Seattle Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SGEN) shares have been bouncing back with a couple key catalysts emerging in recent action. First off, we just got word from Roche that polatuzumab vedotin in combination with MabThera/Rituxan (rituximab) plus bendamustine more than doubled overall survival, compared to MabThera/Rituxan plus bendamustine alone in the phase Ib/II GO29365 study. Polatuzumab vedotin will most likely be the first of SGEN’s ADC collaborations to be approved. That sets an important foundation for how the company’s pipeline and overall research program are perceived by the market.
In addition, the company just presented data from the ECHELON-2 phase 3 clinical trial in an oral session at the 60th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting. According to the release, the data demonstrated that frontline treatment with ADCETRIS (brentuximab vedotin) in combination with CHP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, prednisone) is effective in extending progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) with a safety profile comparable to CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone), a current standard of care in patients with CD30-expressing peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCL). These data were also simultaneously published online in The Lancet. ADCETRIS is an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) directed to CD30, which is expressed on the surface of several types of PTCL.
Seattle Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SGEN) promulgates itself as a biotechnology company that focuses on the development and commercialization of targeted therapies for the treatment of cancer worldwide.
It markets ADCETRIS, an antibody-drug conjugate for the treatment of relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma and relapsed systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma. The company also develops enfortumab vedotin, which is in Phase 1 clinical trial for Nectin-4-positive solid tumors, including bladder cancer; and tisotumab vedotin that is in Phase II clinical trial for patients with cervical cancer and solid tumors.
In addition, it conducts phase 3 clinical trials of ADCETRIS which includes ECHELON-1 for patients with newly diagnosed advanced stage classical Hodgkin lymphoma; ECHELON-2 for patients with newly diagnosed CD30-expressing MTCL; and the CHECKMATE 812 for patients with relapsed or refractory or transplant-ineligible, and advanced classical Hodgkin lymphoma.
Further, the company’s earlier stage clinical pipeline includes six other ADC programs consisting of ladiratuzumab vedotin, denintuzumab mafodotin, SGN-CD19B, SGN-CD123A, SGN-CD33A, and SGN-CD352A, as well as two immuno-oncology agents, including SEA-CD40 and SGN-2FF.
It has collaborations for its ADC technology with various biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including AbbVie Biotechnology Ltd.; Bayer Pharma AG; Celldex Therapeutics, Inc.; Genentech, Inc.; GlaxoSmithKline LLC; Pfizer, Inc., PSMA Development Company LLC; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, Unum Therapeutics, Inc., and Genmab A/S, as well as has co-development agreement with Agensys, Inc. Seattle Genetics, Inc. was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Bothell, Washington.
Seedlings Breaking Above Ground
As noted above, SGEN shares have been on the move in recent weeks, ripping higher off up $50-55 support to test the underside of the stock’s 200-day simple moving average. As we see it, the market is beginning to see signals that suggest a growing sense of confidence in the company’s ADC technology as a development partnership foundation.
“As clinicians, we are always searching for new strategies to address unmet needs in aggressive blood cancers, and ADCETRIS has proven to be one of those agents that has shown benefit for patients in multiple types of lymphoma and now in frontline PTCL,” said Steven Horwitz, M.D., Department of Medicine, Lymphoma Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York. “This research is important for patients because clinicians now have a novel approach for treating newly diagnosed patients with CD30-expressing PTCL, a group of aggressive cancers. The ECHELON-2 data demonstrates that ADCETRIS plus CHP is superior in extending both progression-free survival and overall survival compared to a current standard of care, CHOP, a multi-agent chemotherapy regimen we have been using in practice for several decades.”
Both brentuximab vedotin and polatuzumab vedotin appear to be on solid ground and tracking toward eventual approval, which would open the door for many new opportunities. That’s a major factor in how analysts view the stock and the premium conferred to shares when attempting to assign a monetary value to the company’s early stage pipeline, which carries another six ADC assets.
Seattle Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SGEN) generated sales of $169.4M, according to information released in the company’s most recent quarterly financial report. That adds up to a sequential quarter-over-quarter growth rate of -0.4% on the top line.
In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels far exceeding current liabilities ($463.1M against $193.7M).