Seattle Genetics announced that it has entered into an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) collaboration with Bayer. Under the terms of the agreement, Bayer will pay upfront and option exercise fees of up to $20 million for worldwide rights to use Seattle Genetics’ auristatin-based ADC technology with antibodies to several cancer targets.
Seattle Genetics is also eligible to receive up to approximately $500 million in milestone payments and royalties on sales of any products resulting from the collaboration. Bayer will conduct research and development and be responsible for manufacturing and commercialization of all products under this collaboration.
ADCs are monoclonal antibodies that selectively deliver cytotoxic agents to targeted cancer cells. Seattle Genetics has developed proprietary technology to attach synthetic cytotoxic agents to the antibody using stable linker systems that are designed to be stable in the bloodstream. The targeted delivery spares healthy cells from the many toxic effects of traditional chemotherapy while enhancing antitumor activity.
Seattle Genetics has also extended its collaboration pact with Agensys, an affiliate of Astellas, and announced co-development of an additional ADC under the companies’ existing ADC agreement. The ADC, called ASG-15ME, targets the tumor antigen SLITRK6, known to be expressed on bladder and lung cancer. Agensys has submitted an investigational new drug (IND) application to FDA for initiation of a Phase I trial of ASG-15ME.