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September 21, 2023
Debiopharm and SunRock Biopharma Partner to Advance Antibody Drug Conjugates for Hard-to-treat Cancers

Debiopharm, a privately-owned, Swiss-based, biopharmaceutical company aiming to establish tomorrow’s standard-of-care to cure cancer and infectious diseases, announced an exclusive option and license agreement with SunRock Biopharma, a Galician company supported by the regional government, Xunta de Galicia, through Xesgalicia, devoted to the development of antibodies against highly invasive tumors with an urgent clinical need in oncology, for the advancement of the development of specifically targeted antibodies.

The agreement offers Debiopharm licensing options to further develop SunRock’s antibodies integrating Debiopharm’s innovative linker technologies, Multilink and AbYlink, to create innovative antibody drug conjugates (ADCs). Novel ADCs will be developed with capacity to target tumor-specific antigens to fight cancers with high unmet need, including those tumor types expressing HER2/HER3.

ADCs are emerging as promising therapies in the fight against cancer due to their unique ability to target and destroy cancer cells selectively while minimizing damage to healthy tissues. These innovative therapeutics combine the precise targeting capabilities of monoclonal antibodies with the potent cytotoxic effects of small molecule drugs, resulting in a powerful synergistic effect. By harnessing the specificity of antibodies, ADCs can recognize and bind to tumor-specific antigens on the surface of cancer cells, ensuring that the toxic payload is delivered directly to its intended target. This precise approach not only enhances therapeutic efficacy but also reduces systemic toxicity and side effects commonly associated with traditional cancer treatments.

“Our partnership with SunRock could result in the creation of highly innovative antibody-drug conjugates with the potential to tackle cancer in a new way and ultimately improve the lives of cancer patients,” commented Bertrand Ducrey, CEO of Debiopharm. “In a time when few new modalities show promise in effectively beating cancer, the potential of this collaboration is sparking scientific curiosity by combining biology and chemistry.”

Advancements in linker technology have improved ADC stability in circulation, reducing premature drug release and further increasing treatment specificity and effectiveness. Debiopharm’s unique Multilink technology can be used to create ADCs that are significantly more effective and better tolerated as it allows the loading of multiple payloads on an antibody. AbYlink is an antibody conjugation technology suited to rapidly generate new antibody drug conjugates or imaging antibodies while preserving the original affinity of the antibody to its target.

“We’re highly motivated to uncover the potential of these antibodies with well-validated oncology targets such as HER2 and HER3,” expressed Frederic Levy, Senior Executive Director, Search & Evaluation and Scientific Innovation. “Combining these promising molecules with our linker technology could really boost efficacy and safety to outsmart a wide variety of cancers with a high unmet medical need.”

“We are really enthusiastic about the powerful synergy of SunRock antibodies and bispecific antibodies with Debiopharm’s ADC platform and clinical development capabilities,” commented Laureano Simón, CEO of SunRock Biopharma.

The post Debiopharm and SunRock Biopharma Partner to Advance Antibody Drug Conjugates for Hard-to-treat Cancers appeared first on Pharma Journalist.


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