I thought this was an interesting piece in Xconomy on Igenica's plans to move strongly in the ADC space. Apparently the compnay is populated with many former Genentech management and scientists -- you could do a lot worse.
Currently their lead candidate is IGN523 (a non-ADC) targeting the treatment of AML, but the company is investing a lot of effort in developing ADCs. In doing so it exploits its novel drug discovery platform called sTAG. Using it, Igenica discovered the surface antigen CD98 that is prevalent on many types of cancer cells -- and can be a used as a trigger to apoptosis pathways. AML is a particularly rich target with CD98 present on over 90% of AML cells. Igenica developed the necessary monoclonals using its iTAb generating platform.
Finally, Igenica has also invented its own linker technology in orde to generate ADCs and not be dependent on companies like Immunogen or Seattle Genetics for licenses to their linkers. They call their anitbody-drug conjugate platform SNAP. The main goal of SNAP is to control the numbers of toxin attached to each antibody to improve product consistency and effectiveness of the delivered drug. The Igenica antibody-drug linkages is dependent on chemistry of a bifunctional linker, and not on engineered antibodies that others use.
If the Igenica clinical trial with AML is successful, the company plans to make further inroads to non-small cell lung cancer as its next therapeutic foray.
Posted by Bruce Lehr April 14th 2014.