Nordic Life Science 1
stage biopharmaceutical company BerGenBio, founde
d in 2007, is based on identification and understanding of the protein AXL kinase. This protein is increased in aggressive cancer, it allows the cancer cell to acquire resistance to drugs, to hide from the immune system, and to spread around the body. In order to make cancer treatment more effective, BerGenBio’s drug blocks and inhibits the AXL signal. The company is basen in Bergen, Norway and has a subsidiary in Oxford, UK. It is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Nordic Life Science (NLS) asked Richard Godfrey (RG), its CEO, about BerGenBio’s business strategy and what results we can expect during 2020. NLS: Your lead program, bemcentinib, is in several phase II programs, on its own but also in combination with other drugs. What’s new with these, what current results are you most excited about, and what 22 NORDICLIFESCIENCE.ORG opportunities do you have on the market for cancer treatments? RG: Our focus is in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and we see both first-line (1L) and second-line (2L) opportunities where AXL inhibition with bemcentinib can modify progression of the disease and provide improved patient outcomes. Bemcentinib is very well tolerated and combines well with other drugs. In recent years both diseases have seen substantial improvement in 1L standard of care, leaving somewhat of a vacuum in 2L; which represents a significant unmet medical need and presents very attractive market opportunities. We have 2L phase II trials ongoing in both indications. Early results from both are very encouraging and additional data will read out in the coming months and will inform our registration strategy.