Update (29/1/18): BerGenBio’s cancer drug BGB324 has achieved encouraging results during four different Phase II studies. In data presented at the ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium, BGB324 demonstrated good safety in combination with Keytruda and stimulated an immune response in acute myeloid leukemia patients as a monotherapy. Next, we will see if these immunomodulatory effects can lead to the effective treatment of cancer.
Originally published on 19/10/2017
BerGenBio will test its lead candidate, BGB324, in combination with Keytruda to stop advanced breast cancer in its tracks.
BerGenBio develops AXL kinase inhibitors for multiple cancer indications. The company dosed its first patient in a Phase II trial to test its lead candidate, BGB324, in combination with Keytruda – an antibody that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells. It‘s been a good year for the Norwegian biotech, which raised €43.55M to beat the record biotech IPO on the Norwegian Stock Exchange and its market cap now stands at NOK 1.1B (€120M).
AXL kinase is a receptor found on tumor cells and its activation drives epithelial-mesenchymal transition. This causes aggressive cancer traits like cell proliferation, immune evasion, and migration. BerGenBio scientists were the first to recognize the receptor‘s importance to cancer, and BGB324 is the only small molecule AXL kinase inhibitor in clinical development.
Although breast cancer 5-year survival is promising at early stages, it drops to 15% in advanced patients. 20% of breast cancers are resistant to 3 common hormone therapies. This limits treatment options to intense chemotherapy, but BerGenBio could offer a solution. It’s worth keeping an eye out for Transgene‘s oncolytic virus vaccine and Genenta‘s genetically modified stem cells, which are also active in the field.
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