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Joint Effort on Cancer Drug Ended

Seattle Genetics said Tuesday that Genentech ended a three-year collaboration on a possible cancer drug, but analysts said the move would have little effect on either company.

Seattle Genetics said it would continue development of SGN-14, a genetically engineered antibody, on its own. It considers the molecule a potential treatment for certain cancers of the blood, such as multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Neither company offered a reason for ending the collaboration. Genentech handled preclinical development of the molecule, a process that typically involves tests in animals. Genentech previously told investors that it planned to begin testing the experimental drug on humans this year.

In a research note, CIBC World Markets analyst Matthew Geller called the news a “minor negative” for Seattle Genetics, which has two other experimental cancer drugs in clinical trials. He said a second collaboration between South San Francisco-based Genentech and Seattle Genetics would continue.

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Seattle Genetics shares fell 18 cents to $2.64 on Nasdaq, and Genentech shares rose $1.09 to $32.55 on the New York Stock Exchange. Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates owns 11.8% of Bothell, Wash.-based Seattle Genetics, and Paul Allen, who also founded Microsoft, owns 9.1%.


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