It was another good day for ADCs or so-called empowered antibodies. ImmunoGen announced a deal with its partner Novartis for the development of several anticancer targets. ImmunoGen will get $45 M in upfront payments and can earn up to $200 M in milestones per target the Novartis develops, plus royalties on product sales. Novartis will also cover research and manufacturing costs.
ImmunoGen's most famous partnership is with Genentech on its T-DM1 molecule aimed at breast cancer. T-DM1's very positive results to date have emboldened other pharma companies to more aggressively pursue ADC programs. ImmunoGen also has deals with Sanofi-Aventis, Bayer and Amgen. ImmunoGen now reports that it has enough cash to support operations through FY 2013. See Xconomy and Fierce Biotech.
ADCs second victory for the day were due to reports from Seattle Genetics and Millenium that their empowered antibody (SGN-35) for the treatment of anaplastic large cell lymphoma produced complete or partial tumor shrinkage in 50 of 56 patients. SGN-35 (aka brentuximab vedotin) also reported good results in the treatment of Hodgkin's patients in clinical studies last month. SGN-35 could well be the first ADC molecule approved by the FDA.
SGN-35 is aimed at the CD30 antigen. Seattle Genetics is now looking for other tumor types that have high expression of the antigen. The list under consideration includes cutaneous lymphoma, peripheral T cell lymphoma, bone cancers, and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Seattle Genetics feels strongly that SGN-35 has much more potential than just against Hodgkin's or anaplastic large cell lymphoma. See Xconomy.
Posted by Bruce Lehr October 11th 2010.