Company Overview
Adecto Pharmaceuticals is an early-stage cancer therapeutics company, developing an antibody-based therapy targeting cancers that express the ADAM8 protein. ADAM8 is a newly identified, critical driver of tumor growth and metastasis (including spread and colonization). ADAM8 has been implicated in a number of aggressive solid tumors, including breast, lung, liver, gastric, colorectal and pancreatic cancers. Currently, there are no targeted treatments for these ADAM8-expressing tumors. Our initial focus is on triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), but we plan on expanding to other oncology indications in the future. We estimate the overall global oncology market size for an anti-ADAM8 therapeutic is ~2 million patients. This represents a multi-billion-dollar opportunity. Our technology is based on the discovery that two distinct domains of the ADAM8 protein drive its cancer promoting functions and therefore both must be inactivated for an effective therapeutic response. These domains are located outside of the cell and are accessible to an antibody-based therapy. NCI Phase I STTR funding allowed us to isolate and characterize a panel of highly specific, dual inhibitory mouse monoclonal anti-ADAM8 antibodies (termed ADPs). ADP2 and ADP13 were identified as the top inhibitors within this panel in cell-based assays and mouse models. Recently awarded NCI Phase II SBIR funds will allow for the continued preclinical development of ADP2 and ADP13 through humanization, lead selection, identification of a path for entry into the clinic and early pre-IND safety testing. With NCI Phase I SBIR funds, we have also initiated development of a diagnostic immunohistochemistry assay to identify patients who can benefit from ADAM8-targeted therapy. The development of these products follows well-established pathways in the industry with clear routes to commercialization. Our plan is to bring forward an ADAM8 humanized therapeutic antibody and a diagnostic test with a strong data package and to attract investors and/or a strategic pharmaceutical partner for development through IND studies and clinical testing.