Seattle Genetics, as expected, got the endorsement of an FDA advisory panel to approve Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) for the treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma. If the drug is now approved by the FDA for sale (decision Aug 30th), it will be the first approved antibody drug conjugate (ADC) on the market. Another FDA expert panel will be discussing this afternoon whether or not Adcetris should also be recommended for the treatment of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL).
"Brentuximab works and it works well. People with Hodgkin's lymphoma will have another option for treating a terrible disease," said Michael Sekeres, an oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic. See Xconomy.
Seattle Genetics will not only be gaining its first approved drug but as an ADC the first one of that class. This is the second drug this year from the Seattle biotech pool, besides Dendreon's Provenge, that represents a novel treatment type for a cancer. Fierce Biotech notes in an article today that Dendreon and Seattle Genetics would both appear to be high on Big Pharma's short list of acquisitions. Cancer therapies are expected to grow twice as fast as the rest of the pharmaceutical market (according to IMS Health) and many novel oncology drugs have been approved so far in 2011 (see next post on Yervoy). Indeed, look for more acquisitions in the oncology space to happen.
Posted by Bruce Lehr July 14th 2011.