Seattle Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq:SGEN) today announced the initiation of a phase II clinical trial evaluating ADCETRIS (brentuximab vedotin) as a front-line therapy for patients age 60 or older with newly diagnosed Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). The trial is designed to assess the efficacy and tolerability of ADCETRIS as a monotherapy for older HL patients who have received no prior treatment. Seattle Genetics is the leader in the field of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and ADCETRIS is an ADC directed to CD30 for relapsed HL and systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma (sALCL). “The current standard of care for the treatment of front-line HL is a combination of multiple chemotherapeutic agents and has not changed in more than three decades. Some older HL patients are not able to tolerate the significant side effects associated with these regimens, and there is a significant need to identify effective and tolerable treatment options for these patients,” said Thomas C. Reynolds, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer at Seattle Genetics. “We believe the response rate associated with single-agent use of ADCETRIS in the relapsed HL setting supports the evaluation of single-agent ADCETRIS in older patients who have received no prior therapy.” The phase II single-arm, open-label clinical trial will evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of ADCETRIS as front-line monotherapy in patients age 60 or older with HL. The trial is enrolling patients who are newly diagnosed and have received no prior HL treatment. The primary endpoint of the trial is to assess the objective response rate (ORR), with key secondary endpoints of safety and tolerability, duration of response, complete remission (CR) rate and progression-free survival (PFS). The study is expected to enroll up to 20 patients at multiple centers in the United States. More information about the trial, including enrolling centers, will be available by visiting www.clinicaltrials.gov. About ADCETRIS ADCETRIS (brentuximab vedotin) is an ADC comprising an anti-CD30 monoclonal antibody attached by a protease-cleavable linker to a microtubule disrupting agent, monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE), utilizing Seattle Genetics’ proprietary technology. The ADC employs a linker system that is designed to be stable in the bloodstream but to release MMAE upon internalization into CD30-expressing tumor cells.
ADCETRIS received accelerated approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for two indications: (1) the treatment of patients with 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 ASCT candidates, and (2) the treatment of patients with sALCL after failure of at least one prior multi-agent chemotherapy regimen. The indications for ADCETRIS are based on response rate. There are no data available demonstrating improvement in patient-reported outcomes or survival with ADCETRIS.ADCETRIS is not approved for use outside the United States. The marketing authorization application for ADCETRIS in relapsed or refractory HL and sALCL, filed by Takeda Global Research & Development Centre (Europe), was accepted for review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in June 2011. In July 2012, the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the EMA issued a positive opinion for the conditional approval of ADCETRIS, supporting an approval decision in the European Union. Seattle Genetics and Millennium are jointly developing ADCETRIS. Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Seattle Genetics has U.S. and Canadian commercialization rights and the Takeda Group has rights to commercialize ADCETRIS in the rest of the world. Seattle Genetics and the Takeda Group are funding joint development costs for ADCETRIS on a 50:50 basis, except in Japan where the Takeda Group will be solely responsible for development costs. About Hodgkin Lymphoma Lymphoma is a general term for a group of cancers that originate in the lymphatic system. There are two major categories of lymphoma: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Hodgkin lymphoma is distinguished from other types of lymphoma by the presence of one characteristic type of cell, known as the Reed-Sternberg cell. The Reed-Sternberg cell generally expresses CD30. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 8,800 cases of Hodgkin lymphoma will be diagnosed in the United States during 2012 and approximately 1,300 people will die from the disease. Globally, there are more than 30,000 cases of Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosed each year. Although front-line combination chemotherapy can result in durable response rates, up to 30 percent of these patients relapse or are refractory to front-line treatment and have few therapeutic options beyond ASCT.
About Seattle GeneticsSeattle Genetics is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of monoclonal antibody-based therapies for the treatment of cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval of ADCETRIS in August 2011 for two indications. ADCETRIS is being developed in collaboration with Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company. In addition, Seattle Genetics has three other clinical-stage ADC programs: SGN-75, ASG-5ME and ASG-22ME. Seattle Genetics has collaborations for its ADC technology with a number of leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including Abbott, Agensys (an affiliate of Astellas), Bayer, Celldex Therapeutics, Daiichi Sankyo, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, Millennium, Pfizer and Progenics, as well as ADC co-development agreements with Agensys and Genmab. More information can be found at www.seattlegenetics.com. U.S. Important Safety Information BOXED WARNING Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML): JC virus infection resulting in PML and death can occur in patients receiving ADCETRIS. Contraindication: Concomitant use of ADCETRIS and bleomycin is contraindicated due to pulmonary toxicity. Warnings and Precautions:
- Peripheral neuropathy: ADCETRIS treatment causes a peripheral neuropathy that is predominantly sensory. Cases of peripheral motor neuropathy have also been reported. ADCETRIS-induced peripheral neuropathy is cumulative. Treating physicians should monitor patients for symptoms of neuropathy, such as hypoesthesia, hyperesthesia, paresthesia, discomfort, a burning sensation, neuropathic pain or weakness and institute dose modifications accordingly.
- Infusion reactions: Infusion-related reactions, including anaphylaxis, have occurred with ADCETRIS. Monitor patients during infusion. If an infusion reaction occurs, the infusion should be interrupted and appropriate medical management instituted. If anaphylaxis occurs, the infusion should be immediately and permanently discontinued and appropriate medical management instituted.
- Neutropenia: Monitor complete blood counts prior to each dose of ADCETRIS and consider more frequent monitoring for patients with Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia. If Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia develops, manage by dose delays, reductions or discontinuation. Prolonged (≥1 week) severe neutropenia can occur with ADCETRIS.
- Tumor lysis syndrome: Patients with rapidly proliferating tumor and high tumor burden are at risk of tumor lysis syndrome and these patients should be monitored closely and appropriate measures taken.
- Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML): JC virus infection resulting in PML and death has been reported in ADCETRIS-treated patients. In addition to ADCETRIS therapy, other possible contributory factors include prior therapies and underlying disease that may cause immunosuppression. Consider the diagnosis of PML in any patient presenting with new-onset signs and symptoms of central nervous system abnormalities. Evaluation of PML includes, but is not limited to, consultation with a neurologist, brain MRI, and lumbar puncture or brain biopsy. Hold ADCETRIS if PML is suspected and discontinue ADCETRIS if PML is confirmed.
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome: Stevens-Johnson syndrome has been reported with ADCETRIS. If Stevens-Johnson syndrome occurs, discontinue ADCETRIS and administer appropriate medical therapy.
- Use in pregnancy: Fetal harm can occur. Pregnant women should be advised of the potential hazard to the fetus.
Drug Interactions:Patients who are receiving strong CYP3A4 inhibitors concomitantly with ADCETRIS should be closely monitored for adverse reactions. For additional important safety information, including Boxed WARNING, please see the full U.S. prescribing information for ADCETRIS at www.seattlegenetics.com or www.ADCETRIS.com. Certain of the statements made in this press release are forward looking, such as those, among others, relating to the therapeutic potential of ADCETRIS and initiation of future clinical trials. 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 the inability to show sufficient activity in this front-line clinical trial for Hodgkin lymphoma and the risk of adverse events as ADCETRIS advances in other clinical trials. In addition, data from our clinical trials, including our pivotal trials which were the basis for FDA accelerated approval, may not necessarily be indicative of subsequent clinical trial results. More information about the risks and uncertainties faced by Seattle Genetics is contained in the company’s 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2012 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.