An early pre-clinical trial of Synthon Biopharmaceuticals’ lead programme of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) has reported promising results, including tumour remission.

Synthon Biopharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Synthon, said its pre-clinical xenograft studies using patient-derived breast cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer material showed complete tumour remission.

Toxicity results also showed best-in-class potential and improved therapeutic index compared to other armed antibodies, due to an impressive safety profile.

ADCs are said to be a new type of target therapy that combines a specific anti-cancer antibody or antibody fragment linked to the potent anti-cancer therapeutic.

Using this class of ADCs Synthon Biopharmaceuticals are aiming to develop better tumour penetration and killing properties with lower side effects for patients with cancer.

The technology is based on duocarmycin analogs. According to Synthon, the differentiating design of its linker connecting the antibody to the duocarmycin drug, leads to high stability in circulation and also induces efficient release of the cytotoxin in the tumor cell.

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By GlobalData
"Synthon Biopharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Synthon, said its pre-clinical xenograft studies using patient-derived breast cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer material showed complete tumour remission."

Another key feature of the technology involves disruption of the DNA of (solid) tumour cells at any phase of the cellular cycle, unlike many other ADCs which only attack tumour cells in a mitotic state.

Cytotoxins can also be effective against tumour cells that are multi-drug resistant.

Synthon Biopharmaceuticals Chief scientific officer Dr Marco Timmers explains; "Synthon’s first ADC programme incorporates the HER2-binding antibody trastuzumab. The primary objective is to develop a broad therapeutic spectrum by targeting tumours that over-express HER2, such as metastatic breast cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer.

"As a result of our unique linker-drug technology, this ADC programme is delivering on its promise and giving us exciting preclinical results with the opportunity to become a best-in-class therapy."

In several xenograft models, including primary human breast cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer xenografts, Synthon’s HER2-ADC dosed alone induced complete tumour remission, whereas with the antibody alone there was no effect.

The company is opening a new GMP facility and hopes to enter its drug candidate into clinical trials in 2014.