Seattle Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SGEN) today announced that it has entered into a collaboration agreement with Abbott (NYSE:ABT) under which Abbott will pay an upfront fee of $8 million for rights to utilize Seattle Genetics' antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology with antibodies to a single oncology target.
"We are pleased to collaborate with Abbott on our ADC technology given their position as one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies and their demonstrated commitment to both biologic and oncology therapeutics," said Eric L. Dobmeier, Chief Business Officer of Seattle Genetics. "This is the second ADC collaboration with a multinational pharmaceutical company that we have announced this year, further illustrating the important role that our ADC technology is poised to play in the treatment of many types of cancer."
Abbott is responsible for research, product development, manufacturing and commercialization of any ADC products under the collaboration. Pending achievement of certain development, regulatory and commercial milestones, Seattle Genetics is eligible to receive from Abbott up to approximately $200 million in milestone payments, as well as royalties on worldwide net sales of any resulting ADC products. Seattle Genetics also will receive annual maintenance fees and research support payments for assistance provided to Abbott under the collaboration.
ADCs are monoclonal antibodies that selectively deliver potent anti-cancer agents to tumor cells. With over a decade of experience and knowledge in ADC innovation, Seattle Genetics has developed proprietary technology employing synthetic, highly potent cell-killing agents called auristatins (such as MMAE and MMAF) and stable linker systems that attach auristatin to the antibody. Seattle Genetics' novel linker systems are designed to be stable in the bloodstream and release the potent cell-killing agent once inside targeted cancer cells. This approach is intended to spare non-targeted cells and thus reduce many of the toxic effects of traditional chemotherapy while enhancing antitumor activity.
Seattle Genetics has 11 active ADC collaborations and has generated more than $155 million from ADC licensing deals to date. There are currently 11 ADCs in clinical development across both internal and collaborator pipelines using Seattle Genetics' technology.