In-Licensing further strengthens intellectual property estate for the treatment of Non-Small Cell Cancer (NSCLC) patients with STK11 mutations
Bergen, Norway, 16 December 2021 – BerGenBio ASA (OSE:BGBIO), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, selective AXL inhibitors for severe unmet medical needs, announced today the licensing of certain intellectual property from the UT Southwestern Medical Center. The exclusive license to intellectual property generated by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center supports the Company’s existing IP position underlying use of AXL inhibitors, including its lead product candidate bemcentinib, for the treatment of patients harboring STK11 mutations in NSCLC. No financial terms have been disclosed.
The STK11 mutation is observed in up to 20% of NSCLC patients. STK11 is an important tumor suppressor gene associated with a poor prognosis in NSCLC patients and which has been reported in some studies to confer resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors.
Researchers at the UT Southwestern Medical Center and BerGenBio recently presented data at the 2021 Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 36th Annual Meeting exploring why patients harboring a mutation to the STK11 gene may not respond to anti-PD1 therapy, a commonly used treatment in first line NSCLC patients. Preclinical research further indicated that the addition of the selective AXL inhibitor bemcentinib restored the activity of anti-PD1 treatment in relevant lung cancer models
Martin Olin, Chief Executive Officer at BerGenBio, commented: “The license agreement with UT Southwestern Medical Center complements our existing intellectual property filings in this important patient population which appears to poorly respond to anti-PD1 therapy. We will continue to explore how this target group might be addressed by the combination of bemcentinib and an immune checkpoint inhibitor.”
Martin Olin CEO, BerGenBio ASA
Rune Skeie, CFO, BerGenBio ASA
International Media Relations
Mary-Jane Elliott, Chris Welsh, Lucy Featherstone
Consilium Strategic Communications
+44 20 3709 5700
About BerGenBio ASA
BerGenBio is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing transformative drugs targeting AXL as a potential cornerstone of therapy for aggressive diseases, including immune-evasive, therapy resistant cancers. The company’s proprietary lead candidate, bemcentinib, is a potentially first-in-class selective AXL inhibitor in a broad phase II clinical development programme focused on combination and single agent therapy in cancer and COVID-19. A first-in-class functional blocking anti-AXL antibody, tilvestamab, is undergoing phase I clinical testing. In parallel, BerGenBio is developing companion diagnostic tests to potentially identify patient populations most likely to benefit from AXL inhibition. This is expected to facilitate more efficient registration trials supporting a precision medicine-based commercialisation strategy.
BerGenBio is based in Bergen, Norway with a subsidiary in Oxford, UK. The company is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (ticker: BGBIO). For more information, visit www.bergenbio.com
Forward looking statements
This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, which as such are not historical facts, but are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions. These assumptions are inherently subject to significant known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other important factors. Such risks, uncertainties, contingencies and other important factors could cause actual events to differ materially from the expectations expressed or implied in this announcement by such forward-looking statements.