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Debiopharm, SunRock Biopharma Partner to Develop ADCs for HER2-, HER3-Expressing Cancers

NEW YORK – Debiopharm on Thursday announced a partnership with SunRock Biopharma to jointly develop antibody drug conjugates (ADC) for cancer including tumors expressing HER2 and HER3.

Debiopharm, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, will integrate its linker technologies, Multilink and AbYlink, with ADCs that SunRock is developing. Multilink allows the ADC to carry multiple payloads to the tumor cells, and AbYlink allows the drugmaker to rapidly generate ADCs or imaging antibodies because it does not require prior modification of the antibody to attach the payload.

SunRock, headquartered in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, has several anti-HER3 drugs in preclinical development including a HER3-EGFR bispecific antibody, an anti-HER3 monoclonal antibody, and a HER3 and undisclosed target bispecific antibody.

Under the collaboration agreement, Debiopharm will have the option to license and further develop SunRock's antibodies that use its linker technology. Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We're highly motivated to uncover the potential of these antibodies with well-validated oncology targets such as HER2 and HER3," Frederic Levy, senior executive director of search and evaluation and scientific innovation at Debiopharm, said in a statement. "Combining these promising molecules with our linker technology could really boost efficacy and safety to outsmart a wide variety of cancers with a high unmet medical need."