Pfizer Inc, the world's largest drug maker has entered into a collaboration agreement with Seattle Genetics, for rights to utilise the clinical-stage biotechnology company's antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology to treat a single cancer target.
Washington-based Seattle Genetics, which has generated more than $145 million from ADC licensing, will receive from Pfizer $8 million upfront and over $200 million in progress-dependent milestones as well as royalties on worldwide net sales of any resulting ADC products.
ADCs are monoclonal antibodies that selectively deliver potent anti-cancer agents to tumour cells. With over a decade of experience and knowledge in ADC innovation, Seattle Genetics has developed proprietary technology employing synthetic, highly potent cell-killing agents called auristatins (such as MMAE and MMAF) and stable linker systems that attach auristatin to the antibody.
Its Genetics' novel linker systems are designed to be stable in the bloodstream and release the potent cell-killing agent once inside targetted 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 antitumor activity.
Pfizer will be responsible for research, product development, manufacturing and commercialisation of any ADC products under the collaboration. Seattle Genetics also will receive material supply and annual maintenance fees as well as research support payments for assistance provided to Pfizer under the collaboration.
"This collaboration reflects the increasing value of our ADC technology and strong interest in its potential among leaders in the drug development community," said Eric Dobmeier, chief business officer of Seattle Genetics.