Seattle Genetics, Inc. has entered into an exclusive, worldwide collaboration agreement with Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd. for the development of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) targeting a single antigen found on multiple types of solid tumours

Seattle Genetics is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of monoclonal antibody-based therapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune disease. The company has a worldwide collaboration with Genentech for SGN-40.

Under the terms of the collaboration, Seattle Genetics will receive an upfront payment of $4 million, progress-dependent milestone payments and mid-single digit royalties on worldwide net sales of resulting ADC products. Daiichi Sankyo is responsible for research, product development, manufacturing and commercialization of all ADC products under the collaboration. Seattle Genetics will receive material supply and annual maintenance fees as well as research support payments for assistance provided to Daiichi Sankyo in developing ADC products.

ADCs utilize the targeting ability of monoclonal antibodies to deliver potent, cell-killing payloads to specific cells. Seattle Genetics has developed proprietary technology employing synthetic, highly potent drugs that can be attached to antibodies through proprietary linker systems. The linkers are designed to be stable in the bloodstream but to release the drug payload under specific conditions once inside target cells, thereby sparing non-target cells many of the toxic effects of traditional chemotherapy. To date, Seattle Genetics has generated more than $65 million through multiple ADC technology license agreements with leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

Seattle Genetics is advancing its own proprietary pipeline of ADC programmes, including SGN-35, which is in two ongoing phase I clinical trials for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma and other CD30-positive haematologic malignancies. The company is also developing a number of preclinical ADC programs, including SGN-75 and an anti-CD19 ADC.