Seattle Genetics, Inc. today announced that it has entered into a new antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) collaboration with Bayer HealthCare (Bayer). Under the latest relationship, Bayer will pay upfront and option exercise fees of up to $20 million for worldwide rights to utilize Seattle Genetics’ auristatin-based ADC technology with antibodies to several oncology targets. Seattle Genetics is also eligible to receive up to approximately $500 million in potential milestone payments, as well as royalties on worldwide net sales of any resulting products under the multi-target collaboration. Bayer is responsible for research, product development, manufacturing and commercialization of all products under the collaboration.
“The significant clinical and preclinical progress across our ADC collaborations, and enthusiasm for our technology as demonstrated by this latest relationship with Bayer, continue to reinforce Seattle Genetics’ leadership position in the field,” said Natasha Hernday, Vice President, Corporate Development, at Seattle Genetics. “Across internal and collaborator programs, there are more than 15 ADCs in clinical development using our technology, and we have the potential to receive more than $3.5 billion in future milestones plus royalties from these strategic alliances.”
“Bayer is committed to translating the science of cancers into effective therapies that can help people with cancer live longer and improve their quality of life,” said Prof. Andreas Busch, Member of the Bayer HealthCare Executive Committee and Head of Global Drug Discovery. “Antibody-drug conjugates are promising approaches in oncology which can attack tumor cells in a much more targeted way for cancer patients, such that healthy cells are less severely affected. Antibody-drug conjugates are one of our focus areas in oncology research and we are looking forward to strengthening our portfolio in this area of personalized medicine through the collaboration with Seattle Genetics.”
ADCs are monoclonal antibodies that are designed to selectively deliver cytotoxic agents to tumor cells. With over a decade of experience and knowledge in ADC innovation, Seattle Genetics has developed proprietary technology employing synthetic cytotoxic agents and stable linker systems that attach these cytotoxic agents to the antibody. Seattle Genetics’ linker systems are designed to be stable in the bloodstream and release the potent cell-killing agent once inside targeted cancer cells. This approach is intended to spare non-targeted cells and thus reduce many of the toxic effects of traditional chemotherapy while enhancing antitumor activity.