) and Agensys, a subsidiary of
Astellas Pharma Inc.
), recently announced that the former has exercised its option to
co-develop one more antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), ASG-15ME,
under an existing collaboration. ASG-15ME is an ADC which targets
the tumor antigen SLITRK6.
Astellas has filed an investigational new drug (IND)
application to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) so that
it can commence a phase I study with ASG-15ME.
We note that the agreement between Astellas and Seattle
Genetics dates back to Jan 2007. The companies had collaborated
to jointly research, develop, fund and market ADCs for
cancer treatments. The companies are currently co-developing a
couple of ADCs - ASG-5ME and ASG-22ME.
ADCs have lately attracted a lot of attention with major
companies entering into collaborations for developing potent ADCs
for cancer therapy. Seattle Genetics has collaborations with
Roche Holding AG
) Genentech for the development of ADCs.
Apart from Astellas, Seattle Genetics has ADC co-development
) and Oxford BioTherapeutics.
Seattle Genetics' sole marketed ADC product is Adcetris.
Adcetris was approved by the FDA in Aug 2011 for the treatment of
patients with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) after failure of autologous
stem cell transplant (ASCT) or after failure of at least two
prior multi-agent chemotherapy regimens in patients who are not
suitable for ASCT. Adcetris was also approved for systemic
anaplastic large cell lymphoma (sALCL) in treatment-experienced
patients. Adcetris is also being evaluated in other
Seattle Genetics carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) while Astellas
and Roche carry a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Right now, Genmab looks
more attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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