Seattle Genetics Presents Data on Adcetris

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Seattle Genetics (SGEN) presented positive data on Adcetris at the 2014 Bone Marrow Transplant (:BMT) Tandem Meeting. Shares rose 2.4% on the news.

Adcetris is approved for the treatment of relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma (sALCL). Seattle Genetics is looking to expand Adcetris’ label. Interim data was presented from a phase I/II study to evaluate Adcetris in combination with Treanda for HL patients after first relapse.

The single-arm, open-label study is divided into two cohorts. The cohorts’ primary endpoint is to find the recommended dosing level of Treanda in combination with Adcetris and evaluate the safety and tolerability of this combination.

The study revealed that after a median of two cycles of therapy, 92% of patients who were evaluated for response achieved an objective response. Data showed that 77% achieved complete remission while 15% showed partial remission.

Seattle Genetics also completed the treatment of all patients in a phase III study, AETHERA. The study is evaluating HL patients following autologous stem cell transplant. Patient demographics from this study were also presented at the meeting.

The primary endpoint of the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study is progression-free survival. In response to salvage therapy, 38% of patients achieved complete remission while 34% showed partial remission. In response relating to frontline therapy, 60% of patients were refractory and 33% relapsed in less than 12 months. The primary efficacy results will be out in the second half of 2014.

Seattle Genetics carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Adcetris is at present approved in 39 countries. Adcetris’ revenues in the year 2013 were $144.7 million. We expect investor focus to remain on the sales ramp up of the drug and further label expansion.

Investors looking for better-ranked stocks in the pharma sector may consider companies like Forest Laboratories Inc. (FRX), Actavis plc (ACT) and Lannett Co., Inc. (LCI). Actavis carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) while Lannett and Forest Labs carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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