Seattle Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SGEN) announced the initiation of a phase 2 clinical trial evaluating ADCETRIS (brentuximab vedotin) in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, or lupus). Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system overreacts and attacks healthy organs, causing inflammation, pain, permanent organ damage or death. ADCETRIS is an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) directed to CD30, which is expressed on activated lymphocytes that are thought to play a key role in the development of autoimmune diseases, including lupus. The trial is designed to assess the safety and activity of ADCETRIS in adult patients with lupus. ADCETRIS is currently not approved for the treatment of lupus.

“Lupus is a debilitating autoimmune disorder that can affect many of the body’s organ systems, causing a number of serious symptoms. Treatment options are limited, with few FDA-approved disease-modifying therapeutics available,” said Clay B. Siegall, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Seattle Genetics. “Based on a retrospective review of information collected from patients being treated with ADCETRIS in the U.S. for lymphoma, we noted some patients reported clinical improvement of concomitant autoimmune diseases, including lupus. Since elevated CD30 expression has been previously reported in lupus patients, we are enthusiastic to evaluate ADCETRIS as a potential treatment option for this disease.”

The study is a phase 2 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled dose-escalation clinical trial. The primary objective is evaluation of the safety of ADCETRIS in adults with active lupus. In addition, the trial will evaluate the activity and pharmacokinetics of ADCETRIS in lupus. ADCETRIS will be administered every three weeks and approximately 40 patients will be enrolled at multiple centers in the United States. (Original Source)

Shares of Seattle Genetics closed yesterday at $46.07. SGEN has a 1-year high of $49.84 and a 1-year low of $30.05. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $46.26 and its 200-day moving average is $37.79.

On the ratings front, Seattle Genetics has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on June 9, Oppenheimer analyst Christopher Marai maintained a Hold rating on SGEN. Separately, on June 2, H.C. Wainwright’s Andrew Fein maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $65.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Christopher Marai and Andrew Fein have a total average return of 38.4% and 21.3% respectively. Marai has a success rate of 71.1% and is ranked #9 out of 3694 analysts, while Fein has a success rate of 60.0% and is ranked #153.

Seattle Genetics Inc is a biotechnology company. It develops and commercializes monoclonal antibody-based therapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune disease.