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Seattle Genetics' 2nd Cancer Study Win

Adam Feuerstein

10/11/10 - 06:49 AM EDT

SEATTLE ( TheStreet) -- Clinical trial victory two for Seattle Genetics' (SGEN) lymphoma drug brentuximab vedotin.

Seattle Genetics said Monday that 86% of patients with advanced systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) responded to treatment with brentuximab, also known as SGN-35. The phase II study enrolled 58 ALCL patients, all of whom had a form of the rare cancer that was no longer responding to currently available therapies. This is the second positive clinical trial for brentuximab announced in as many weeks. On Sept. 27, Seattle Genetics announced positive results from a study in patients with advanced Hodgkin disease.

Seattle Genetics intends to submit brentuximab for U.S. approval in the first half of 2011 as a treatment for both forms of lymphoma. Millennium Pharmaceuticals, the U.S.-based subsidiary of the Japanese drug maker Takeda, is Seattle Genetics' ex-U.S. partner for brentuximab and will be in charge of getting the drug approved in Europe.

ALCL is an aggressive type of T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma that expresses a protein known as CD30. Between 2,000 and 3,000 patients are diagnosed with ALCL in the U.S. each year, with about half of those treated effectively with first-line chemotherapy.

Brentuximab is designed using a technology proprietary to Seattle Genetics that delivers a lethal dose of chemotherapy directly to cancer cells while sparing healthy cells from toxic effects. Brentuximab consists of an antibody that attaches itself to the CD30 receptor found on tumor cells. Once inside the tumor, brentuximab releases a toxic chemotherapy payload.

Seattle Genetics closed Friday at $16.77. The stock is up 38% since Sept. 27 when the positive brentuximab data in Hodgkin lymphoma was announced.

--Written by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

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