Emergence Therapeutics licenses ADC technology platform in $360M deal

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Motortion
© GettyImages/Motortion

Related tags Antibody drug conjugates payload Cancer

Emergence Therapeutics has become the tenth company to license ADC technology from Synaffix. The deal has a total potential value of up to US$360m, plus royalties on commercial sales.

The German biopharma company has secured access on a target-specific basis to Synaffix’s proprietary antibody drug conjugate (ADC) technologies. Emergence said the first program will commence at signature, with the option to expand the collaboration to additional targets.

The agreement, said the entities, is the result of positive proof of concept data following a successful initial discovery research collaboration between the companies. 

Peter van de Sande, CEO of Synaffix, said the platform developer would work closely with Emergence as it builds out its portfolio of ADC candidates.

Emergence will be responsible for the research, development, manufacturing, and commercialization of the ADCs, while Synaffix said it will look after the manufacturing of components that are specifically related to its proprietary technologies.

Jack Elands, CEO of Emergence, commented: “This transaction demonstrates our commitment to the development of our pipeline of first-in-class and/or best-in-class ADCs. 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.”

Licensing model 

The Synaffix business model is based on target-specific technology out-licensing, as seen via its other deals including those secured with ADC Therapeutics, Mersana Therapeutics, Shanghai Miracogen, Innovent Biologics, ProfoundBio, Kyowa Kirin, Genmab and Macrogenics.

The Dutch company’s ADC platform comprises GlycoConnect and HydraSpac technology, while its toxSYN linker-payload platform rounds out the technology platform.

GlycoConnect is a conjugation technology aimed at exploiting the native antibody glycan for site-specific and stable payload attachment and is tunable to DAR1, DAR2 or DAR4 formats. HydraSpace, according to the company, is a compact and highly polar spacer technology that is designed to further enhance therapeutic index, particularly with hydrophobic payloads, while toxSYN is said to span key, validated MOAs for ADC product development.

Synaffix claims the combination of the three technologies provides developers with a ‘one stop’ and easy-to-use ADC technology platform, allowing any antibody developer to develop its own proprietary ADC and increase its competitive position. 

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