London-based investment management firm, Downing LLP, and BioScience Managers Limited, the international healthcare investment firm and advisers to the Downing FOUR VCT, today announce the completion of a new £1.14 million investment in Wales-based ADC Biotechnology Ltd.
ADC Biotechnology is creating innovative new technology, which aims to speed up, simplify and significantly lower the costs of the processes involved in the production of new antibody drug conjugates (ADCs). ADCs are antibodies that are attached to cancer-killing drugs using chemical ‘linkers’, allowing for targeted treatment of cancerous tissue.
The investment provided by Downing will be used by ADC Biotechnology to continue the development of its ‘Lock-Release’ product** and facilitate the company’s expansion to the US with quality control labs, equipment and the creation of new manufacturing infrastructure.
Jeremy Curnock Cook, Managing Director at BioScience Managers, commented:“The healthcare industry is growing globally, funded by an ageing population in Western countries and increasing affluence in emerging markets such as China and India. ADC Biotechnology is ideally positioned to serve customers operating in these markets by applying its proprietary expertise to develop the next generation of cancer therapeutics.”
**More about ADC Biotech’s ‘Lock-Release’ technology
The use of ADCs is an exciting and fast-growing new approach in the oncology sector but they can also be complex, costly and sometimes unreliable. A major challenge in creating ADCs are ‘aggregation events’, which can lead to activity loss in the antibody, decrease in solubility – and therefore effectiveness – of the ADC and increase the chances of provoking an immune response against the medicine during treatment.
ADC Biotechnology is developing ‘Lock-Release’ technology, a low-cost solution that counters aggregation events by speeding up the process of creating the ADC and reducing wastage. Using Lock-Release, the ADC antibody is ‘locked’ to the surface of a bead preventing aggregation from occurring during subsequent conjugation, purification and storage steps. The antibody can then be released from the bead when required during treatment using a simple additive.
Richard Lewis, Investment Director, Downing said:“VCTs can be an ideal way for investors to access small specialist companies. They provide a portfolio of companies that can yield strong returns. Importantly, VCTs can facilitate the development of technologies to a point where they are recognised by the major players, therefore providing the opportunity for both consolidation and exit.”
* Please note, this is a target only and is not guaranteed.
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