Genmab and Seattle Genetics enter research collaboration

Companies sign antibody-drug conjugate agreement

Genmab of Denmark and Seattle Genetics in the US have entered into an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) research collaboration agreement.

Under the agreement, Genmab will use Seattle Genetics’ ADC technology with its HuMax-TF antibody targeting the tissue factor antigen, which is expressed on solid tumours.

Seattle Genetics has received an undisclosed upfront payment and has the right to exercise a co-development option for any resulting ADC products at the end of Phase I clinical development.

Genmab takes responsibility for research, manufacturing, preclinical development and Phase I clinical trials of ADCs under this collaboration.

ADCs are monoclonal antibodies that selectively deliver potent anti-cancer agents to tumour cells. Seattle Genetics has developed proprietary ADC technology using synthetic, highly potent cell-killing agents called auristatins (such as MMAE and MMAF) and stable linker systems that attach auristatin to the antibody.

Seattle Genetics’ linker systems are 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 the anti-tumour activity.

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