Prof. David Thurston, a leader in the field of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), has been acknowledged for his contribution to the area over the past 12 months and previous decades. His academic group synthesized the first C8/C8’-linked pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD) dimer in the early 1990s, and PBD dimers are now recognized as one of the most important classes of ADC payloads used by many companies including AstraZeneca/MedImmune, Seattle Genetics, Genentech, AbbVie/Stemcentrx and ADC Therapeutics. Two ADCs based on PBD dimers are now at the Phase 3 stage of clinical trials, with more than twelve others in the clinic at earlier stages, and many others in pre-clinical development. David has traced the history of the pyrrolobenzodiazepines from the discovery of anthramycin to the current PBD-containing ADCs in the clinic in a new Angewandte Chemie review article, which is available for download from the following DOI: doi.wiley.com/10.1002/anie.201510610. Currently Professor of Drug Discovery within the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science (IPS) at King’s College London, David was the key scientific co-founder of Spirogen Ltd, originally set-up in 2000 to exploit the PBD dimers as DNA sequence-selective anticancer agents. He acted as CSO for Spirogen from foundation to 2012, after which the company was acquired by AstraZeneca/MedImmune. More recently, in his academic group, he has conducted pioneering work on the precise mechanism of action of the PBD dimers. In 2015, he co-founded Femtogenix Ltd, a King’s College London spin-out company, based on work conducted in his academic laboratory at King’s College from 2012 to 2015, with the aim of developing a new generation of highly potent DNA-interactive ADC payloads for use in ADC discovery and development.
Dr Chris Keightley, CEO of Femtogenix commented “We are delighted that Prof. Thurston has received this award which is richly deserved. His work in developing new DNA-interactive drug molecules has been internationally significant, and we are very privileged to have him leading our scientific team at Femtogenix Ltd.”
About World ADC Awards
The World ADC Awards reward the innovation, leadership, and devotion shown by the best companies, teams, and individuals in the antibody-drug conjugate industry. Across nine categories, the Awards exist to recognize the extraordinary endeavours, teamwork and commercial acumen that have propelled the field to the forefront of cancer research today.