ADC Bio opens £125,000 technical service lab


The laboratory in St Asaph, North Wales, will offer anti-body drug conjugate screening, process development and scale-up

ADC Biotechnology (ADC Bio) has extended its North Wales, UK facility with a new £125,000 Technical Service Laboratory.

The lab, located at St Asaph in Denbighshire, will meet growing demand for the company’s R&D services from developers of anti-cancer drugs based on antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), with the clinical pipeline currently including treatments for breast, ovarian, gastric and lung cancers and melanoma.

The lab will offer ADC screening, process development and scale-up. It is equipped to manufacture at mg to 10’s of gramme scale to toxicology batch scale. This includes materials compatible with in vivo toxicology studies.

ADC Bio has hired two more science staff, bringing the technical team up to four people.

The laboratory brings together analytical and preparative equipment and skill sets in one integrated space. Capabilities include HPLC, ELISA and gel electrophoresis, along with development and preparative scale chromatography and cross flow/normal flow filtration systems.

With dependence on a complex mix of potent compound handling, conventional pharma synthesis and bioprocessing capabilities, the development and production of ADC-based drugs is concentrated across relatively few biopharma and contract manufacturing companies.

Limited capacity in the ADC space is translating into surging demand for outsourced ADC process and purification development and testing

‘The number of ADCs in trials and pre-clinical development has dramatically increased over the past 18 months,’ said ADC Bio’s CEO Charlie Johnson.

‘Limited capacity in the ADC space is translating into surging demand for outsourced ADC process and purification development and testing. From fewer than 40 ADCs in trials and pre-clinical development in mid-2010, at least 30 are now in trials with more than 100 in development.’

‘Against this background, expanding our R&D lab capacity enables earlier partnering with customer programmes, increases our service offer and closely complements our main innovation activity,’ added Johnson.

ADC Bio’s original lab will now be dedicated to continuing development of the company’s ‘Lock and Release’ solid phase immobilisation technology for high-purity processing.

Market momentum for ADCs was underlined in February, when Roche’s Kadcyla (T-DM1) became the second ‘next generation’ ADC to be approved by the US FDA and the first ADC to target HER-positive breast cancer.

The combined sales and production services market for ADC drugs is projected to top US$8bn by 2015/16.

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In January, ADC Bio announced a £600,000 second-round investment and grant package from Finance Wales and a consortium of private investors led by Acceleris.