What happened: In a deal worth up to $125 million plus royalties, Shanghai Miracogen has partnered with Netherlands-based Synaffix to advance development of its cancer treatment regime, known as an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC). The two companies had previously joined up for the treatment’s research phase, and now Synaffix will be licensing two platforms to help advance the ADC toward clinical trials. According to Synaffix CEO Peter van de Sande, “There is a clear trend in China towards developing innovative products and as such, ADCs have emerged as a strong area of growth within the field of oncology.”
Why it’s important: ADCs are an emerging class of cancer treatment that combine an antibody with a potent anti-cancer drug, and unlike traditional treatments like chemotherapy, are meant to destroy cancer cells without harming healthy ones. This particular class of treatments has been slow to reach the market, though, partly due to certain safety and efficiency issues that have hindered effectiveness. But with cancer rates in China increasing rapidly, the treatment market is projected to reach $30 billion by 2024, and biotech companies like Shanghai Miracogen are looking to take a slice.
Correction: This article was updated Apr. 12 to clarify that the potential value of the deal is $125 million plus royalties, not up to $150 million as previously written.