BerGenBio Announces NCI Clinical Collaboration with UT Health San Antonio and Sobi®

Bergen, Norway, May 28, 2024, – BerGenBio ASA (OSE: BGBIO), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, selective AXL kinase inhibitors for severe unmet medical needs, announced today that it has entered into a clinical trial agreement with the Mays Cancer Center at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) and Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB (Sobi®) (STO:SOBI), a specialized international biopharmaceutical company.


The parties will collaborate to study BerGenBio’s selective AXL inhibitor, bemcentinib, in combination with Sobi’s pacritinib in patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma. The clinical study is externally funded and is complementary to BerGenBio’s ongoing Ph1b/2a clinical study in first-line Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer patients with mutations in the STK11 gene.


Bemcentinib is a first-in-class, selective, oral once-a-day inhibitor of AXL receptor tyrosine kinase, a promising therapeutic target for serious diseases. Pacritinib (marketed as VONJO®) is a JAK2 inhibitor indicated for treatment of myelofibrosis, a bone marrow disorder, and works by blocking certain growth factors and cytokines.


The clinical study will advance the ground-breaking work of Josephine A. Taverna, MD, a thoracic oncologist at the Mays Cancer Center and Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at UT Health San Antonio. Dr. Taverna’s prior research has demonstrated that AXL and JAK-STAT3 work together to transmit signals that promote tumor growth and metastasis in advanced lung cancer. The study will be performed in collaboration with Sobi® and will be led by Dr. Taverna as the principal investigator and is funded by a grant received from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


Martin Olin, Chief Executive Officer of BerGenBio stated, “We are excited to work with two stellar partners to bring this intriguing area of research to patients. This study will further extend our knowledge of the role of selective AXL inhibition with bemcentinib in lung cancer, our area of highest strategic focus.”


Dr. Taverna commented, “Our data suggests that targeting the AXL-STAT3 pathway with bemcentinib and pacritinib can prevent tumor cells from recruiting tumor-associated macrophages and other aggressive host cells into the tumor microenvironment, disrupting tumor growth and metastatic spread. Understanding this discovery could shed light on novel therapeutic strategies for lung cancer.”



Martin Olin CEO, BerGenBio ASA


Rune Skeie, CFO, BerGenBio ASA


Investor Relations / Media Relations

Jan Lilleby


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 cancer and severe respiratory infections. The Company is focused on its proprietary lead candidate, bemcentinib, a potentially first-in-class selective AXL inhibitor in development for STK11 mutated NSCLC and severe respiratory infections. 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


About Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio

The Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio is one of only four National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Centers in Texas. The Mays Cancer Center provides leading-edge cancer care, propels innovative cancer research and educates the next generation of leaders to end cancer in South Texas. To learn more, visit


Stay connected with the Mays Cancer Center on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.


About The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) is one of the country’s leading health science universities and is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. With missions of teaching, research, patient care and community engagement, its schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions, graduate biomedical sciences and public health have graduated more than 42,550 alumni who are leading change, advancing their fields and renewing hope for patients and their families throughout South Texas and the world. To learn about the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit


Stay connected with The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.


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.


This information is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.