Seattle Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq:SGEN) and Agensys, Inc., an affiliate of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. (Tokyo:4503), today announced that Seattle Genetics has exercised an option to co-develop a second antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) under the companies' existing ADC collaboration agreement. The ADC, known as ASG-22ME (formerly AGS-22M6E), targets the Nectin-4 antigen, which is expressed on multiple solid tumors. During the first quarter of 2011, Agensys submitted an investigational new drug (IND) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a phase I trial of ASG-22ME. Seattle Genetics and Agensys are also co-developing another ADC known as ASG-5ME, which is currently in phase I clinical trials for pancreatic and prostate cancer.
"ASG-22ME is the second ADC we are co-developing under our collaboration with Agensys/Astellas, and the fifteenth ADC using Seattle Genetics' technology in clinical development across both our internal pipeline and collaborator programs," said Eric L. Dobmeier, Chief Business Officer of Seattle Genetics. "The progress we and Agensys/Astellas are making demonstrates the synergy of combining Seattle Genetics' innovative, industry-leading ADC technology with Agensys' proprietary cancer targets and antibodies to develop potential new treatments for patients with cancer."
"These two co-development programs with Seattle Genetics, coupled with other internal programs such as our AGS-16M8F ADC that is in a phase I trial for renal cell carcinoma, demonstrate our commitment to ADCs and the strength of our growing oncology pipeline," said Sef Kurstjens, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Agensys. "We look forward to continuing our productive and strong collaboration with Seattle Genetics."