Ipsen jumps on ADC bandwagon with deal for Sutro’s ROR1-targeting therapy

02 Apr 2024
ADCAcquisitionLicense out/inPhase 1
Ipsen added the first antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) to its pipeline through a deal with Sutro Biopharma potentially worth up to $900 million. Mary Jane Hinrichs, head of early development at Ipsen, suggested that Sutro’s STRO-003, which targets the ROR1 tumour antigen, has “best-in-class potential.”
Ipsen will assume responsibility for Phase I preparation activities for STRO-003 as well as  all subsequent clinical development and global marketing activities. In return, Sutro is eligible to receive around $90 million in near-term payments, including an equity investment, along with further milestone payments and tiered sales royalties.
Hinrichs noted that STRO-003 utilises Sutro’s site-specific technology to generate a highly stable conjugate, coupled with exatecan payloads, that have shown significant potential in solid tumours. The ADC is in the final stages of preclinical development.
Both Boehringer Ingelheim and Merck & Co. splashed out in 2020 to add ADCs targeting ROR1 to their pipelines. Merck’s asset, gained via the purchase of VelosBio, is currently in mid-stage development, but Boehringer, which added its therapy through the acquisition of NBE-Therapeutics, halted work on the drug last year.
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