Over the years, various technological advancements, such as antibody engineering for site-specific conjugation and enhanced pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties, have paved the way for antibody drug conjugates to be recognized as potent therapies (ADC therapy) targeting a wide range of indications, including solid tumors and hematological malignancies. ADC therapy is an engineered therapy comprised of monoclonal antibodies attached to potent cytotoxic payloads through chemical linkers. In fact, the FDA has approved 11 ADCs, namely ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla®), brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris®), inotuzumab ozogamicin (Besponsa®), gemtuzumab ozogamicin (Mylotarg®), moxetumomab pasudotox (Lumoxiti®), polatuzumab vedotin-piiq (Polivy®), enfortumab vedotin (Padcev®), sacituzumab govitecan (Trodelvy®), trastuzumab deruxtecan (Enhertu®), belantamab mafodotin-blmf (Blenrep®), and loncastuximab tesirine-lpyl (Zynlonta™) till date., ,  The success of these therapeutics can be attributed to their high tumor selectivity and cell-killing potential of monoclonal antibodies, while limiting off target toxicities. These advantages have made ADC therapeutics a new frontier of chemotherapy, thus, bringing about a paradigm shift in the treatment protocol of different types of cancer.
ADC Therapy: Drug Pipeline
In addition to clinical candidates, a relatively larger proportion of candidates are in discovery / preclinical stages of development; the ADC therapy is equipped with different cytotoxic payloads to target a wide array of biological antigens
Rise in Intellectual Property Portfolioof ADC Therapy
The increasing interest of various stakeholders in ADC therapy has led to the expansion of intellectual capital associated with the technologies used in this domain. A number of patents have been filed by companies in order to protect novel intellectual property generated within this field.
Billions of Dollars are Being Invested in Funding the Initiatives of Various Players for the Development of ADC Therapy
The rising interest of investors within this upcoming segment is evident from the fact that nearly USD 15 billion was raised by industry players across more than 135 instances in the period between 2014 to 2021.
ADC contract manufacturing, or manufacturing of immuno-conjugates, combine the benefits of the individual components, and help eliminate some of the drawbacks inherent to each singular entity, when used as a therapeutic separately. Naked antibodies are generally not effective enough to kill target cells every time (either by the stimulation of ADCC, or by blocking growth receptors present on the surface of cancer cells or blocking tumor promoting signals from cancer cells). Although individual antibodies can specifically bind to their cellular target, their ability to ensure cell death / clinical benefit is not guaranteed. Treatment options using cytotoxins / drugs are prone to cause adverse side effects owing to the non-specific nature of these small molecules. This causes the loss of healthy cells in the body. ADC therapy offer target specificity along with other therapeutic benefits.
The benefits of antibody-drug conjugates are also reflected in the swelling pipeline, which in turn requires support from the ADC manufacturing and technology providers to be sustainable. As such the antibody drug conjugate market has led to parallel growth for other stakeholders in the market
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