INvestment Finance MoneyADC Therapeutics, an oncology drug discovery and development company that specializes in the development of proprietary antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) targeting major cancers, has raised $80 million through a private placement of equity. New investors include leading European and US-based investors alongside founding investor Auven Therapeutics and participation from AstraZeneca.

The proceeds will be used to progress ADCT’s product portfolio, including ADCT-301 for lymphoma and leukaemia, now in Phase I, and a collaboration to develop up to two ADCs for commercialization with MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca.  ADCT’s ADCs are highly targeted drug constructs that combine monoclonal antibodies specific to surface antigens on particular tumor cells with highly potent pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD)-based warheads. ADCT anticipates having seven drug candidates in human clinical trials in 2017.

ADCT was established in 2012 by private equity firm Auven Therapeutics. In 2013, AstraZeneca/MedImmune acquired an equity stake in the company and entered into a collaboration for two ADC programmes.

The company has built and will be expanding its highly experienced R&D team in the UK, as well as legal, finance and EU clinical teams in Switzerland, and regulatory, clinical and manufacturing teams in the US. ADCT works closely with a number of specialist partners in Europe and the US for regulatory, clinical trial management and manufacturing activities.

Dr Chris Martin, a recognized leader in the ADC space, joined ADCT fulltime in June of this year as Chief Executive Officer, having played a key role in the formation and strategy of ADCT as a member of its Board of Directors. Previously, Dr Martin served as CEO of Spirogen and was a member of MedImmune’s Leadership Team.

Commenting on the financing, Dr Martin said: “The significant advances we have made in progressing our pipeline of ADCs have been recognized by this financing round. In a major milestone for the company, our first ADC candidate drug entered the clinic earlier this year and we are on track to file for our second IND with the FDA by the end of October.”

Dr Peter B. Corr, Chairman of the Board of ADCT and co-founder and Managing General Partner of Auven Therapeutics added: “The quality of investors we have been able to attract and the size of this investment round, just over 3 years since the company was founded, is a great endorsement of our strategy and potential. This financing provides the funds required to aggressively develop our pipeline of proprietary ADCs with best-in-class PBD-based warheads and linkers as an important part of the next-generation of cancer drugs, with the potential to impact cancer patients worldwide.”