SGN-35 - 10 promising late-stage cancer drugs

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After promising results in clinical trials revealed late last year, SGN-35 (brentuximab vedotin) has a shot at being approved later this year for immune system cancers known as Hodgkin's lymphoma and anaplastic large cell lymphomas that have been resistant to prior therapies or come back after a period of time.

Seattle Genetics ($SGEN) and Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company reported in December that the drug--which is an anti-CD30 monoclonal antibody linked to cancer-killing agent called an auristatin--completely wiped out visible signs of disease in just more than half of the 58 patients with forms of anaplastic large cell lymphomas in a Phase II study, with an additional third of the patients' tumors shrinking by at least half.

In a pivotal trial involving 102 patients with relapsed or resistant Hodgkin's lymphoma, the drug rendered the cancer undetectable in 34 percent of patients and provided partial remissions for 40 percent of volunteers in the trial. Seattle Genetics has U.S. and Canadian marketing rights to the drug, and Takeda controls commercialization of the treatment in the rest of the world.