Seattle Genetics announces collaboration to globally develop and commercialize brentuximab vedotin

Seattle Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq: SGEN) and Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company with its parent company Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE: 4502) today jointly announced that Seattle Genetics and Millennium have entered into an agreement to globally develop and commercialize brentuximab vedotin (SGN-35). Brentuximab vedotin is an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) targeting CD30 that is in late-stage clinical trials for the treatment of relapsed and refractory Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL).

Data from a pivotal phase II trial of brentuximab vedotin in relapsed or refractory HL, which is fully enrolled, are expected in the second half of 2010. The trial is being conducted under a special protocol assessment with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is designed to provide the basis for regulatory submissions in the United States and Europe in 2011.

Under the collaboration, Seattle Genetics will receive an upfront payment of $60 million and retains full commercialization rights for brentuximab vedotin in the United States and Canada. The Takeda Group will have exclusive rights to commercialize the product candidate in all countries other than the United States and Canada. Seattle Genetics is entitled to receive progress- and sales-dependent milestone payments in addition to tiered double-digit royalties based on net sales of brentuximab vedotin within the Takeda Group’s licensed territories. Milestone payments to Seattle Genetics could total more than $230 million. Seattle Genetics and the Takeda Group will jointly fund worldwide development costs on a 50:50 basis. Development funding by the Takeda Group over the first three years of the collaboration is expected to be at least $75 million. In Japan, the Takeda Group will be solely responsible for development costs.

“This collaboration aligns with our goal of rapidly bringing brentuximab vedotin to patients worldwide. Takeda is an ideal collaborator given its global presence, demonstrated commitment to oncology, and experience in the sales and marketing of first-in-class, targeted therapies for unmet medical needs,” said Clay B. Siegall, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Seattle Genetics. “Our retention of full commercial rights in the U.S. and Canada along with the financial terms from this agreement gives us a strong basis to begin building a commercial infrastructure for the planned launch of brentuximab vedotin. We expect to utilize this infrastructure in the future for other product candidates in our pipeline.”

“The addition of the late-stage product candidate brentuximab vedotin to our oncology development pipeline supports our mission to develop innovative new medicines where there is a high unmet need for patients,” said Deborah Dunsire, M.D., President and CEO, Millennium. “This collaboration closely aligns with our growth strategy, which includes both internal and external opportunities. We are very excited to bring forward a novel medicine which will help us increase our reach in oncology throughout Europe and the rest of the world.”

ADCs are monoclonal antibodies that carry potent, cell-killing drugs targeted precisely to tumor cells. Seattle Genetics has developed proprietary technology employing synthetic, highly potent drugs that can be attached to antibodies through stable linker systems. The linkers are designed to be stable in the bloodstream and release the drugs under specific conditions once inside targeted cells. This approach is intended to spare non-targeted cells and thus reduce many of the toxic side effects of traditional chemotherapy. Earlier this year, Millennium obtained an exclusive license to Seattle Genetics’ ADC technology for an antigen expressed on solid tumors, as well as options for two other licenses.

SOURCE Seattle Genetics


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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