical development, bearing 38 ADC for the treatment of both solid and hematological malignancies, further emphasizes the interest and confidence of both clinicians and pharmaceutical industry in the area.

Although the ADC concept looks pretty simple, it took decades before ADCs turned out to be a successful therapeutic option. Improving the understanding of the mechanism of action of antibody-drug conjugates allowed researchers to identify the most critical factors influencing the efficacy and toxicity of these new drugs.

This better understanding has led to still ongoing research efforts in antibody and alternative scaffold engineering, in linker and conjugation chemistry, as well as in the screening and selection of optimal target antigens and cytotoxics.

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In a review article, published in Médecine/Sciences (M/S Revues), Emmanuelle Vigne (Sanofi, Global Biotherapeutics) and Ingrid Sassoon (Sanofi Oncology), discuss the current state of development and future of antibody-drug conjugates.

Published in: Médecine/Sciences (M/S Revues)