Antibody Drug Conjugate (ADC) Franchise Main Article

Antibody Drug Conjugate (ADC) Franchise

An antibody drug conjugate (ADC) is a type of targeted cancer medicine that delivers chemotherapy (“payload”) directly to cancer cells via a linker attached to a monoclonal antibody that binds to a specific target expressed on the cancer cells.

Our proprietary ADC technology, which has broad application across multiple types of cancer, is designed to deliver enhanced cancer cell destruction with less systemic exposure to chemotherapy. The highly stable linker helps minimize the risk that the payload is released before the monoclonal antibody reaches the cancer cell. It also allows a higher drug-to-antibody ratio (DAR), enabling more payload to be attached.

The cornerstone of our ADC Franchise is a proprietary payload and linker-payload technology, which consists of:

  • Payload: DXd (MAAA-1181), a novel derivative of exatecan (DX-8951f), a topoisomerase I inhibitor
  • Linker: A proprietary peptide designed to be broken down by lysosomal enzymes, which are highly expressed in tumor cells

Our linker-payload combination allows for a Drug-Antibody Ratio (DAR) of about 8, meaning nearly eight molecules of DXd are conjugated per antibody.

We currently have two ADCs in clinical development (DS-8201 and U3-1402) and two in pre-clinical development (DS-7300 and DS-1062). We also are open to partnership opportunities with external companies to combine our linker-payload technology with other monoclonal antibodies.

These are investigational agents and are not approved by the FDA or any other worldwide regulatory agency as a treatment for any indication. Efficacy and safety have not been established. There is no guarantee that these investigational agents will become commercially available.

Antibody Drug Conjugate (ADC) Franchise



DS-8201, a HER2-targeting ADC, is currently in phase 1 clinical development for HER2-positive advanced or metastatic breast cancer or gastric cancer, HER2 low expressing breast cancer, and other HER2-expressing solid cancers.

DS-8201 has been granted Fast Track designation by the FDA for the treatment of HER2+ unresectable and/or metastatic breast cancer in patients who have progressed after prior treatment with HER2-targeted therapies including ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1).

For more information about the phase 1 study, visit



U3-1402, a HER3-targeting ADC, is currently in phase 1 clinical development for HER3-positive metastatic or unresectable breast cancer that is refractory or intolerant to standard treatment or for which no standard treatment is available.

For more information about this phase 1 study, visit

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