Leadership in antibody-drug conjugate development

Seattle Genetics is leading the field in developing antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). ADCs are empowered antibodies designed to harness the targeting ability of monoclonal antibodies by linking them to cell-killing agents.

For more than 20 years, engineered monoclonal antibodies have provided therapeutic benefit to people with cancer, autoimmune diseases and other serious medical conditions. Early antibody-based therapies revolutionized the treatment of cancer by targeting malignant cells and limiting damage to normal tissue. This resulted in therapies that were better tolerated and could be used in combination with chemotherapy to improve patient outcomes without significant increases in toxicities.

While engineered antibodies have provided clinical benefit in several disease indications, many antibodies lack sufficient intrinsic antitumor activity to be used as therapeutics. Seattle Genetics has developed proprietary, industry-leading technology that is the next step in therapeutic antibody-based therapies. Our ADC technology combines the specificity of engineered antibodies with the potent cell-killing effects of chemotherapy.

First FDA-Approved CD30-Directed ADC

Our lead program, ADCETRIS® (brentuximab vedotin), is an ADC that, in collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, is approved in more than 60 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Japan and members of the European Union.

ADCETRIS comprises an anti-CD30 monoclonal antibody attached by a protease-cleavable linker to a microtubule disrupting agent, monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE), utilizing our 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.

Driving the Field of ADCs

We are conducting significant research activities to continue advancing our ADC technology and are committed to staying the leader in ADC development. There are currently more than 20 ADCs in clinical development using our proprietary technology, including our internal and co-development programs, as well as multiple collaborator programs.

In addition to ADCETRIS, our internal pipeline of auristatin-based ADCs includes SGN-CD19A and SGN-LIV1A, as well as ASG-15ME and ASG-22ME, ADCs that we are co-developing with Agensys.

We also are evaluating another ADC technology using a highly potent DNA binding agent called a pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD) dimer that kills cells by a different mechanism than auristatins. The agent, currently employed by SGN-CD33A, SGN-CD70A, SGN-CD19B and SGN-CD123A, attaches the antibody by our site-specific conjugation technology with engineered cysteines (EC-mAb). PBD dimers are significantly more potent than systemic chemotherapeutic drugs and the site-specific conjugation technology (EC-mAb) allows uniform drug-loading of the cell-killing PBD agent to the targeted antibody.

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