Seattle Genetics Announces ADCETRIS® Receives European Commission Conditional Marketing Authorization
Seattle Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGEN) today announced that its collaborator, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, announced that the European Commission has granted conditional marketing authorization for ADCETRIS (brentuximab vedotin). ADCETRIS was approved for two indications: (1) the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory CD30-positive Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) following autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) or following at least two prior therapies when ASCT or multi-agent chemotherapy is not a treatment option, and (2) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma (sALCL). As a result, under the collaboration Seattle Genetics will receive two milestone payments from Millennium, one for each indication, totaling $25 million. ADCETRIS is an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) directed to CD30.
“The approval of ADCETRIS by the European Commission marks a significant milestone for the product and for the many relapsed or refractory HL and systemic ALCL patients in need of effective new treatment options in Europe,” said Clay B. Siegall, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Seattle Genetics. “In addition to the U.S. and EU approvals of ADCETRIS, we are making regulatory progress for approval in Canada while Millennium and Takeda are pursuing regulatory approvals in other countries. Complementing these regulatory activities is a robust ADCETRIS clinical development program to support our goal of establishing it as the foundation of therapy for CD30-positive malignancies.”
The conditional marketing authorization for ADCETRIS is valid in the 27 member states of the European Union (EU) as well as Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. Similar to accelerated approval regulations in the United States, conditional marketing authorizations are granted in the EU to medicinal products that fulfill an unmet medical need with a positive benefit/risk assessment and whose immediate availability would result in a significant public health benefit. Conditional marketing authorization by the European Commission includes obligations to provide additional clinical data at a later stage to confirm the positive benefit-risk assessment. The ADCETRIS Marketing Authorization Application was filed by Takeda Global Research & Development Centre (Europe) to the European Medicines Agency.
ADCETRIS (brentuximab vedotin) is an ADC comprising an anti-CD30 monoclonal antibody attached by a protease-cleavable linker to a microtubule disrupting agent, monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE), utilizing Seattle Genetics' proprietary technology. The ADC employs a linker system that is designed to be stable in the bloodstream but to release MMAE upon internalization into CD30-expressing tumor cells.
ADCETRIS received accelerated approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August 2011 for relapsed HL and sALCL.
Seattle Genetics and Millennium are jointly developing ADCETRIS. Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Seattle Genetics has U.S. and Canadian commercialization rights and the Takeda Group has rights to commercialize ADCETRIS in the rest of the world. Seattle Genetics and the Takeda Group are funding joint development costs for ADCETRIS on a 50:50 basis, except in Japan where the Takeda Group will be solely responsible for development costs. Seattle Genetics is entitled to royalties based on a percentage of Millennium's net sales in its territory at rates that range from the mid-teens to the mid-twenties based on sales volume, subject to offsets for royalties paid by Millennium to third parties.
About Seattle Genetics
Seattle Genetics is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of monoclonal antibody-based therapies for the treatment of cancer. The FDA granted accelerated approval of ADCETRIS in August 2011 for two indications. ADCETRIS is being developed in collaboration with Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company. In addition, Seattle Genetics has three other clinical-stage ADC programs: SGN-75, ASG-5ME and ASG-22ME. Seattle Genetics has collaborations for its ADC technology with a number of leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including Abbott, Bayer, Celldex Therapeutics, Daiichi Sankyo, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, Millennium, Pfizer and Progenics, as well as ADC co-development agreements with Agensys, an affiliate of Astellas, and Genmab. More information can be found at www.seattlegenetics.com.
U.S. Important Safety Information
Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML): JC virus infection resulting in PML and death can occur in patients receiving ADCETRIS.
Concomitant use of ADCETRIS and bleomycin is contraindicated due to pulmonary toxicity.
Warnings and Precautions:
- Peripheral neuropathy: ADCETRIS treatment causes a peripheral neuropathy that is predominantly sensory. Cases of peripheral motor neuropathy have also been reported. ADCETRIS-induced peripheral neuropathy is cumulative. Treating physicians should monitor patients for symptoms of neuropathy, such as hypoesthesia, hyperesthesia, paresthesia, discomfort, a burning sensation, neuropathic pain or weakness and institute dose modifications accordingly.
- Infusion reactions: Infusion-related reactions, including anaphylaxis, have occurred with ADCETRIS. Monitor patients during infusion. If an infusion reaction occurs, the infusion should be interrupted and appropriate medical management instituted. If anaphylaxis occurs, the infusion should be immediately and permanently discontinued and appropriate medical management instituted.
- Neutropenia: Monitor complete blood counts prior to each dose of ADCETRIS and consider more frequent monitoring for patients with Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia. If Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia develops, manage by dose delays, reductions or discontinuation. Prolonged (≥1 week) severe neutropenia can occur with ADCETRIS.
- Tumor lysis syndrome: Patients with rapidly proliferating tumor and high tumor burden are at risk of tumor lysis syndrome and these patients should be monitored closely and appropriate measures taken.
- Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML): JC virus infection resulting in PML and death has been reported in ADCETRIS-treated patients. In addition to ADCETRIS therapy, other possible contributory factors include prior therapies and underlying disease that may cause immunosuppression. Consider the diagnosis of PML in any patient presenting with new-onset signs and symptoms of central nervous system abnormalities. Evaluation of PML includes, but is not limited to, consultation with a neurologist, brain MRI, and lumbar puncture or brain biopsy. Hold ADCETRIS if PML is suspected and discontinue ADCETRIS if PML is confirmed.
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome: Stevens-Johnson syndrome has been reported with ADCETRIS. If Stevens-Johnson syndrome occurs, discontinue ADCETRIS and administer appropriate medical therapy.
- Use in pregnancy: Fetal harm can occur. Pregnant women should be advised of the potential hazard to the fetus.
ADCETRIS was studied as monotherapy in 160 patients in two phase 2 trials. Across both trials, the most common adverse reactions (≥20%), regardless of causality, were neutropenia, peripheral sensory neuropathy, fatigue, nausea, anemia, upper respiratory tract infection, diarrhea, pyrexia, rash, thrombocytopenia, cough and vomiting.
Patients who are receiving strong CYP3A4 inhibitors concomitantly with ADCETRIS should be closely monitored for adverse reactions.
Certain of the statements made in this press release are forward looking, such as those, among others, relating to the potential commercial opportunity for ADCETRIS in the EU and the potential for approval of ADCETRIS in other countries, including Canada. Actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected or implied in these forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause such a difference include risks that ADCETRIS will not be widely adopted by physicians in the EU or reimbursement may be difficult to secure in certain countries of the EU. In addition, data from the pivotal clinical trials may not support marketing approval for submitted indications in other countries despite approval in the US and EU. More information about the risks and uncertainties faced by Seattle Genetics is contained in the company's 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2012, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Seattle Genetics disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.