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Industry Biopharmaceutical
Founded 1996 (1996)
Headquarters West Lafayette, Indiana, United State
Key people
Ron Ellis, President and CEO
Number of employees
Website www.endocyte.com

Endocyte (NASDAQ: ECYT) is a biopharmaceutical company established in 1996 and headquartered in West Lafayette, Indiana,[1] a resident of the Purdue Research Park.[2] In 2011 the company completed successfully an initial public offering (IPO).[3] As of 2013, the company had 93 employees.[1] The president and CEO of the company is Ron Ellis.[1]

Endocyte is advancing the first technology platform for the creation of small molecule drug conjugates (a.k.a. SMDCs), which consist of a small molecule linked to a potent drug, and is developing a pipeline of SMDCs together with non-invasive companion imaging agents for cancer, inflammatory diseases and kidney disease (autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease/ADPKDor PKD).[1][4] Endocyte’s lead drug candidate is vintafolide, an investigational targeted cancer therapeutic in late-stage development. In 2012 marketing rights were acquired by Merck for $120 million in an upfront payment and up to $880 million in milestone payments.[5] Vintafolide is a small molecule drug conjugate consisting of a small molecule targeting the folate receptor, which is expressed on many cancers, such as ovarian cancer, and a potent chemotherapy drug, a derivative of vinblastine.[1] Endocyte retained rights to the development and commercialization of etarfolatide.[5]

Endocyte’s other preclinical drug candidates also target the folate receptor as well as prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) receptors.[1] The company was formed based on technology developed by Philip Low (the company's CSO), and Christopher Leamon, PhD, the company’s VP of research. This technology is a folic acid-based drug delivery system,[1] referred to now as folate targeting.[6] The company is also developing SMDCs with varying drug payloads as well as different ligands for other molecular targets, such as prostate-specific membrane antigen (PMSA) and has also developed, with Bristol-Myers Squibb, an epothilone-folic acid conjugate (BMS-753493), described at a 2008 conference.[7]