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Debiopharm and Genome & Company Reach Agreement for Potential First-In Class Oncology Antibody Drug Conjugate Family


Debiopharm (, a privately-owned, Swiss-based, biopharmaceutical company aiming to establish tomorrow’s standard-of-care to cure cancer and infectious diseases, today announced the signing of an exclusive licensing agreement with Genome & Company (, a publicly-traded, South Korea-based, biotechnology company focusing on discovery and development of novel target antibody therapeutics, for the development of antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) with first-in-class potential. The agreement offers Debiopharm exclusive global rights to develop ADCs combining specific Genome and Company antibodies with Debiopharm’s innovative linker technology, Multilink™, to create highly innovative therapeutic agents to outsmart hard-to-treat cancers.

ADCs are cutting-edge oncology therapeutics that combine three components: a monoclonal antibody, a stable linker and one or more potent cytotoxic payload. These targeted compounds identify and dock onto specific antigens on cancer cell surfaces and promote targeted delivery of toxic payloads to antigen-expressing cancer cells. This modality improves therapeutic effectiveness while diminishing systemic toxicity and side effects typically associated with conventional cancer treatments. This distinctive capacity to selectively eliminate cancer cells while preserving healthy tissues has granted visibility to ADCs within the pharmaceutical development community. With the ever-growing interest in ADC development, linker design has increasingly become a critical determining factor, as few linkers provide satisfactory stability required for specific and effective drug release.1

“Building on our fruitful collaboration with Genome & Company, the potential of developing this novel antibody family with our proprietary MultilinkTM cleavable linker technology is an exciting opportunity. We recognized that Genome’s innovative antibodies were the right fit for our development focus due to the novelty of the target and its expression in tumor types with high unmet needsexpressed Frederic Levy, Chief Scientific Officer. “This extended collaboration with Genome & Company’s antibody against a novel target represents our commitment to form strategic partnerships for the development of first-in-class and best-in-class ADCs leveraging our proprietary Multilink™ technology, offering unique linker characteristics that grant a higher stability and DAR, thereby optimizing treatment specificity and effectiveness.”

Debiopharm is focused on further expanding their ADC platform, exploring proprietary novel bispecific ADCs and potential game changing technologies such as novel payloads, dual payloads, and degraders, leveraging their solid drug development experience to accelerate ADC products to patients.

“This agreement represents our first out-license deal in the field of novel target anti-cancer therapy of Genome & Company, and we were able to achieve meaningful results in early preclinical stage based on our excellent research and development capabilities,”commentedYoo Seok Hong, CEO of Genome & Company.“We expect to show results from our subsequent pipeline of novel target anti-cancer drugs in the near future, leveraging this license deal.”

About Multilink™

Multilink™ is a new cleavable linker platform suited for multidrug attachment and compatible with any conjugation technology to produce ADCs with high DAR (drug-to-antibody ratio). This unique and innovative technology allows the loading of multiple payloads on an antibody for an enhanced therapeutic effect. This highly effective and well-tolerated linker platform is available for use by other specialty biotech or pharmaceutical companies to generate proprietary, clinical-stage ADCs.

Debiopharm’s ADC Portfolio

Our ADC portfolio consists of carefully selected targets with 1st-in-class or best-in-class potential, including Debio 1562M, a CD37-targeted ADC for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and Debio 0532, an HER3-targeted ADC for solid tumors. Key partnerships also comprise options to in-licence bispecific antibodies targeting HER2-HER3 and HER3-EGFR along with other further undisclosed targets. Our ADCs are designed with MultiLinkTM proprietary cleavable linker technology, allowing both high DAR and high stability. Debio 1562M, the CD37 ADC with a novel DM1 derivative payload, represents our most advanced program, expected to reach the clinic in 2025. We are continuing to invest in our ADC platform, exploring potential game changing technologies such as novel and dual payloads or degraders, leveraging our solid development experience to accelerate ADC products to patients.

About Genome & Company

Genome & Company is a South Korean-based biotechnology company specializing in discovery and development of novel cancer target antibodies as stand-alone therapy and antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) applications. The company leverages its GNOCLE™ drug discovery and development platform, a unique bed-to-bench approach based on real-world clinical data. For more information, please refer to our website

About Debiopharm

Debiopharm develops innovative therapies that target high unmet medical needs in oncology and infectious diseases. Bridging the gap between disruptive discovery products and international patient reach, we identify high-potential compounds and technologies for in-licensing, clinically demonstrate their safety and efficacy and then select large pharmaceutical commercialization partners to maximize patient access globally.

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  1. Zheng Su et al. Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B 2021;11(12):3889e3907

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