Three grants funded by Daiichi Sankyo and AstraZeneca to study HER2 directed and TROP2 directed antibody drug conjugates (ADCs)

NEW YORK, NY (March 12, 2024) – The Lung Cancer Research Foundation (LCRF) has announced three research grant awards funded by Daiichi Sankyo and AstraZeneca, totaling $810,000, focused on further developing the understanding of the proposed mechanism of action of antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), exploring biomarkers and blood-based biomarkers for the primary and acquired resistance mechanisms to TROP2- or HER2-directed ADCs, and exploring the use of ADCs in lung cancer types beyond non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

ADCs are designed to specifically target cancer cells and selectively deliver a highly potent payload, which may limit damage to healthy cells. An ADC comprises a monoclonal antibody that recognizes a protein present on the cancer cells, and is bound to a cytotoxic agent, known as the payload.

The use of ADCs is common practice in several cancers, and currently, multiple phase 3 trials of ADCs in NSCLC are underway.

“LCRF is honored to continue its long legacy of identifying and supporting outstanding lung cancer research projects over the years, and we are excited to present these grants made possible by this research collaboration,” said Dr. Antoinette Wozniak, LCRF’s chief scientific officer. “The study of ADCs is an exciting development in lung cancer research with considerable promise for increased positive outcomes for patients.”

2023 LCRF – Daiichi Sankyo – AstraZeneca Research Grant on Antibody Drug Conjugates award recipients include:

  • Aakash Desai, MD, MPH, University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Deciphering the ADC code: a proteogenomic quest in lung cancer
  • Carl Gay, MD, PhD, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center
    Pulmonary high-grade neuroendocrine carcinomas as indications for antibody drug conjugates targeting TROP2 and HER2
  • Nan Sethakorn, MD, PhD, Loyola University of Chicago
    Leveraging liquid biopsy to identify the optimal clinical niche for TROP2-targeting in NSCLC

To learn more about LCRF and its grants program, visit

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About the Lung Cancer Research Foundation (LCRF)
The Lung Cancer Research Foundation® (LCRF) is the leading nonprofit organization focused on funding innovative, high-reward research with the potential to extend survival and improve quality of life for people with lung cancer. LCRF’s mission is to improve lung cancer outcomes by funding research for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure of lung cancer. To date, LCRF has funded 418 research grants, totaling nearly $44 million, the highest amount provided by a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding lung cancer research. For more information, visit