Synthon's ADCs could hit the clinic next year

Synthon Biopharmaceuticals' lead second-generation antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) has shown promise in breast and lung cancers grafted into animals, and a clinical trial is planned for 2014.

The company's ADCs use anti-cancer antibodies linked to cancer drugs known as duocarmycin analogs, which disrupt cancer cell DNA at any stage of the cell cycle and have potential against multidrug-resistant cancers. By targeting tumors specifically, ADCs, also known as armed antibodies, have the potential to reduce side effects and improve efficacy.

By including the anti-HER2 antibody trastuzumab, Genentech/Roche's ($RHHBY) Herceptin, Synthon Biopharmaceuticals' lead ADC has potential in cancers overexpressing HER2, such as metastatic breast cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.

Animals with xenografts from patients with breast cancer or non-small cell lung cancer treated with this lead candidate had complete tumor remission while those treated with the antibody alone showed no effect. The Synthon ADCs reportedly have a better toxicity profile and therapeutic index than other ADCs in development.

Synthon Biopharmaceuticals has opened a new GMP facility in the Netherlands where it will produce ADCs for clinical trials and perform early launches of the drugs.

- read the press release