Seven years in the making, Seattle Genetics picks up early option on Genmab’s ADC effort

Clay Siegall

Seven years after Copenhagen-based Genmab inked a collaboration deal with Seattle Genetics, the US biotech has decided to opt-in on a development partnership.

The pact struck in 2010 gave Genmab rights to Seattle Genetics antibody-drug conjugate tech so it could work on a new approach for its HuMax-TF antibody targeting the tissue factor antigen. A year later they struck a deal giving Seattle Genetics an opt-in on tisotumab vedotin, now in several Phase I/II studies for solid tumors, including recurrent cervical cancer.

Whatever data that early program has produced was good enough to persuade Seattle Genetics to agree to share the development costs and any profits 50/50.

Seattle Genetics has run into a series of late-stage mishaps over the past year. The biotech was forced to scrap a Phase III study of vadastuximab and halt a slate of other trials as researchers puzzled out what caused an imbalance of deaths between the drug and control arms. Just a few weeks before the June imbroglio, Seattle Genetics was also forced to throw the towel in on a $2 billion deal to collaborate with Immunomedics, further limiting its late-stage effort. Seattle Genetics’ mainstay franchise drug did score a win on frontline Hodgkin lymphoma at the end of H1, but the gain was so marginal that some analysts fretted it looked like the kind of small advantage that may not be worth much commercially.

“Our ADC partnership with Genmab has generated promising Phase I/II data for tisotumab vedotin in patients with recurrent cervical cancer. As Seattle Genetics opts into co-development of this clinical program, we add another potential product to our strong pipeline,” said Seattle Genetics CEO Clay Siegall.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
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Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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