Seagen Eyes a Key Frontline Indication for Top-Seller Adcetris

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

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Seagen’s top-selling drug hit the mark in another major indication.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Seagen’s plan to expand Adcetris’ market is on track following positive Phase II study results. Monday, the biopharma announced Adcetris hit the mark in a multi-part, midstage trial for advanced and early-stage classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL).

Seagen evaluated its top-selling ADC as part of a combination therapy that included Bristol Myers Squibb’s checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo (nivolumab) and two standard chemotherapy agents (doxorubicin and dacarbazine).

Adcetris has already been approved by the FDA across five cHL indications, with the latest approval extending its availability for the pediatric population over age two.

In patients with advanced-stage disease (Part B of the study), Seagen announced that the combo therapy produced a complete response rate (CR) of 88% and an overall response rate (ORR) of 93%.

Among patients with early-stage disease (Part C), the biopharma reported that treatment with the anti-cancer cocktail yielded a CR of 92% and an ORR of 95%.

The company noted in its press release that no new treatment-related adverse events were reported. Side effects included nausea, fatigue and peripheral sensory neuropathy (PNS). The events of PNS were considered low grade and not severe enough that any patients discontinued due to the discomfort.

“These agents with complementary mechanisms of action warrant further investigation as a potential frontline treatment option for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma,” Marjorie Green, SVP and Head of late-stage development at Seagen, said in the press release.

The American Cancer Society estimates that over 8,500 cases of Hodgkin lymphoma will be diagnosed this year, with more than 900 patients dying it. Most diagnoses occur between the ages of 15 and 35. It has become the most common cancer for teens aged 15-19.

Adcetris is one of four approved cancer drugs for Seagen. The ADC leads the pack with $601 million in sales for the first nine months of 2022. Developed in collaboration with Takeda, Seagen retained the drug’s commercial rights in the U.S. and Canada, while its partner laid claim to the rest of the globe. The two split production costs 50/50.

This spring, Seagen announced plans to expand its Seattle-area operations with a 27,000-square-foot manufacturing site in Everett, WA. Slated to finish in 2024, the building will bring 200 new jobs to the area.

Kate Goodwin is a freelance life science writer based in Des Moines, Iowa. She can be reached at and on LinkedIn.