A rapidly growing biotech company that has won Food and Drug Administration approvals for two new cancer drugs in the space of less than a year is dumping its longstanding corporate name for a new one.
Bothell, Washington-based Seattle Genetics said Thursday that it has rebranded itself as Seagen, a new name that it said would reflect its expanding global presence and therapeutic portfolio. Seagen (Nasdaq: SGEN) is still trading under its original ticker symbol, SGEN, and will continue to do so, the company said.
The company was long a one-trick pony, with only a single product on the market, Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin), a drug approved in 2011 for Hodgkin’s lymphoma and subsequently approved for anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, a type of T-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. But in December of last year, it won approval for a second product, Padcev (enfortumab vedotin-ejfv), for locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer, and earlier this year it received a nod for Tukysa (tucatinib), for HER2-positive breast cancer.
“The change in our corporate name from Seattle Genetics to Seagen reflects who we are today, as we expand our presence beyond the Pacific Northwest and outside of the United States to support the commercialization of Tukysa globally,” Seagen CEO Clay Siegall said in a statement. “We have three marketed products and a robust development pipeline of novel targeted product candidates. As we increase our global presence by adding new team members and locations outside of the United States as well as through strategic partnerships, we are better positioned to bring important new therapies to cancer patients around the world.”
Siegall also pointed to partnerships the company entered last month with Kenilworth, New Jersey-based Merck, focused on development and commercialization of Seagen’s ladiratuzumab vedotin, an antibody-drug conjugate in Phase II development for breast cancer and other solid tumors, as well as a license for Merck to commercialize Tukysa in markets outside the U.S., Canada and Europe. Merck made a $1 billion equity investment in Seagen in connection with the ladiratuzumab vedotin partnership and is paying the company $125 million upfront and up to $65 million in milestones for the Tukysa pact.
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