Elevation Oncology dips its toes into ADCs, adding second drug to its bag. But is it pitting itself against Bristol Myers?

As interest grows in antibody drug conjugates, another small player is jumping into the space with sights set on an increasingly popular target.

On Wednesday, Elevation Oncology licensed an ADC for gastric and pancreatic cancer from Chinese biotech CSPC Megalith Biopharmaceutical. The deal gives Elevation rights to develop the drug outside of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. CSPC Megalith will get $27 million upfront, with an additional $148 million in future milestones.

Notably, the ADC candidate, dubbed SYSA1801, is currently in a Phase I study in China, which is estimated to finish by the end of 2023.

By licensing the ADC, Elevation adds an additional drug to its arsenal, which currently consists of its lead candidate seribantumab. Elevation revived seribantumab from Merrimack in 2020, and is testing it in patients with tumors that have an NRG1 mutation.

In a note, SVB securities analysts commented that the deal represents…
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