Seattle Genetics taps pharma oncology veteran as first-ever chief commercial officer

Seattle Genetics CCO Robin Taylor
The first chief commercial officer for Seattle Genetics joins after a long oncology launch career at AstraZeneca and Genentech. (Seattle Genetics)

Now well on its way to becoming a multiproduct oncology company, Seattle Genetics has decided the time is right to bring in its first chief commercial officer.

New CCO Robin Taylor is an 18-year oncology drug commercialization veteran with global launch experience from time spent rolling out Imfinzi at AstraZeneca and Tecentriq, Alecensa, Avastin and Herceptin at Roche's Genentech.

Taylor joins Seattle Genetics after a “remarkable year,” as the company noted in its annual report for 2018. Seattle Genetics notched two new FDA indications for cancer-fighter Adcetris, including one biologic license application that was approved in just 11 days, and advanced its product pipeline with three programs now in pivotal trials for solid tumors.

RELATED: Seattle Genetics CEO goes inside its lightning-quick Adcetris nod, courtesy of FDA's real-time pilot

That brings the total to six indications for Adcetris, which treats multiple kinds of CD30-expressing lymphomas. Adcetris sales increased 55% in 2018 to $477 million, and in its annual report, the company said the drug “could exceed $1 billion in global sales in 2019.” It partners with Takeda on Adcentris outside of the U.S. and Canada.

As for other pipeline drug advances, in March, Seattle Genetics announced positive top-line results from a pivotal trial for enfortumab vedotin (EV), which it is developing alongside Astellas to treat metastatic urothelial cancer. EV was granted a breakthrough designation last year, and Seattle Genetics and Astellas said they expect to submit a biologics license application to the FDA this year. Other recent late-stage trials include one looking at tucatinib in metastatic breast cancer another examining tisotumab vedotin for cervical cancer.

RELATED: Seattle Genetics' Adcetris scores first-line lymphoma nod, setting up 'biggest opportunity' yet

Taylor will be a key player in helping the now 20-year-old company extend its “commercial execution across six Adcetris lymphoma indications, while preparing for the potential launch of enfortumab vedotin and leading our global commercialization strategy for possible future products, such as tucatinib,” President and CEO Clay Siegall said in a press release.

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