Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs) are capable of delivering highly cytotoxic payloads directly to tumour cells. Thus, highly cytotoxic payloads unsuitable for systemic administration alone can theoretically be used to achieve high lethality toward the targeted cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed. However, although many first-generation ADCs have proved effective in the clinic, systemic toxicities have still been observed in many due to premature detachment of the payload, and resistance has developed in patients.

To avoid these problems, Femtogenix is designing novel DNA-interactive payloads with maximum possible cytotoxicity, that are structured to be able to use third-party conjugating technologies to ensure release only at the site of tumour cells. The payloads are also designed to have a novel mechanism of action and IP space compared to existing DNA-interactive payloads, to have minimal hydrophobicity and to be resistant to P-Glycoprotein pumps in tumour cells.