Astellas Pharma Inc. and Seattle Genetics, Inc. have presented first clinical data for ASG-15ME and ASG-22ME at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 51st Annual Meeting that was held in June 3-7, 2016 in Chicago, IL. ASG-15ME and ASG-22ME are investigational antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) consisting of monoclonal antibodies that are designed to supply microtubule-disrupting agents selectively to tumor cells. This process is intended to spare non-targeted cells and thus minimize many of the toxic effects of traditional chemotherapy, in addition to enhance antitumor activity. ASG-15ME and ASG-22ME target SLITRK6 and Nectin-4, respectively. These are proteins that are highly expressed in urothelial cancers, particularly bladder cancer.
Len Reyno, M.D, senior vice president and chief medical officer, Agensys, an affiliate of Astellas, said: “Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the U.S. and there have been few treatment advances over the past three decades. For metastatic disease, the five-year survival rate is only 15 percent, representing a significant unmet need to identify additional treatment options. We are pleased to present these first data for ASG-15ME and ASG-22ME in urothelial cancers, which have a particularly high unmet medical need.”
“The clinical data from the phase I presented at ASCO from the ASG-15ME and ASG-22ME programs in heavily pretreated metastatic bladder cancer patients show a manageable safety profile along with objective response rates that are higher than historical rates seen with taxanes. We will continue enrolling patients in the ongoing phase 1 clinical trials to determine the recommended dose for further development,” said Jonathan Drachman, M.D., chief medical officer and executive vice president, Research and Development at Seattle Genetics.