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Seattle Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq:SGEN), Bothell, Wash., has entered into an agreement to license certain cell-killing drugs from Proacta Therapeutics, based in Auckland, New Zealand.

Seattle Genetics intends to evaluate the highly potent, synthetic drugs as product candidates on their own as well as to utilize them in its antibody-drug conjugate program. Under the terms of the agreement, Seattle Genetics will have exclusive development, manufacturing and worldwide commercialization rights to any products utilizing the drugs.

"This agreement provides us with exclusive access to a unique set of potent cell-killing drugs that target the minor groove of DNA," commented Clay B. Siegall, Ph.D., president and chief scientific officer of Seattle Genetics. "Combined with the proprietary linkage systems developed at Seattle Genetics, these drugs will augment our development of next-generation antibody-drug conjugates for the treatment of cancer."

The licensed drugs were identified and developed in the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre headed by William Denny, Ph.D., of the University of Auckland. They represent a unique class of drugs that are ideally suited for targeted drug delivery. Antibody-drug conjugates combine the targeting capabilities of antibodies with cell-killing drug payloads, providing a means to selectively kill cancer cells while limiting damage to normal tissue.

"We look forward to a productive interaction with Proacta Therapeutics and with Dr. Denny, a world-renowned expert in cytotoxic drug discovery," concluded Dr. Siegall.

About Seattle Genetics

Seattle Genetics discovers and develops monoclonal antibody, or mAb-based therapeutics to treat cancer and related diseases. The company has four technologies: engineered mAbs, mAb-drug conjugates, single-chain immunotoxins and antibody-directed enzyme prodrug therapy (ADEPT). Seattle Genetics has built a diverse portfolio of drug candidates targeted to many types of human cancers, including two currently being tested in six ongoing clinical trials. The company also out-licenses its mAb-based technologies to strategic partners developing targeted therapies. Seattle Genetics has agreements with many organizations including Genentech, Medarex, Aventis, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eos Biotechnology, Arizona State University, the University of Miami, and CLB Research and Development.

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About Proacta Therapeutics

Proacta Therapeutics discovers and develops therapies for cancer that directly target tumor cells based on several prodrug strategies. These include enzyme delivery by targeted gene therapy followed by prodrug activation within the tumor, activation of the drug by the hypoxic nature of most solid tumors, activation in conjunction with antibody targeting, and activation by radiation of the tumor site itself. The company has a number of drug candidates for each of these approaches. The company has agreements in place with research institutions in London, UK and Auckland, New Zealand to develop its technology platform. Proacta has licensed in technology discovered at The Institute of Cancer Research from Cancer Research Ventures in London and from Auckland UniServices Limited in New Zealand.

For more information, call 425/527-4160 or visit http:///
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Publication:Worldwide Biotech
Date:Dec 1, 2001

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