Revolutionizing Cancer Treatment: Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs)

David K. Song, MD, PhD, CFA
By David K. Song, MD, PhD, CFA
Investment Partner
January 29, 2024

Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs) are a powerful fusion of biological engineering and modern medicine. They employ precisely engineered antibodies linked to cytotoxic drugs, offering a highly targeted therapeutic approach. ADCs recognize specific cell surface antigens, ensuring the accurate delivery of cytotoxic payloads to eliminate the target cell. Recent advances have elevated ADCs in cancer therapy, overcoming resistance and enhancing accessibility.


Benefits for Patients

ADCs provide a level of precision similar to chemotherapy but with a crucial advantage: they spare healthy tissues. Recent breakthroughs have led to highly potent ADCs with advanced chemistry, improving patient outcomes, especially in treating aggressive breast cancer like HER2+. The ultimate goal is to replace conventional chemotherapy in first-line treatment. The prize is enormous as 37% of cancer patients are still prescribed chemotherapy, and a replacement of this with ADCs has the potential to be a $140bn market1.

Read more about ADCs, the companies leading the charge in this transformative field, and other revolutionary oncology innovations in our latest report:

1Morgan Stanley.