BOSTON, Mass. (October 22, 2018) - Adecto Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an early stage cancer therapeutics company, has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant (R44CA200161) from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) SBIR Development Center of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This Phase II award will fund the continued development of Adecto Pharmaceuticals’ lead anti-ADAM8 therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients.
“We are grateful to the NIH for this prestigious award, which recognizes the tremendous progress we have made over the past 2 years” said Gail Sonenshein, President of Adecto Pharmaceuticals. The review committee specifically noted the strong scientific evidence that “validated ADAM8 as a novel target” for TNBC. Currently, there is no FDA-approved targeted therapy for TNBC and the only available therapeutic options - surgery, chemotherapy and radiation - often do not stop its spread or recurrence. Consequently, TNBC leads to ~25% of the reported 500,000 breast cancer deaths annually. Thus, new therapies are urgently needed.
“With this grant, we will be able to move forward with development of the first targeted therapy against ADAM8, a critical driver of primary tumor growth and spread in TNBC” said Nora Mineva, Chief Scientific Officer of Adecto Pharmaceuticals. “While our initial focus is on TNBC, the widespread expression of ADAM8 in other solid malignancies including lung, liver and pancreatic cancers, suggests this therapeutic could be a game changer for a number of different cancer indications.” Importantly, this continued support from NIH will allow Adecto Pharmaceuticals to get this exciting new therapy one step closer to the clinic.
Adecto Pharmaceuticals is a therapeutics company focused on developing an antibody-based targeted cancer therapy. ADAM8, our target protein, is expressed on the cancer cell surface, and is downstream of the NF-κB family of transcription factors known to promote resistance to chemotherapy and tumor metastasis. Consistently, ADAM8 is a critical driver of growth and spread of many aggressive cancers, including breast, liver, gastric, lung and pancreatic. Adecto Pharmaceuticals’ initial focus is on triple-negative breast cancer with a plan to expand to other oncology indications in the future. Our technology is based on the discovery that two distinct extracellular portions of ADAM8 drive its multiple cancer promoting functions and must therefore be both inactivated for an effective therapeutic response. Using a proprietary method, Adecto Pharmaceuticals has generated highly specific dual antagonist monoclonal anti-ADAM8 antibodies that simultaneously inhibit these two domains. The top two dual inhibitors, termed ADP2 and ADP13, are currently advancing through preclinical development. Adecto’s mission is to bring this new therapy to patients with ADAM8-positive disease to help them live longer, healthier lives.