Seattle Genetics scores $208M Pfizer pact for ADC tech

Seattle Genetics' ($SGEN) antibody-drug conjugates are hot. Fresh from delivering a batch of promising mid-stage results for an experimental cancer therapy--the antibody-drug conjugate SGN-35--Pfizer has now stepped forward with an $8 million upfront payment and promises of more than $200 million more in milestones to use its technology on a single cancer target.

While largely back-ended, the Seattle biotech has racked up an impressive roster of ADC partnerships. "We now have ten ongoing ADC collaborations, six collaborator ADCs using our technology are in clinical development, and several additional programs are advancing towards the clinic," said company CBO Eric Dobmeier. "We have generated more than $145 million from ADC licensing, and we have the potential to receive significant future milestones and royalties for ADCs developed by our collaborators."

In December, researchers said SGN-35 cleared the cancer of slightly more than half of the 58 trial volunteers suffering from a rare case of anaplastic large cell lymphoma while shrinking the tumors of an additional 33 percent by at least half. That's an extraordinary response rate for a cancer drug. And just last summer, Seattle Genetics turned heads with a heavily back-ended ADC deal with Genentech, which expanded their deal with a $12 million sweetener and a $900 million set of milestones to shoot for.

ADCs are a new class of therapies designed to deliver a linked antibody-drug therapeutic with pinpoint accuracy directly to tumor cells. That's particularly important in cancer, allowing physicians to amp up the dosage while sparing healthy tissue.

- here's the Seattle Genetics press release