Let me start by saying that the clinical statistics and information on the product discussed in this post is available either on the Seattle Genetics site or  US government clinical trail website. Now that that’s out of the way let’s get on to the good stuff.

I’m a nerd. As much as I might strive to prove otherwise through various endeavors of machismo, or engaging in melodramatic altercations with that middle aged guy in the mirror, I’m still a nerd. Don’t get me wrong, you want to strap on a parachute and jump out of a plane or barrel down the mountain on a pair of skis and I’m your’re man. I just also happen t0 periodically read biochem books for fun and dream up half crocked laboratory experiments to pitch at the head of state university’s biosciences department. Yep, I’m a geek.  As a result, I have a tendency to strike up some unusual conversations and get excited about some pretty obscure things, hence the subject matter for this post.

Roughly a year ago in one of my habitual bouts of networking I made the acquaintance of the owner of a clinical trails oversight company. He’s a really awesome guy and unfortunately for him, our occasional morning coffees provide a great excuse for me to indulge my internal dweeb. I of course salivate over the chance to explore the mechanism of action on the latest pharmaceutical concoction, which lead to a conversation about Seattle Genetics and some of their upcoming cancer treatment drugs. Our discussion of Seattle Genetics began over year ago. At that point my friend had been monitoring their trails for some time and was stunned by the results. Right now they’re either preparing to or have begun stage three trials for at least one drug, which means things could hit the market in a couple of years. There have been almost no adverse reactions, especially in comparison to standard chemotherapy, and according to the conversations we’ve have had, the remission levels are astounding. Here’s the skinny on how it works.

Seattle Genetics has created what’s know as an antibody-drug conjugates or ADC. There are essentially two parts to it. The first, known as the antibody portion bonds with a structure that is unique to the surface of lymphoma cells. It could be described as a lock and key situation where this key only fits a lock exclusive to lymphoma cells. When the antibody portion comes in contact with that specific structure, called a glycoprotein, it bonds with it and causes the cell to absorb it. Outside of the cell the second part of the system known as the drug payload, is inactive. Once it’s absorb inside the cell, the cell attempts to digest in and in turn activates the drug payload. As soon as it’s activated the drug payload kills and destroys the lymphoma cell. In essence what Seattle Genetics appears to have designed is a drug which targets and kills ONLY lymphoma cells. It’s a brilliant piece of bioengineering and could prove to be monumental if it continues to deliver the results communicated thus far.

While this blog’s primary theme is general sales skills, its secondary motif is to relate to medical and pharma. As an effective sales person you always have to keep an ear close to the ground for changes coming within your industry and this one could have huge ramifications for the oncology market. Information like this is helpful in structuring and setting longer term goals and I hope it help some of you medical folks. On the flip side, if any other overly science minded individuals happen to come across this post, I hope you enjoy the elegance of this drug as much as I did. Thanks for reading.

 

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