Bayer HealthCare and Seattle Genetics have signed a new deal that gives the international giant access to Seattle Genetics’ methods for creating cancer drugs that specifically target and kill the cancerous cells. The drugs, known as antibody-drug conjugates, or ADCs, combine an antibody that recognizes cancer cells and an auristatin, a cell toxin that is delivered by the antibody directly into the cell. This method eliminates much of the damage to healthy cells that traditional methods of treating cancer cause.
The collaboration, a repeat for the two companies, who inked their first deal in 2004, will net Seattle Genetics as much as $520 million, with as much as $20 million of that up front from Bayer. The deal gives Bayer worldwide rights to pair the auristatins with Bayer’s antibodys. The remainder of the money would come from milstone payments and royalties.
Seattle Genetics has its own ADC, which sells under the trade name Adcetris, and was approved for certain types of lymphoma in 2011 by the FDA. The company, in collaboration with its partners, have more than 15 ADCs in clinical testing, as well.