BerGenBio is a clinical-stage oncology company advancing first-in-class, selective AXL kinase inhibitors as a potential cornerstone of combination therapy for multiple cancers.
Blocking AXL: a novel approach in cancer therapy
AXL signalling plays a crucial role both in
- tumour cells where it promotes immune evasion, drug resistance and cancer spread, and in
- immune cells where it suppresses tumour recognition and cell-killing.
Therefore, blocking AXL activity represents a novel approach to prevent cancer survival mechanisms and to improve the efficacy of chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immuno-oncology drugs.
Bemcentinib (BGB324): best-in-class selective AXL inhibitor in six phase II clinical trials
Bemcentinib (BGB324) is a potent, selective and orally bioavailable AXL inhibitor and the most-advanced selective AXL inhibitor in clinical trials.
BerGenBio’s phase II programme is focussed on establishing proof of concept that bemcentinib may reverse and prevent resistance to immune, targeted and chemotherapy thus positioning bemcentinib as a potential future cornerstone to cancer therapy. Six phase II trials are ongoing across oncology indications with high unmet medical need:
- Advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
- Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC)
- Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
Companion Diagnostics: selecting patients most likely to benefit from AXL inhibition
In addition, BerGenBio is developing companion diagnostics alongside its clinical trials to identify patients for whom treatment with bemcentinib could lead to improved outcomes. Enriching clinical trials for relevant patient populations has been shown to increase the likelihood to attain regulatory approval by three-fold.
Business model: R&D excellence and strategic partnerships
BerGenBio is leveraging its solid leadership position in understanding the role of AXL and related kinase signalling in disease of high unmet need to develop a diversified pipeline of selective AXL inhibitors, including biologics and small molecules.
Partnerships based on BerGenBio’s pioneering R&D are being employed strategically as for example with:
- MSD, a global pharmaceutical company, who are supplying KEYTRUDA for two clinical trials in NSCLC & TNBC
- ADCT, a Swiss biotech, with whom BerGenBio have entered a licensing agreement to develop an AXL-ADC
- as well as a network of leading clinical sites and key opinion leaders with whom BerGenBio work to ideally position bemcentinib and other pipeline assets.
BerGenBio retains all rights for the future development and commercialisation of its products including companion diagnostics and employs strategic partnerships as needed.