BerGenBio is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative drugs for aggressive diseases, including immune evasive, drug resistant and metastatic cancers. It focuses on AXL inhibitors bemcentinib (small molecule) and tilvestamab (mAb).
BerGenBio (BGBIO) is a pioneer in AXL biology and the development of AXL inhibitors, and has two clinical stage assets: selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor bemcentinib and functional blocking monoclonal antibody tilvestamab. AXL expression is a negative prognostic marker in most cancers. Its upregulation drives aggressive disease including drug resistant, immune-evasive and metastatic cancers, as well as fibrosis and viral infection. Selective AXL inhibition can prevent and reverse acquired drug resistance and stop immune suppression, potentially augmenting the efficacy of other cancer drug classes. BGBIO’s strategy in oncology is to establish bemcentinib’s efficacy in proof-of-concept studies to identify opportunities for rapid regulatory approval (relapse AML in combination with LDAC) and concurrently develop line extensions (2L NSCLC in combination with Keytruda). Two ongoing Phase II trials are also exploring its efficacy in COVID-19.
Understanding the tumour microenvironment and why even with initial positive response to treatment, cancers often exhibit tumour proliferation, metastasis and treatment resistance is becoming an ever-more critical focus area. The role of AXL is becoming increasingly defined in tumorigenesis, propagation and treatment resistance.