Astellas, Seattle Genetics reveal new urothelial cancer treatment data

Urothelial cancer surfaces most often in the bladder.
Urothelial cancer surfaces most often in the bladder. | File image

Astellas, a global pharmaceutical corporation with U.S. headquarters in Northbrook, Illinois, and biotechnology company Seattle Genetics recently publicized findings on their enfortumab vedotin (ASG-22ME) treatment for a type of cancer commonly manifesting in the bladder.

The two companies presented data at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) 52nd annual meeting in Chicago, revealing that enfortumab vedotin combats the disease by targeting a protein found in various types of tumors.

Company spokespersons explained that the data resulted from a Phase 1 clinical trial, announcing plans for a Phase 2 trial for certain patients previously treated with checkpoint inhibitor (CPI) therapy.

"Patients with metastatic urothelial cancer typically have a five-year survival rate of just five percent and are in urgent need of new treatment options," said the Yale Cancer Center’s Dr. Daniel Petrylak, who presented the Phase 1 results at ASCO. “Despite recent clinical advances, up to 80 percent of patients fail to respond to checkpoint inhibitors, or CPIs, and there are no approved therapeutic options for use after CPI failure.”

Petrylak added that Phase 1 results indicate possible benefit with those patients for whom CPI therapy failed. Astellas Vice President Dr. Steven Brenner expressed optimism regarding the trial results, noting that the firm is looking forward to continued development; while Seattle Genetics’ executive vice president and chief medical officer Dr. Jonathan Drachman added that trials indicated a “well-tolerated safety profile” in patients with a history of prior treatment for metastatic urothelial cancer.

Astellas representatives noted that urothelial cancer surfaces most often (90 percent of the time) in the bladder. Approximately 79,000 individuals in the U.S. will be diagnosed with bladder cancer during 2017; and close to 17,000 are expected to die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.

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Astellas Pharma US, Inc. 1 Astellas Way Northbrook, IL - 60062