Abbott has expanded its antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) collaboration with Seattle Genetics and will now use the technology in a number of extra types of cancer.
This latest agreement builds upon an original $8m deal made in March, 2011, for Abbott to use Seattle's ADC technology with antibodies for one target in oncology, and means the big pharma company can now use this technology in additional oncology targets.
In return, Seattle will receive an upfront fee of $25m, as well as up to $220m in milestone payments per target, but the company declined to specify how many oncology targets were in development, and in what cancer indications they were in.
The expanded deal follows a number of encouraging developments in the area of ADCs, which comprise a cancer cell-targeting antibody that is attached to a cytotoxic drug via a linking technology, allowing tumour cells to be targeted more directly over healthy cells.
These successes include Seattle's own Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin), which was approved in the US last year to treat Hodgkin's lymphoma and systemic anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, achieving revenues of $34.5m in the first quarter of 2012.
There has also been great excitement recently about Roche's T-DM1, which demonstrated “outstanding” phase III results in the treatment of breast cancer.
“ADCs have emerged as an important therapeutic approach to cancer, driven by the FDA approval of Adcetris, and encouraging data from numerous clinical and preclinical ADC programmes in development by Seattle Genetics and our collaborators,” said Natasha Hernday, VP, corporate development at Seattle Genetics.
“We are leading the field in ADC development, and this expanded collaboration with Abbott further validates our technology and approach in targeting and treating cancer.”
This latest deal will see Abbott take responsibility for research, product development, manufacturing and commercialisation of any ADC products as part of the collaboration. The US pharma firm will also provide Seattle with annual maintenance fees and research support payments.