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Freenome, ADC Therapeutics Sign Biomarker Development Deal

NEW YORK – Biotechnology company Freenome and ADC Therapeutics, an oncology drug discovery and development company, announced today that they have signed a biomarker development agreement.

The companies will use Freenome's multiomics platform for early cancer detection to identify patients who are most likely to respond to treatment with ADC's antibody drug conjugate loncastuximab tesirine (ADCT-402). ADC is currently evaluating ADCT-402 in a pivotal Phase II clinical trial in patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Freenome's multiomics platform integrates assays for cell-free DNA, methylation, and proteins with computational biology and machine learning techniques to identify signatures that improve the accuracy of early cancer detection. The partners will use the platform to characterize tumor heterogeneity and systemic immune response in the blood of DLBCL patients participating in ADC's clinical trial, allowing ADC to analyze DNA, RNA, and protein markers to develop a biomarker signature, the companies said.

"Our partnership with ADC Therapeutics validates our unique multiomics platform and its potential to help biopharmaceutical companies develop innovative cancer therapies for patients in need," Freenome CEO Gabe Otte said in a statement. "Our platform can help biopharma partners refine biomarker development and potentially de-risk and accelerate drug development by characterizing patients likely to respond to therapy. In addition, given that ADCT-402 is targeting a hematological malignancy, this partnership highlights the potential of our platform to provide tumor and immune signatures for hematological cancers in addition to solid tumors."

ADCT-402 is comprised of a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds to human CD19, conjugated through a linker to a pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD) dimer toxin. Once bound to a CD19-expressing cell, ADCT-402 is internalized into the cell where enzymes release the PBD-based toxin. CD19 is a clinically validated target for the treatment of B-cell malignancies. The PBD-based toxin can form highly cytotoxic DNA interstrand cross-links, blocking cell division and resulting in cell death, ADC said.