ADC Therapeutics taps Freenome to chart biomarkers for its lead lymphoma drug

blood sample
The blood test will aim to gauge tumor heterogeneity as well as a patient’s systemic immune response using a range of cell-free DNA, RNA, methylation and protein signatures. (Rawpixel)

ADC Therapeutics and Freenome—two companies coming off successful venture rounds and expansions and recently bringing in more than $260 million between them—have launched a new collaboration to develop biomarkers and tests for ADC’s lead cancer therapy. 

Freenome will use its omics-based liquid biopsy platform to help identify patients and track treatment responses to ADCT-402 (loncastuximab tesirine), a CD-19 targeting antibody-drug conjugate currently being studied in a phase 2 trial in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

The blood test will aim to gauge tumor heterogeneity as well as a patient’s systemic immune response using a range of cell-free DNA, RNA, methylation and protein signatures.  

The financial terms of the project were not disclosed. In July, Freenome raised $160 million in a series B round to help expand its lab infrastructure and validate its platform designed to detect the early signs of colorectal cancer. Freenome CEO Gabe Otte said the new partnership with ADC points to the company’s potential in spotting blood-based cancers as well.  

RELATED: Freenome draws $160M to support its 'multiomics' cancer blood test programs

Meanwhile, ADC finalized its series E round earlier last month, securing an additional $103 million on top of the $200 million it raised in 2017. The close of the round came with a $25 million investment from an unnamed “blue-chip institutional investor,” according to a statement from ADC CEO Chris Martin.

RELATED: ADC Therapeutics bumps up series E by $76M, prepares lead drug for 2020 filing

ADC previously announced a $76 million expansion to the venture round, with the total proceeds slated to carry the company through the end of 2020 and bring ADCT-402 before the FDA for review in DLBCL.

ADCT-402 is also being tested in two phase 1b trials, including in combination with Imbruvica (ibrutinib) in patients with relapsed or refractory DLBCL or mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and with Imfinzi (durvalumab) in patients with DLBCL, MCL or follicular lymphoma.

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