I was delighted to see, amongst all the big news this morning on President Obama and Osama Bin Laden, that there was a little gem for Biotech – Seattle Genetics announced that the FDA have accepted their BLA filings for antibody drug conjugate (ADC), brentuximab vedotin, and awarded Priority status.  The company stated that the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) date is now set for August 30th, based on the Feb 28th filing date.

Two BLA filings were submitted, one for relapsed Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL) and another for relapsed or refractory systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL).  These two hematologic cancers share a commonality, ie CD30, which is the defining marker of the disease and the target for the ADC therapy.

Based on the data we saw at the recent American Society of Hematology meeting in December, the recent NEJM publication, this is very good news indeed for patients.

New treatment options in rare or difficult to treat diseases are always most welcome. With the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and European Hematology Association (EHA) meetings both coming up in June, I’m really looking forward to an update of the data and to see how this exciting new concept (antibody drug conjugates) are progressing.

This is an area where I think we will see many more developments in the very near future, with Genentech’s T-DM1 also likely to have data at ASCO in breast cancer.