U.S. Markets closed

Seattle Genetics to test possible new Adcetris use

The Associated Press

Seattle Genetics Inc. plans to proceed with a late-stage study of a possible additional use for its lymphatic cancer treatment Adcetris after releasing results from a small, early-stage test.

The Bothell, Wash., company said Sunday 23 of 26 patients with an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma who received Adcetris combined with chemotherapy achieved complete remission, which means they had no trace of the cancer after the treatment was completed.

CEO Clay B. Siegall said in a statement the data offers a "strong rationale" for late-stage testing that will compare Adcetris combined with chemotherapy to the standard chemotherapy treatment for the disease. The company plans to start the trial by early next year.

Seattle Genetics announced the results at the American Society of Hematology's annual meeting in Atlanta.

Adcetris is Seattle Genetics' only marketed product. It is already approved to treat two types of lymphoma. The company also is seeking approval to market the drug as a treatment for mycosis fungoides, a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that starts in the skin.

Last month, the Food and Drug Administration gave the treatment orphan drug status for that indication. That means that if Adcetris is approved as a treatment for that disease, the FDA won't approve similar products for seven years.

Orphan drug status is given to treatments for disease that affect fewer than 200,000 Americans.

Shares of Seattle Genetics fell 14 cents to $25.40 in Monday morning trading, while the Nasdaq exchange rose less than 1 percent. The company's shares are still up about 52 percent since closing 2011 at $16.72.