A couple sources, Fierce Biotech and Xconomy, report that Seattle Genetics has decided to pull its molecule, SGN-33, from trials to treat acute myeloid leukemia (AML). SGN-33 or lintuzumab was tested in combination with low dose chemotherapy. Results showed no difference in survival than chemotherapy alone. Seattle Genetics announced the trial has stopped and its stock price tumbled 13.5% on the news.
Ironically, Seattle Genetics expected the SGN-33 results as likely given prior clinical results. Its lead candidate drug is SGN-35, brentuximab vedotin, an "empowered antibody" or ADC for the treatment of Hodgkin's disease and anaplastic large cell leukemia. The latter is considered to have blockbuster potential and may be submitted for approval in 2011. Seattle Genetics also has two other molecules, SGN-75 and ASG-5ME, in phase I clinicals. Both of these are also ADCs. Seattle Genetics also has plenty of cash - $325 M - to fund its ongoing research efforts and signed a recent licensign deal with Roche.
Bloomberg reported today that Novartis' vaccine, 4CMenB, met all its goals in a phase III clinical trial for the treatment of meningitis B in infants. The company characterized the drug as invoking a "robust immune response" and having an "acceptable" side-effects profile. The plans are to submit the vaccine for European regulatory approval by the end of 2010. Novartis used its pioneering "reverse vaccinology" to develop the shot after decoding the genetic makeup of a pathogenic meningitis strain.
Posted by Bruce Lehr September 13th 2010.