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Seattle Genetics, Inc. Completes $30 Million Financing to Expand Monoclonal Antibody-Based Therapy Programs
March 14, 2000 at 12:00 AM EST

Bothell, Washington, March 14, 2000-Seattle Genetics, Inc., has raised $30 million in private financing to fight cancer. The Series B financing was led by Bank of America Ventures. Additional investors include Cascade Investment, Vulcan Ventures, Olympic Venture Partners, Sofinnova Ventures, and Indosuez Ventures. “We're very pleased to have such a strong group of investors on board as we expand all aspects of operations within the company,” stated President and C.E.O. Perry Fell.

According to Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer Clay Siegall, “Seattle Genetics plans to significantly increase the number of studies for its lead monoclonal antibody agents currently in clinical trials, and to bring forward several new candidates for development.”

This financing will also help Seattle Genetics continue to expand its strategic alliances. Currently, the company has a license agreement with Genentech, Inc. to develop certain anti-cancer agents. Seattle Genetics also has in-license agreements with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Mabtech AB (Sweden), Arizona State University, and the University of Miami (Fla.) that have added key technologies related to monoclonal antibody targeted therapy.

Seattle Genetics presently has two monoclonal antibody-based drugs in clinical trials, SGN-15 and SGN-10; both drugs target a variety of carcinomas including breast, lung, colon, and prostate. “We are very excited to be evaluating two agents in clinical trials that deliver cytotoxic moieties to cancer cells via monoclonal antibody targeting,” said Medical Director, Dr. Amy Sing.

SGN-15 is a chimeric monoclonal antibody that is conjugated to the cytotoxic drug doxorubicin. As part of a recently initiated phase I/II clinical program in breast and colon carcinoma, SGN-15 has been safely given to multiple cohorts of patients as part of a combination regimen with chemotherapy. Clinical studies are also planned with SGN-15 in prostate and lung carcinomas.

SGN-10 is a genetically engineered immunotoxin fusion protein that has been safely administered to over 40 cancer patients as part of a single-agent phase I program. In addition, the company recently filed an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to initiate clinical trials of SGN-10 in combination with chemotherapy. Preclinical studies have shown that the combination of SGN-10 and taxanes results in synergistic antitumor activity in models of colon, breast, lung, and prostate carcinomas.

Seattle Genetics has exciting research and development programs that utilize four technology platforms:

  1. engineered monoclonal antibodies
  2. antibody-drug conjugates
  3. single-chain immunotoxins
  4. antibody-directed enzyme/prodrug therapy (ADEPT)

Using these platforms, the company can develop antitumor agents with any monoclonal antibody that has appropriate tumor specificity whether the antibody signals directly, internalizes, or remains on the cell surface. The company is currently developing several novel agents including SGN-14 and SGN-30 for hematologic malignancies and SGN-17/19 for metastatic melanoma. The Small Business Innovation Research Program at the National Cancer Institute recently awarded a grant to Seattle Genetics for work to be done using the ADEPT platform.

Seattle Genetics is a privately held biotechnology company developing innovative monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and immunologic disease. For more information about Seattle Genetics, Inc., contact the website at www.seattlegenetics.com or call Larry Benedict at (425) 489-4999.