Antibody Drug Conjugate

Antibody-drug conjugates or ADCs are a new class of highly potent biopharmaceutical drugs designed as a targeted therapy for the treatment of people with cancer. By combining the unique targeting capabilities of monoclonal antibodies with the cancer-killing ability of cytotoxic drugs, antibody-drug conjugates allow sensitive discrimination between healthy and diseased tissue. This means that, in contrast to traditional chemotherapeutic agents, antibody-drug conjugates target and attack the cancer cell so that healthy cells are less severely affected. The biochemical reaction between the antibody and the target protein (antigen) triggers a signal in the tumor cell, which then absorbs or internalizes the antibody together with the cytotoxin. A stable link between the antibody and cytotoxic (anti-cancer) agent is a crucial aspect of an ADC.

Linkers are based on chemical motifs including disulfides, hydrazones or peptides (cleavable), or thioethers (noncleavable) and control the distribution and delivery of the cytotoxic agent to the target cell. Cleavable and noncleavable types of linkers have been proven to be safe in preclinical and clinical trials.

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