The solid, but by no means extreme, launch of Seattle Genetics'
It was what Seattle Genetics didn't say that might interest investors most: how much Adcetris it plans to sell this year. Clearly $132 million, the current run rate, isn't going to cut it.
I can't really blame Seattle Genetics for skirting the issue. As Dendreon
On the conference call, one intrepid analyst tried asking for cash guidance for the end of the year. The company laid out expenditures for the year, so with the cash level, one could work back up the profit-loss statement to figure out the expected sales.
Management didn't bite.
All they were willing to say is that the company didn't expect to have to raise capital this year. So we know Seattle Genetics will burn through less than $330 million this year, the amount in the coffers at the end of the year. Last year the company spent only about $200 million in cash, so that doesn't tell us much.
In the short term, sales of Adcetris will be defined by how long patients stay on the drug. Unlike a drug like Vertex Pharmaceuticals'
Longer term, expanding Adcetris into other indications, including solid tumors, will drive sales. The drug looks mighty impressive as a first-line treatment for T-cell lymphomas, but it'll be a while before phase 3 data confirms the early results and Seattle Genetics is able to gain FDA approval for the indication.