Emergence Therapeutics’ science is being harnessed to develop best-in-class or first-in-class antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) for the treatment of solid tumors. Our aim is to target difficult to treat tumors with high efficacy, lower risk of side effects and the ability to avoid resistance. Our lead investigational product is an ADC against Nectin-4.
Nectin-4 has been clinically validated as an ADC target by enfortumab vedotin, recently approved for the treatment of urothelial cancers by the US FDA. It is highly expressed by many different cancers and has a very limited expression in healthy tissues, especially compared to many other ADC targets.
Emergence is developing an ADC that has the potential to be best-in-class: based on an improved monoclonal antibody (mAb) that avoids unwanted interactions leading to off-target toxicity and limits binding to skin based Nectin-4, the cause of dose limiting toxicity of enfortumab vedotin. A stable linker is applied to avoid loss of toxin in the circulation and with a preferential deconjugation in the tumor tissue, combined with a toxin that features a different mechanism of action.
Emergence Therapeutics follows a development plan to deliver on the potential of its lead ADC and its broader pipeline. Given the high unmet need in cancers with Nectin-4 expression our objective is to seek accelerated approval through Breakthrough Therapy Designation. Indications would include certain breast cancers, pancreatic cancer and ovarian cancer as well as urothelial cancer. Longer term, we believe our lead program has potential as a tumor agnostic treatment for all Nectin-4 expressing tumors.
Beyond the lead program Emergence Therapeutics is actively exploring opportunities to develop further best-in-class or first-in-class ADCs driven by therapeutic need.
Emergence Therapeutics’ in-house expertise and team is supported by collaborations with world-class partners. These include:
Licensing and collaboration agreement with SATT Sud-Est (the regional tech transfer office for the Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS and Inserm) through which the Company has been granted exclusive rights to a set of anti-Nectin-4 antibodies from Marc Lopez at the Cancer Research Center in Marseille (CRCM), France, who discovered the nectin family of proteins. SATT Sud-Est is also providing financial support to the Emergence program.
A licensing and collaboration agreement with Heidelberg Pharma Research GmbH, a subsidiary of Heidelberg Pharma AG, Ladenburg, Germany. Through this agreement Emergence has access to Heidelberg Pharma’s proprietary ATAC technology embracing innovative antibody design, amanitin-based payloads and corresponding linkers. Heidelberg Pharma Research GmbH is also a founding investor in Emergence.
An R&D collaboration with MImAbs, a platform for antibody research and development co-founded by François Romagné, co-founder and former CSO of Innate Pharma.