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Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs) – Biotherapeutic bullets

Immunotherapies especially targeted towards oncology, based on antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) have recently been boosted by the US Food and Drug Administration approval of Adcetris to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Kadcyla for metastatic breast cancer.

The emphasis of this article is to provide an overview of the design of ADCs in order to examine their ability to find and kill tumour cells. A particular focus will be on the relationship between the cytotoxic drug, chemical linker and the type of monoclonal antibody (MAb) used to make up the components of the ADC. Furthermore, the article will conclude on a carbon-14 labelled linker strategy for ADCs to be utilised in absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) studies towards regulatory new drug approval requirements.

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