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Seattle Genetics, Inc. (SGEN - Snapshot Report) recently presented interim results from a phase I study which is evaluating ASG-5ME for the treatment of metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA).

Seattle Genetics is developing ASG-5ME, an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) which targets the SLC44A4 antigen, for the treatment of solid tumors. The candidate is being developed in collaboration with Agensys, Inc., an affiliate of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. (ALPMY).

The trial is being conducted to evaluate the safety and activity along with identifying the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of ASG-5ME in patients suffering from metastatic PDA. Approximately 35 patients with metastatic PDA and a median age of 63 were administered doses ranging from 0.3 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) to 1.5 mg/kg administered weekly for three of every four weeks. Data from the study, apart from providing preliminary evidence for antitumor activity, revealed that the candidate was well tolerated.

We note that Seattle Genetics is also evaluating ASG-5ME in the prostate and gastric cancer indications. Seattle Genetics focuses on the development and commercialization of monoclonal antibody-based therapies for cancer. 

We remind investors that Seattle Genetics’ leading drug, Adcetris, is currently approved in the US for the treatment of patients with Hodgkin lymphoma after failure of autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) or after failure of at least two prior multi-agent chemotherapy regimens in patients, who are not suitable for ASCT and the treatment of sALCL in treatment-experienced patients. Adcetris is approved in the EU as well.

Seattle Genetics carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Pharma stocks, which currently appear to be more attractive include Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) and Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP - Analyst Report). Both companies carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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