On 23 October 2023, Merck announced a development agreement for Daiichi Sankyo’s clinical-phase antibody-drug conjugate, namely patritumab deruxtecan (HER3-DXd), ifinatamab deruxtecan (I-DXd), and raludotatug deruxtecan (R-DXd), targeting cancer. Merck has invested $5.5 billion to jointly develop three of its candidate cancer drugs and is likely to invest up to $22 billion in addition depending on the success of the cell-targeting therapies.
Patritumab deruxtecan is being evaluated for the treatment of EGFR-mutated locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with disease progression on or after treatment with a third-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) and platinum-based therapies. Ifinatamab deruxtecan is under study as a monotherapy in Phase II in patients previously treated extensive-stage small cell lung cancer. Raludotatug deruxtecan (R-DXd) is being assessed in a first-in-human Phase I trial for patients with advanced ovarian cancer.
The three ADCs are designed to target and deliver a cytotoxic payload inside cancer cells that express a specific cell surface antigen, using Daiichi Sankyo’s DXd ADC technology. Each ADC consists of a monoclonal antibody attached to a number of topoisomerases I inhibitor payloads via tetrapeptide-based cleavable linkers.
According to Roots Analysis, the antibody drug conjugate marketis estimated to be worth $7.72 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow at CAGR of 9.63% during the forecast period.
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