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Antibody-drug Conjugates Shift the Cancer Treatment Landscape: Novotech Whitepaper Examines Latest Clinical Trial Data


BOSTON, June 21, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Novotech, the global full-service clinical Contract Research Organization (CRO) that partners with biotech companies to accelerate the development of advanced and novel therapeutics at every phase, has today released a key research whitepaper entitled Antibody-drug conjugates - Global Clinical Trial Landscape.

Novotech's whitepaper examines how the antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), a revolutionary treatment approach, is reshaping cancer treatment. ADCs combine the precision of monoclonal antibodies with potent cytotoxic payloads, promising targeted drug delivery with minimal side effects.

The report explores the evolution of ADCs, detailing key milestones, technological advancements, clinical successes, and highlights the significant rise in ADC research and development, with over 150 compounds in clinical trials and 15 FDA approved drugs. It also examines the promising commercial landscape, showcasing the surge in investments and major pharmaceutical companies' strategic interests in ADCs.

The Novotech research analyst team provides these expert reports every month, completely free of charge. These reports offer up-to-date insights into global clinical trial activity, revealing which regions experience the highest trial volumes and the unique factors behind these trends. They tackle the potential and real hurdles faced by biotech firms in specific therapeutic areas and discuss future paths in treatments and investment trends.

Examining the clinical trial activity, the report found that from 2019 to 2023, the ADC trial landscape experienced a substantial expansion, with close to 1,000 trials initiated worldwide. Asia-Pacific emerged as a frontrunner, boasting a significant Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 42.7%, underscoring its pivotal role in advancing research and development in this space. North America maintained steady growth at 25.2% CAGR, and Europe saw a moderate rise with 13.6%. The United States and China led trial efforts, with contributions from other countries such as Spain, Australia, and South Korea.

The report also notes a 30% increase in ADC-related publications over the last three years, signaling growing commercial interest in translating academic breakthroughs into tangible clinical applications. The United States leads in both publications and patents, followed by China, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Breast cancer and lymphoma dominated ADC research, with growth observed in breast cancer and myeloma studies.

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Phase II trials dominated the global ADC clinical trial landscape, representing over 50% of all trials, followed by Phase I and III with 27% and 22%. APAC leads in conducting trials across all phases, with its most significant contribution in Phase II.
  • Oncology emerged as the primary therapeutic focus, with over 97% (600) of ADC trials, with Asia-Pacific leading in trial numbers at 40%, North America at 31%, Europe and ROW contributing 18% and 11% respectively.
  • A diverse landscape of targeted antigens and cytotoxic payloads, with tubulin inhibitors emerging as the predominant choice. The approval of trastuzumab deruxtecan (Enhertu) in 2019 highlighted a shift towards a broader range of ADC payloads, including topoisomerase I inhibitors and STING agonists.
  • With more than 340 companies actively engaged in ADC development, including industry giants like F. Hoffmann-La Roche and AbbVie, the landscape is witnessing a surge in interest and investment.
  • Over 200 ADCs are currently in development by companies including Merck, Seagen, Daiichi Sankyo, AbbVie, ADC Therapeutics, Byondis, CytomX, and ImmunoGen, signaling a shift towards targeted cancer therapy, especially for prevalent cancers like breast and lung cancer.

This comprehensive resource is designed as a guide for healthcare professionals, researchers, and organizations to accurately navigate the ADC clinical trial landscape.

Download the report here


Founded in 1997, Novotech is a global full-service clinical Contract Research Organization (CRO) focused on partnering with biotech companies to accelerate the development of advanced and novel therapeutics at every phase.

Recognized for its industry-leading contributions, Novotech has received numerous prestigious awards, including the CRO Leadership Award 2023, the Asia Pacific Cell & Gene Therapy Clinical Trials Excellence 2023, the Asia-Pacific Contract Research Organization Company of the Year Award since 2006.

The Company offers a comprehensive suite of services including laboratories, Phase I facilities, drug development consulting, regulatory expertise, and has experience with over 5,000 clinical projects, including Phase I to Phase IV clinical trials and bioequivalence studies. With a presence in 34 office locations and a dedicated team of 3,000+ professionals worldwide, Novotech is a trusted end-to-end strategic partner of choice.

For more information or to speak to an expert team member visit

An infographic accompanying this announcement is available at

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