PHARMACY

Pfizer forms licensing agreement with Seattle Genetics

BY Alaric DeArment

BOTHELL, Wash. — Pfizer has paid Seattle Genetics $8 million to license its antibody technology, Seattle Genetics said Thursday.

Seattle Genetics, based in Bothell, Wash., said Pfizer would pursue antibodies for treating an unspecified form of cancer using its antibody-drug conjugate technology. ADCs are monoclonal antibodies that selectively deliver anti-cancer agents to tumor cells. Seattle Genetics has developed anti-tumor drugs called auristatins, which are attached to antibodies and then used to kill the cancer cells while sparing noncancer cells.

Under the deal, Pfizer is responsible for research, product development, manufacturing and commercialization of any products created under the collaboration, and Seattle Genetics is eligible to receive milestones of more than $200 million, as well as royalties on sales.

“This collaboration reflects the increasing value of our ADC technology and strong interest in its potential among leaders in the drug development community,” Seattle Genetics chief business officer Eric Dobmeier said. “We now have 10 ongoing ADC collaborations, six collaborator ADCs using our technology are in clinical development and several additional programs are advancing toward the clinic.”

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PHARMACY

Kombiglyze XR now available

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. — A new oral treatment for Type 2 diabetes hit the shelves Friday.

Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca announced the availability of Kombiglyze XR (saxagliptin and metformin hydrochloride), which the companies called the only once-daily treatment for diabetes that combined metformin with a DPP-4 inhibitor, the drug class to which saxagliptin belongs.

The drug is designed for use alongside diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with Type 2 diabetes.

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Low rate increase of healthcare spending reported by CMS

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — The economic recession attributed to a mere 4% rise in healthcare spending, the slowest rate of growth in the 50-year history of the National Health Expenditure Accounts, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

That number translates to $2.5 trillion, or about $8,086 per person.

CMS added that, despite the slowdown, healthcare spending growth continued to outpace overall economic growth, which declined 1.7% in 2009, as measured by nominal Gross Domestic Product.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured found that the new health-reform law significantly would increase the number of people covered by the program.

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