T cell lymphomas (TCL) are heterogeneous, aggressive, and have few available targeted therapeutics. In this study, we determined that CD6, an established T cell marker, was expressed at high levels on almost all examined TCL patient specimens, suggesting that CD6 could be a new therapeutic target for this life-threatening blood cancer. We prepared a CD6-targeted antibody-drug conjugate (CD6-ADC) by conjugating monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE), an FDA-approved mitotic toxin, to a high-affinity anti-human CD6 monoclonal antibody (mAb). In contrast to both the unconjugated anti-CD6 mAb, and the non-binding control ADC, CD6-ADC potently and selectively killed TCL cells in vitro in both time- and concentration-dependent manners. It also prevented the development of tumors in vivo in a preclinical model of TCL. More importantly, systemic or local administration of the CD6-ADC or its humanized version, but not the controls, significantly shrank established tumors in the preclinical mouse model of TCL. These results suggest that CD6 is a novel therapeutic target in TCLs and provide a strong rationale for the further development of CD6-ADC as a promising therapy for patients with these potentially fatal lymphoid neoplasms.© 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.