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New Ideas For Antibody-Drug Conjugate Design

Summary: This article is a selection of articles published in The Scientist, giving overviews on new ideas for antibody-drug conjugates designs so oncologists can aim a chemical payload at any cell for which they can identify a specific antigen, such as the HER2 receptor on breast cancer cells. A variety of practical examples are given to what it takes to develop a good ADC.

ADCs—tripartite structures in which antibodies are covalently joined to toxins via a linker—are the biological equivalent of a smart bomb. In theory, the configuration renders poisons inert as they circulate through the body, preventing them from doing harm until they are released and activated inside the targeted cell, and pharmaceutical companies have embraced the concept: dozens of ADCs are now in clinical trials, and two have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

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