Astrazeneca Boosts Antibody-Drug Conjugate Capability With Medimmune Acquisition Of Spirogen
Will also invest in and collaborate with ADC Therapeutics
AstraZeneca today announced that MedImmune, its global biologics research and development arm, has acquired Spirogen, a privately-held biotech company focused on antibody-drug conjugate technology for use in oncology. Spirogen’s lead cancer drug, SG2000, is currently in Phase II clinical trials in the United States with further trials planned in Europe.
MedImmune has also entered into a collaboration agreement with ADC Therapeutics to jointly develop two of ADC Therapeutics’ antibody-drug conjugate programs in preclinical development. MedImmune will also make an equity investment in ADC Therapeutics, which has an existing licensing agreement with Spirogen.
“Antibody-drug conjugates are ground-breaking technologies with the potential for directly targeting many types of cancer tumours while safeguarding healthy cells. The cutting-edge technologies developed by Spirogen and ADC Therapeutics complement MedImmune’s innovative antibody engineering capabilities, enabling us to accelerate antibody-drug conjugates into the clinic,” said Dr. Bahija Jallal, Executive Vice President, MedImmune.
“This deal reflects the very significant progress made by our scientists, most notably over the last two years, as we have applied our warhead and linker technologies to the development of highly potent and specific antibody-drug conjugates,” said Dr. Chris Martin, Chief Executive Officer, Spirogen.
AstraZeneca continues to invest in oncology as a core therapy area spanning both small molecule and biologics research and development. MedImmune is developing a comprehensive portfolio with an emphasis on two key areas in oncology development: antibody-drug conjugates and immune-mediated cancer therapy, which aims to harness the power of the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. Together, immune-mediated cancer therapies and antibody-drug conjugates have the potential to treat cancer in a way that current therapies are unable to do.