BOSTON, Mass. (May 24, 2019) - Adecto Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has been awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. This award will fund the early development of an immunohistochemistry-based diagnostic assay for detection of ADAM8-expressing cancers. This second product in Adecto’s pipeline is a companion to the ADAM8 therapy already in development and will ensure that the patients that can most benefit from ADAM8 inhibition are identified. Currently, there is no FDA-approved diagnostic product for these cancers.
ADAM8, a cell surface protein, is a driver of aggressive tumor growth and metastasis and has been implicated in many invasive solid tumors, including those of the breast, stomach, colon, lungs, liver and pancreas. It is estimated that globally there are over 2 million patients with invasive ADAM8-driven cancers. “Our goal is to create a product that can be rapidly deployed on existing diagnostic platforms in clinical labs so that patient biopsies that are now routinely checked for expression of factors such as ER, PR and HER2 can also be screened for ADAM8” said Nora Mineva, Chief Scientific Officer of Adecto Pharmaceuticals. Adecto’s dual antagonist therapeutic antibodies represent the first targeted therapy against ADAM8-expressing solid cancers. “We are grateful for the continued support from the NIH SBIR program and for its acknowledgement that such a diagnostic product is indispensable for the success of our therapeutic, and our ability to help patients” said Gail Sonenshein, President of Adecto Pharmaceuticals.
Adecto Pharmaceuticals is a small, privately-owned, company focused on developing a targeted therapy against ADAM8-expressing cancers. The ADAM8 protein is expressed on the cancer cell surface, 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. Adecto’s 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. Two top dual inhibitors, termed ADP2 and ADP13, are currently advancing through preclinical development. Development of a diagnostic product is also in the pipeline. Adecto’s mission is to bring this new therapy to patients with ADAM8-positive disease to help them live longer, healthier lives.