Company Update (NASDAQ:SGEN): Seattle Genetics, Inc. and Unum Therapeutics Enter into Strategic Cancer Immunotherapy Collaboration

Seattle Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SGEN) and Unum Therapeutics announced that the two companies have entered into a strategic collaboration and license agreement to develop and commercialize novel antibody-coupled T-cell receptor (ACTR) therapies for cancer.

Unum’s proprietary ACTR technology enables programming of a patient’s T-cells to attack tumor cells when co-administered with tumor-specific therapeutic antibodies. Seattle Genetics, through its extensive work in the field of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), has a substantial portfolio of cancer targets and tumor-specific monoclonal antibodies from which programs will be selected for the collaboration.

“This collaboration is an exciting extension of our work over more than 17 years, empowering antibodies in order to provide new therapeutic options for cancer patients,” said Clay B. Siegall, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Seattle Genetics. “Unum’s innovative technology for a universal, antibody-directed cellular immunotherapy is differentiated from other engineered T-cell approaches, and may have broad applicability across a range of cancer targets. We are pleased to be collaborating with one of the most promising companies in the emerging field of cellular immunotherapy to develop new treatment options for cancer patients with unmet medical needs.”

“Unum’s strategy is to develop and commercialize a universal cellular immunotherapy that can be used in combination with a variety of antibodies to attack a wide range of hematological and solid tumors,” said Charles Wilson, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Unum Therapeutics. “We believe that our unique approach has the potential to advance beyond the safety and efficacy limitations of current generation T-cell approaches. We are delighted to collaborate with Seattle Genetics in the development of ACTR therapies. Their leadership in antibody-based therapies and expertise in the development of cancer treatments will be invaluable as we work together to bring potentially breakthrough therapies to patients.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Seattle Genetics will make an upfront payment of $25 million and an equity investment of $5 million in Unum’s next round of private financing. The companies will initially develop two ACTR products incorporating Seattle Genetics’ antibodies, and Seattle Genetics has an option to expand the collaboration to include a third ACTR product. Unum will conduct preclinical research and clinical development activities through phase 1 with funding from Seattle Genetics. The companies will work together to co-develop and jointly fund programs after phase 1 unless either company opts out. Seattle Genetics and Unum will co-commercialize and share profits 50/50 on any co-developed programs in the United States. Seattle Genetics will retain exclusive commercial rights outside of the United States, paying Unum high single to mid-double digit royalties on ex-U.S. sales. Potential option fee and progress-dependent milestone payments to Unum under the collaboration may total up to $615 million across all three ACTR programs.

As a result of the amounts paid up front and the additional development activities expected under this deal, Seattle Genetics will provide revised 2015 financial guidance in connection with announcing its second quarter financial results currently planned for July 30, 2015. (Original Source)

Shares of Seattle Genetics closed last Friday at $46.87 . SGEN has a 1-year high of $46.98 and a 1-year low of $30.05. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $39.86 and its 200-day moving average is $35.78.

On the ratings front, Seattle Genetics has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on June 2, H.C. Wainwright analyst Andrew Fein maintained a Buy rating on SGEN, with a price target of $65, which represents a potential upside of 38.7% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on May 6, Credit Suisse’s Jeremiah Shepard initiated coverage with a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $51.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Andrew Fein and Jeremiah Shepard have a total average return of 26.7% and 42.8% respectively. Fein has a success rate of 66.2% and is ranked #109 out of 3612 analysts, while Shepard has a success rate of 100.0% and is ranked #838.

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

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