Advancing industry-leading ADC technology
Seattle Genetics' antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology empowers monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer. With more than a decade of experience in ADC innovation, we have developed proprietary, industry-leading technology that employs a monoclonal antibody specific for a tumor-associated antigen, plus synthetic cytotoxic (cell-killing) agents connected by stable linker systems designed to securely bind the cytotoxic agent to the antibody and then release the agent within the targeted cell. This approach is intended to spare non-targeted cells and thus reduce many of the toxic effects of traditional chemotherapy while potentially enhancing antitumor activity.
The key components of our antibody-drug conjugate technology are the stable linkers and the synthetic cytotoxic agents. Our linkers have been shown in preclinical models to be up to 10 times more stable in blood than conventional means of attaching drugs to antibodies. The lead group of cytotoxic agents that we have developed is a class of microtubule-disrupting agents called auristatins, including monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE) and monomethyl auristatin F (MMAF). In preclinical models, these auristatins are 100- to 1,000-fold more potent than traditional chemotherapy drugs. We are also evaluating another ADC technology using a highly potent cytotoxic agent called a pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD) dimer.
Because both the linker and cell-killing agents are synthetic, our ADC technology is readily scalable. This represents an improvement over natural product drug systems that are typically more challenging and expensive to produce.