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Celtic launches $50 million antibody drug conjugates company

Monday, March 26, 2012

Celtic Therapeutics Management, a global private equity firm focused on novel therapeutic product candidates, has announced a significant commitment to Antibody-Drug-Conjugate (ADC) products with the launch of a new Lausanne, Switzerland-based company, ADC Therapeutics.

The new company has been formed with a pipeline of 10 proprietary ADC oncology development programs, targeting multiple major cancers, including prostate, renal, breast, lung and blood cancers and an initial budget of $50 million.

“ADCs have strong potential to address the global need for markedly better cancer therapies with greater specificity and reduced side effects. Now is the time to move ADCs to center-stage in cancer drug development,” said Dr. Peter B. Corr, co-founder and managing general partner, Celtic. “In forming ADC Therapeutics we have created a company targeting a broad range of antigens specific to different tumor types that are ideal targets for ADC therapies, coupled with the drug development capabilities to bring ADCs into the clinic rapidly and cost-effectively.”

ADC Therapeutics plans to focus on driving these initial programs through pre-clinical assessment over the next 12 months and will move the first into clinical development within two years. The company’s strategy will be to seek development and marketing partners after phase II proof of concept, hopefully achieving several within three to five years.

ADC Therapeutics will be owned jointly between Celtic (majority), U.K.-based Spirogen, a platform technology company and co-founding company (of which Celtic is majority owner) and Cancer Research Technology, a U.K. specialist commercialization and development company. The new company’s board of directors includes CEOs and co-founders of Celtic and Spirogen, as well as Dr. Samuel Broder, former director of the National Cancer Institute, and Dr. Barrie Ward, former CEO of KuDOS Pharmaceuticals.

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