Bothell, Washington-based Seattle Genetics, a global biotechnology company, confirmed earlier today that it has changed it’s corporate name to Seagen. According to a statement issued by the company, the new name reflects the company’s expanding global presence and growing therapeutic portfolio.

Clay Siegall, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Seagen. Photo courtesy: © 2020 Seagen. used with permission.

In the same statement, the company says that the evolution of the corporate name reflects the transformation of Seagen as it expands operations globally to bring its marketed medicines to more patients, pursues new indications for approved medicines, and continues to advance its pipeline of novel therapies for solid tumors and blood-related cancers.

“The change in our corporate name from Seattle Genetics to Seagen reflects who we are today, as we expand our presence beyond the Pacific Northwest and outside of the United States to support the commercialization of TUKYSA globally,” explained Clay Siegall, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Seagen.

“We have three marketed products and a robust development pipeline of novel targeted product candidates,’ he added.

“As we increase our global presence by adding new team members and locations outside of the United States as well as through strategic partnerships, we are better positioned to bring important new therapies to cancer patients around the world. Our passion for helping patients is stronger than ever,” Siegal concluded.

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Antibody-drug conjugates
Seagen is focused on discovering safe and effective novel therapeutics to advance cancer care. As a pioneer in antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), Seagen has been a leader in novel cancer therapeutics for more than 20 years.

Brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris®) is approved in over 70 countries around the world and continues to make a difference in the lives of patients with several types of lymphomas.

In the last 12 months, Seagen successfully launched two new cancer medicines that address significant unmet medical needs.

Enfortumab vedotin (Padcev®), developed in collaboration with Astellas, was the first ADC approved for locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer following treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy and a PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitor. This first-in-class is directed against Nectin-4, a protein located on the surface of cells and highly expressed in bladder cancer. Nonclinical data suggest the anticancer activity of enfortumab vedotin is due to its binding to Nectin-4 expressing cells followed by the internalization and release of the anti-tumor agent monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE) into the cell, which result in the cell not reproducing (cell cycle arrest) and in programmed cell death or apoptosis.[1]

Beyond ADCs
Tucatinib (Tukysa®) was approved in the United States following an expedited U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

The drug usually given after other treatments have failed, is used together with other medicines (trastuzumab and capecitabine) to treat metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer. This combination of chemotherapies is used when cancer has spread to other parts of the body or cannot be removed with surgery.

Tucatinib (Tukysa®) 150mg_60ct / 75cc. Image courtesy: © 2020 Seagen. Used with permission

Tucatinib has also received approval in Australia, Canada, Singapore, and Switzerland under the Project Orbis initiative of the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence and is under review with the European Medicines Agency (EMA).©

In addition to global partnerships with Takeda* and Astellas** with Seagen also recently entered into two strategic collaborations with Merck (MSD) designed to accelerate and broaden the global development of the investigational ADC ladiratuzumab vedotin an investigational antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) targeting LIV-1, which is currently in phase II clinical trials for breast cancer and other solid tumors, and the commercialization of tucatinib in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and other regions outside of the U.S., Canada, and Europe. These strategic collaborations will further expand Seagen’s global presence in oncology and the ability to deliver cancer medicines around the world.[2]

The company is also actively pursuing platform technologies designed to synergize with or expand it’s antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) capabilities in new and unique ways as well as licensing it’s own technologies to drug developers around the globe.

* Seattle Genetics and Takeda are jointly developing brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris®) and are funding joint development costs for the drug on a 50:50 basis, except in Japan where Takeda is solely responsible for development costs.
** Seattle Genetics and Astellas are co-developing enfortumab vedotin under a collaboration that was entered into in 2007 and expanded in 2009 in which the companies are sharing costs and profits on a 50:50 basis worldwide.

Drug description
Ladiratuzumab vedotin [ADC Drug map]

Highlights of prescribing information
Brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris®; Seagen) [Prescribing Information]
Enfortumab vedotin (Padcev®; Astellas) [Prescribing Information]
Tucatinib (Tukysa®; Seattle Genetics) [Prescribing Information]
Trastuzumab (Herceptin®; Genentech/Roche) [Prescribing Information]
Capecitabine (Xeloda®; Genentech/Roche) [Prescribing Information]

[1] Challita-Eid P, Satpayev D, Yang P, et al. Enfortumab Vedotin Antibody-Drug Conjugate Targeting Nectin-4 Is a Highly Potent Therapeutic Agent in Multiple Preclinical Cancer Models. Cancer Res 2016;76(10):3003-13.
[2] Merck & Co and Seattle Genetics Sign Exclusive Licensing and Co-Development Agreement | ADC Review | Journal of Antibody-drug Conjugates, September 14, 2020 [Article]

Featured Image: Seattle Genetics/Seagen Headquarters in Bothel, Washington State. Photo courtesy: © 2020 Seagen. used with permission.

An edited version of this article was first published in ADC Review | Journal of Antibody-drug Conjugates on October 8, 2020. [Article]

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