BerGenBio Announces New Preclinical Data Indicating Broadened Potential for Bemcentinib to Treat Severe Respiratory Infections

Bergen, Norway, February 7, 2024, – BerGenBio ASA (OSE: BGBIO), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, selective AXL kinase inhibitors for severe unmet medical needs, today announced that Dr. Mirella Spalluto of the University of Southampton today presented “Investigating the effects of AXL inhibition during respiratory viral infections” during the 6th Forum on Respiratory Infections in Glasgow, Scotland.

The data presented by Dr. Spalluto showed bemcentinib had activity in human in vitro models of infection caused by Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), influenza and rhinovirus. In these models, bemcentinib downregulated IL-6 and IL-8, two important inflammatory cytokines associated with the severity of hospitalized respiratory infections.

Clinically, patients with viral respiratory infections can develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a life-threatening condition.  In ARDS patients, cytokines – a type of inflammatory protein – are released bringing neutrophils to the lung to fight infection. These proteins, however, can leak into blood vessels, traveling through the body resulting in inflammation of other organs which may lead to organ failure.

Cristina Oliva, MD, Chief Medical Officer at BerGenBio commented on the relevance of these new data: “The findings of cytokine down-regulation in preclinical models align with samples from patients treated with bemcentinib in previous clinical studies of hospitalized COVID-19. These data indicate that bemcentinib may be a helpful addition to supportive care in patients with ARDS resulting from a variety of common viral infections.  The need for new therapeutics in this patient population is acute, with the morality rate from viral ARDS estimated at between 27-45%.  We look forward to conducting additional preclinical evaluation of bemcentinib’s activity in severe respiratory infections to further bolster our understanding in this important area.”





Martin Olin CEO, BerGenBio ASA


Rune Skeie, CFO, BerGenBio ASA


Investor Relations / Media Relations


Jan Lilleby




About Bemcentinib


Bemcentinib is a potentially first-in-class, potent and highly selective inhibitor of the tyrosine kinase AXL.  Extensive studies confirm the ability to combine bemcentinib with immune checkpoint inhibitors, chemotherapies and targeted therapies with the goal of improving a patient’s immune response and delaying the development of chemoresistance.  Bemcentinib is currently being investigated in combination with immune checkpoint inhibition and chemotherapy in first line NSCLC patients harboring mutations in the STK11 gene, a known prognostic factor of poor response to existing therapies.


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


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.