Linkers for Drug Conjugates

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Chemistry


The discovery and development of new therapeutic agents has recently moved into a key new area, looking to combine two distinct classes of chemical or biological agents into a single entity. Bringing two different agents together provides the opportunity for synergistic effects, most notably when one of the components acts as a targeting agent and the other interacting with the desired system. One of the leading areas for new synergistic therapeutic modalities is Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs). The antibody of an ADC is selected or engineered to bind to a tumour cell-specific antigen or to an antigen that is overexpressed on the surface of tumour cells. Thus, the antibody guides the ADC selectively to target tumour cells. Upon binding, the ADC is internalised and the cytotoxic agent is released from the antibody to perform its cell-killing function. Chemistry enabling linker technology remains a comparatively underdeveloped aspect of ADCs. This research aims to develop enhanced chemical linker technologies capable of overcoming current shortcomings.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R512461/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2022
1944589 Studentship EP/R512461/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021 Sam Michael Rowe
Description Activin A signalling in cells has been implicated in a wide range of cancers as well as the orphan disease fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP). We used computational modelling to design and then make a peptide-based inhibitor of this signalling pathway which would help to understand how it functions.
Exploitation Route Those working in the field of activin A signalling may use the peptide inhibitor we have developed to understand the role of activin A in diseases such as cancer and FOP. In the long run, this may enable scientists to develop new medicines that exploit this signalling pathway.
Sectors Chemicals,Healthcare