Seattle Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SGEN) today announced that it has entered into a new antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) collaboration with Bayer HealthCare (Bayer). Under the latest relationship, Bayer will pay upfront and option exercise fees of up to $20 million for worldwide rights to utilize Seattle Genetics’ auristatin-based ADC technology with antibodies to several oncology targets. Seattle Genetics is also eligible to receive up to approximately $500 million in potential milestone payments, as well as royalties on worldwide net sales of any resulting products under the multi-target collaboration. Bayer is responsible for research, product development, manufacturing and commercialization of all products under the collaboration. “The significant clinical and preclinical progress across our ADC collaborations, and enthusiasm for our technology as demonstrated by this latest relationship with Bayer, continue to reinforce Seattle Genetics’ leadership position in the field,” said Natasha Hernday, Vice President, Corporate Development, at Seattle Genetics. “Across internal and collaborator programs, there are more than 15 ADCs in clinical development using our technology, and we have the potential to receive more than $3.5 billion in future milestones plus royalties from these strategic alliances.” “Bayer is committed to translating the science of cancers into effective therapies that can help people with cancer live longer and improve their quality of life,” said Prof. Andreas Busch, Member of the Bayer HealthCare Executive Committee and Head of Global Drug Discovery. “Antibody-drug conjugates are promising approaches in oncology which can attack tumor cells in a much more targeted way for cancer patients, such that healthy cells are less severely affected. Antibody-drug conjugates are one of our focus areas in oncology research and we are looking forward to strengthening our portfolio in this area of personalized medicine through the collaboration with Seattle Genetics.” ADCs are monoclonal antibodies that are designed to selectively deliver cytotoxic agents to tumor cells. With over a decade of experience and knowledge in ADC innovation, Seattle Genetics has developed proprietary technology employing synthetic cytotoxic agents and stable linker systems that attach these cytotoxic agents to the antibody. Seattle Genetics’ linker systems are designed to be stable in the bloodstream and release the potent cell-killing agent once inside targeted cancer cells. This approach is intended to spare non-targeted cells and thus reduce many of the toxic effects of traditional chemotherapy while enhancing antitumor activity.
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 company’s lead program, ADCETRIS (brentuximab vedotin), received accelerated approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in August 2011 and approval with conditions from Health Canada in February 2013 for two indications. In addition, under a collaboration with Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, ADCETRIS received conditional approval from the European Commission in October 2012. Seattle Genetics also has four other clinical-stage ADC programs: SGN-75, ASG-5ME, ASG-22ME and SGN-CD19A. Seattle Genetics has collaborations for its ADC technology with a number of leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including AbbVie, Agensys (an affiliate of Astellas), Bayer, Celldex, 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. About Bayer HealthCare The Bayer Group is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer HealthCare, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of EUR 18.6 billion (2012), is one of the world’s leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Medical Care and Pharmaceuticals divisions. Bayer HealthCare’s aim is to discover, develop, manufacture and market products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. Bayer HealthCare has a global workforce of 55,300 employees (Dec 31, 2012) and is represented in more than 100 countries. More information at www.healthcare.bayer.com. Certain of the statements made in this press release are forward looking, such as those, among others, relating to the therapeutic potential and future clinical progress, regulatory approval and commercial launch of products utilizing Seattle Genetics’ ADC technology. 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 adverse clinical results as our product candidates or our collaborators’ product candidates move into and advance in clinical trials, risks inherent in early-stage development and failure by Seattle Genetics to secure or maintain relationships with collaborators. More information about the risks and uncertainties faced by Seattle Genetics is contained in the Company’s quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, 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.