Recorded during the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), held June 2 – 6, 2017 in Chicago, Ill, Sonia Portillo and Peter Hofland, the team behind The Onco’Zine Brief, interview Dr. Steve Benner – Senior Vice President and Therapeutics Area Head of Oncology at Astellas Pharmaceuticals, and Mark Reisenauer, Senior Vice President, Oncology business unit at Astellas Pharmaceuticals.

Astellas currently has several highly targeted drugs in (early) development and clinical trials. One of these investigational agents is enfortumab vedotin, which is demonstrating promising results for metastatic urothelial cancer patients that fail checkpoint inhibitor therapies or CPIs.

Enfortumab vedotin is an antibody-drug conjugate or ADC designed to deliver the cell-killing, microtubule-disrupting, agent called monomethyl auristatin E or MMAE to the target Nectin-4, a cell adhesion molecule identified as an ADC target by Astellas, which is expressed on many solid tumors.

Antibody-drug conjugates or ADCs are a new class of highly potent biopharmaceutical drug composed of an antibody linked, via a chemical linker, to a biologically active drug or cytotoxic compound.

These novel, targeted agents combine the unique and very sensitive targeting capabilities of antibodies allowing sensitive discrimination between healthy and cancer tissues with the cell-killing ability of cytotoxic drugs.

Astellas’ investigational ADC enfortumab vedotin uses Seattle Genetics’ proprietary linker technology.