Seattle Genetics Highlights ADC and SEA Technologies at AACR

BOTHELL, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr 21, 2010 - Seattle Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq:SGEN) today announced that research related to its antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) and sugar engineered antibody (SEA) technologies were presented at the 101st Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) being held in Washington, D.C. The presentations demonstrate the mechanism of action of SGN-75, an ADC, in preclinical models and describe a novel approach for efficient, large-scale screening of antibodies for potential use as therapeutic ADCs. In addition, the company highlighted its SEA technology, which is designed to enhance the effector function of therapeutic antibodies.

“We continue to provide evidence of our expertise in the field of empowered antibodies, notably our industry-leading ADC technology, which we are applying to multiple internal product candidates, including two clinical-stage programs, brentuximab vedotin (SGN-35) and SGN-75,” said Clay B. Siegall, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer at Seattle Genetics. “Our ADC technology is also the basis of multiple license agreements with leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, several of which have advanced programs into clinical development. Our novel SEA technology is another approach to increasing the potency of antibodies, and provides us with additional product and partnership opportunities.”

ADC Technology

ADCs are empowered monoclonal antibodies that carry potent, cell-killing drugs. 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 target cells. This approach is intended to spare non-targeted cells and thus reduce many of the toxic effects of traditional chemotherapy.

Preclinical data were presented at AACR showing that SGN-75, an ADC targeting CD70, induces potent cell-killing activity by releasing its payload, cysteine-mcMMAF, upon degradation of the antibody inside tumor cells. These findings illustrate the mechanism for the release of cysteine-mcMMAF after internalization of the ADC into target cells (Abstract #5334). SGN-75 is in an ongoing phase I clinical trial for CD70-positive relapsed/refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma and metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

In a separate presentation, the company described a novel method for rapidly analyzing large numbers of ADCs to evaluate their cell-killing activity against target cell lines, as well as to screen for target antigen binding. The approach addresses previous challenges in efficiently screening for ADCs that possess optimal properties for further development, including binding affinity, internalization, trafficking and drug release. The method allows for evaluation of antibodies incorporated into ADCs at an earlier stage of research than previously permitted, expediting the selection of a lead ADC product candidate (Abstract #4394).

SEA Technology

Seattle Genetics' SEA technology is a novel approach to increasing the potency of monoclonal antibodies by enhancing their ability to recruit the body's immune system to kill target cells. SEA technology comprises modified sugar analogs that inhibit the incorporation of fucose into the carbohydrate chains of monoclonal antibodies, resulting in enhanced antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity in preclinical models.

In data presented at AACR, it was shown that the modified sugar analogs can be readily added to standard cell culture media, without impacting manufacturing processes, while maintaining yields and reproducible product quality. The technology was successfully applied to a wide variety of antibodies, enabling screening of antibodies for optimal ADCC activity (Abstract #4395).

About Seattle Genetics

Seattle Genetics is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of monoclonal antibody-based therapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune disease. The company's lead product candidate, brentuximab vedotin, is in a pivotal trial under a Special Protocol Assessment with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Brentuximab vedotin is being developed in collaboration with Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company. In addition, Seattle Genetics has four other product candidates in ongoing clinical trials: lintuzumab (SGN-33), dacetuzumab (SGN-40), SGN-70 and SGN-75. Seattle Genetics has collaborations for its ADC technology with a number of leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including Bayer, Celldex Therapeutics, Daiichi Sankyo, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, MedImmune, a subsidiary of AstraZeneca, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company and Progenics, as well as an ADC co-development agreement with Agensys, an affiliate of Astellas. More information can be found at www.seattlegenetics.com.

Certain of the statements made in this press release are forward looking, such as those, among others, relating to the therapeutic potential of Seattle Genetics' product candidates and its ADC and SEA technologies. Actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected or implied in these forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause such a difference include risks related to failure of our or our collaborators' product candidates incorporating ADC or SEA technologies to show sufficient safety and efficacy to advance in clinical trials or obtain regulatory approval. More information about the risks and uncertainties faced by Seattle Genetics is contained in the company's 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Seattle Genetics disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

Contact: Seattle Genetics, Inc.
Peggy Pinkston, 425-527-4160
ppinkston@seagen.com

 

Posted: April 2010

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