Seattle Genetics ($SGEN) delivers second round of stellar SGN-35 data

Seattle Genetics ($SGEN) started the day at ASH with a new blast of promising data for SGN-35, which makes a two-prong attack on cancer. Researchers said that the drug 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.

While the mid-stage trial was small--not unexpected for Phase II studies involving a rare form of cancer--that combined 86 percent response rate is considered remarkably high. Yesterday the developer delivered details results for its study involving Hodgkin's lymphoma, reporting that one third of all patients saw their cancer reduced to undetectable proportions while 40 percent had their tumors shrink by at least half.

Seattle Genetics has been in the spotlight with a series of successful trial results for SGEN-35, or brentuximab vedotin. The therapy is considered a leader among a new type of cancer drug that combines an antibody for targeting cancer and a linker that drops a cancer-killing agent right on target, allowing for targeted, high-dose blasts of toxic agents. The new data puts Seattle Genetics and its partner Takeda on target to gain a potential approval for marketing the drug next year.

"We've never before seen this rate of complete remissions in relapsed or refractory T-cell lymphomas treated with a single agent," said lead investigator Andrei Shustov. "We finally have a drug that will provide benefit for a majority of patients who had little hope of clearing the disease."

Seattle Genetics is holding on to the North American rights for the drug while Takeda will control the rest of the global market.

- here's the Seattle Genetics release
- check out the report from Bloomberg

ALSO: Novartis said its experimental drug LBH589 (panobinostat) demonstrated "substantial disease control and tumor reduction in extensively pretreated Hodgkin lymphoma patients who had relapsed or had become refractory after an autologous stem cell transplant, according to new data from a Phase II clinical trial." Release