Seattle Genetics discontinues clinical trial of leukemia drug

BOTHELL — Biotech firm Seattle Genetics saw its stock tumble early Monday after it announced that it was discontinuing a clinical trial for a drug to combat a type of leukemia in older patients.

The Bothell company decided to abandon the trial for the drug, which is used to treat acute myeloid leukemia, after consulting with the Independent Data Monitoring Committee and after reviewing unblinded data that was released Friday.

That data found a higher rate of deaths among patients using the drug, vadastuximab talirine, or SGN-CD33A, than in the control group.

“This is a disappointing and unexpected result” for the clinical trial, said Clay Siegall, president and CEO at Seattle Genetics, in a statement. “Patient safety is our highest priority, and we will closely review the data and evaluate next steps. AML is a devastating disease with a poor prognosis in most patients, and there is a great need for therapeutics against this disease.”

He went on to thank the patients, caregivers and investigators involved in the trial. Seattle Genetics will work with the Food & Drug Administration on the next step.

Seattle Genetics stock traded on Nasdaq closed on Friday at $64.52 a share and fell during after-hours trading. It opened Monday at $57.48 a share. At the close of day, the stock rebounded to $61.88 a share.

Seattle Genetics continues other clinical tests, including for Adcetris, which is for treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma and is proposed for use as a “frontline” drug — a first drug to treat patients.

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