The demand for CDMO behind the hot ADC drugs

As early as 1913, the Nobel Prize winner and German immunologist Paul Ehrlich took the lead in putting forward the idea of "Magic Bullets": If toxic drugs (that is, bullets) are installed specifically to target tumor cells based on the carrier, it is possible to accurately kill cancer cells without harming normal cells. However, this vision far exceeded the technical capabilities of the time.

ADC is composed of three parts: antibody, cytotoxic drug, and linker. Ideally, when the ADC enters the circulatory system in the body, the antibody recognizes and binds to the epitope on the surface of tumor cells. The tumor cells swallow the ADC, which is then degraded by lysosomes in the cell, and cytotoxic drugs are released to kill the tumor cell. If antibody-conjugated drugs are compared to nuclear missiles, then antibodies are equivalent to missiles, and cytotoxic drugs are nuclear warheads.

Whether it is from the global ADC drug pipeline reserve, or market space forecast and imagination, ADC drugs can be said to be one of the hottest tracks nowadays. Up to now, there are 339 ADC projects disclosed globally, and 104 projects of Chinese companies, accounting for 30%; a total of 13 ADC drugs have been marketed worldwide, including Rongchang Biological's vedicitumumab in June 2021.It was approved by NMPA and was the first domestic ADC drug to be marketed.