Lymphoma Drug Development Company Earns $5M

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According to a recent press release, Seattle Genetics Inc. will get a $5 million milestone payment as partial compensation in their arrangement with Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Co. Said payment was enacted, apparently, when the company’s brentuximab vedotin drug -- designed to minimize potentially toxic effects of chemotherapy -- was accepted by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Originally signed in 2009, this deal essentially gives Millennium the right to commercialize Seattle Genetics’ drug target for relapsed and refractory Hodgkin lymphoma and systematic anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), brentuximab vedotin. Most of this, as previously reported, will be done outside of the United States and Canada. Meanwhile, Seattle Genetics will keep control of the licensing rights to move the drug within the United States and Canada country lines.

“The EMA acceptance ... represents a significant achievement in the development of brentuximab vedotin, and takes us another step closer to our goal of bringing this (antibody-drug conjugate) to relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma and systemic ALCL patients in need around the world,” said Clay Siegall, president and CEO of Seattle Genetics, in a statement.

Although this deal was not entirely unexpected, it does mean exciting things for the lymphoma pharmaceutical market and all competing companies. More details on the arrangement should be made available in the coming days.

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