Synaffix rustles up another ADC deal, allying with Emergence in $360M biobuck pact

Synaffix has landed another antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) partner. After inking deals with Genmab and MacroGenics this year alone, the Dutch biotech has landed a partnership with Emergence Therapeutics that could be worth $360 million.

Emergence, which is developing an ADC against Nectin-4, has put up the financial package to land rights to use Synaffix’s ADC technologies. Two of the technologies are designed to improve the efficacy and tolerability of ADCs, including by matching payload potency to the most appropriate drug-antibody ratio. The third part of the package is a portfolio of linker-payloads. 

Synaffix showed Emergence what it can do with the tools in an initial discovery research collaboration. Based on the positive proof-of-concept data, Emergence has struck a deal for the technologies that will start with one program at signature with the option to expand to cover additional targets later.

“Beyond our lead program ETx-22, a next generation Nectin-4 ADC, we are actively advancing further programs to develop treatments for high unmet-need cancers. We are impressed with the Synaffix technology and are pleased to select it as a key component to accelerate our pipeline of ADCs,” Jack Elands, CEO of Emergence, said in a statement. 

While the deal is theoretically worth $360 million plus royalties, such early-stage technology deals are typically heavily backloaded, with the big bucks only being paid out as the programs pass development, regulatory and, in particular, sales milestones. Neither party has disclosed the size of the upfront fee. Emergence raised an 87 million euro ($86 million) series A round late last year.  

Emergence will take responsibility for the research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of the ADCs covered by the deal. Synaffix will handle the production of components specifically related to its proprietary technologies.