Emerging class of therapeutics represents a coming wave for developers and manufacturers

Jan 22, 2014

After years of research, development and testing, a new class of drugs is emerging on the market with two frontrunners acting as harbingers of what's to come. The cover story in Chemical & Engineering News, ACS' weekly newsmagazine, explores the potential of these antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and the challenges in developing and manufacturing them.

Ann M. Thayer, senior correspondent at C&EN, explains that ADCs are essentially molecular missiles. They are made up of a toxic payload (a drug) attached to an antibody that specifically seeks out sick cells, such as tumor cells. They don't release their lethal cargo until they reach their target. The advantages of this approach are clear: It spares healthy cells and lowers drug side effects. It can also extend the life of a under an expiring patent or salvage an antibody that was ineffective by itself. ADCs hold a lot of promise. Of the two approved ADCs, one is soon expected to be a blockbuster. About 30 more are in clinical trials with another 100 or more ADCs in the preclinical pipeline. Projections show that by 2018, sales of ADCs could top $5 billion.

On the manufacturing side, because these drugs are so complex, suppliers are still figuring out how to streamline production. At the moment, ADCs are a niche area of manufacturing with only a few contract manufacturing organizations able to put all the pieces together from start to finish. But many are responding and investing millions to expand capacity for this promising new class.

Explore further: Antibody-drug conjugate may provide new treatment option for pancreatic cancer patients

More information: "Building Antibody-Drug Conjugates" cen.acs.org/articles/92/i3/Bui… Drug-Conjugates.html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Shifting the Internet into high gear

Mar 27, 2013

(Phys.org) —A new-generation analog-to-digital converter (ADC) developed by a joint IBM-EPFL team has the potential to greatly increase the speed and volume of data that can be transferred over the Internet.

Nanomedicines promise fewer side effects in treating cancer

Jun 06, 2012

A new generation of cancer treatments based on nanotechnology is making its way out of the laboratory and into the clinic with the promise of targeting cancer cells while steering clear of healthy tissue, according to the ...

Recommended for you

A refined approach to proteins at low resolution

23 hours ago

Membrane proteins and large protein complexes are notoriously difficult to study with X-ray crystallography, not least because they are often very difficult, if not impossible, to crystallize, but also because ...

Base-pairing protects DNA from UV damage

Sep 19, 2014

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich researchers have discovered a further function of the base-pairing that holds the two strands of the DNA double helix together: it plays a crucial role in protecting ...

Smartgels are thicker than water

Sep 19, 2014

Transforming substances from liquids into gels plays an important role across many industries, including cosmetics, medicine, and energy. But the transformation process, called gelation, where manufacturers ...

Separation of para and ortho water

Sep 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Not all water is equal—at least not at the molecular level. There are two versions of the water molecule, para and ortho water, in which the spin states of the hydrogen nuclei are different. ...

User comments : 0