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BerGenBio Presents Data at AACR-ISLAC Conference on the Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer

BERGEN, Norway, January 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --


Highlights BGB324's potential as a novel treatment for NSCLC in patients with acquired drug resistance

BerGenBio AS ("BerGenBio" or the "Company"), an oncology biopharmaceutical company, announces that preclinical data demonstrating that its lead compound, BGB324 has potential application as a novel treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was presented in a poster at the American Association of Cancer Research and The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer's (AACR-ISLAC) joint conference on the Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer, which took place on January 6-9, 2014.[1]

The study was conducted in collaboration with investigators at the University of Bergen and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and highlights the potential of BGB324, a first-in-class, highly selective small molecule inhibitor of the Axl receptor tyrosine kinase, as a novel therapeutic option for NSCLC.

The study evaluated the effects of BGB324 on NSCLC cells in in vitro 3D assays and in mouse xenograft models, in combination with targeted chemotherapeutic agents. The results demonstrated that BGB324 can overcome acquired drug resistance in in vivo models of NSCLC and suggests that BGB324 may be effective in treating patients with drug-resistant NSCLC, caused by long-term use of the EGFR inhibitor erlotinib (Roche's Tarceva), the current first line treatment for EGFR mutated NSCLC patients. The results also demonstrated that treatment with BGB324 could enhance the antitumor activities of chemotherapeutic and targeted agents such as docetaxel and bevacizumab (Sanofi's Taxotere and Roche's Avastin) in patients with NSCLC.

BGB324 is the only selective Axl inhibitor in clinical development having recently completed a phase Ia clinical trial. Phase Ib clinical trials are planned in acute myeloid leukemia and NSCLC in 2014.

Professor James Lorens, Department of Biomedicine and Centre for Cancer Biomarkers, University of Bergen, Norway and Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of BerGenBio, commented: "The results presented in this poster support our view that targeting Axl is a promising new approach to treating drug resistant cancers. There is an urgent unmet medical need for new therapies that are able to overcome drug resistance, particularly in non-small cell lung cancer. This data suggests that BGB324 has the potential to do this and we look forward to exploring this further in the clinic."

1. Katarzyna Wnuk-Lipinska, Gro Gausdal, Tone Sandal et al.  Selective Small Molecule AXL Inhibitor BGB324 Overcomes Acquired Drug Resistance in Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma Models, AACR-ISLAC joint conference on the Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer, January 6-9, 2014.



About the Axl kinase receptor

Axl is a member of the Tyro3, Axl, Mer receptor (TAMR) tyrosine kinase family and is a fundamental receptor to cancer biology. It plays a crucial role in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) which is a key driver of metastasis (cancer spread) and a mechanism of drug-resistance. The Axl receptor is regarded as one of the most promising new therapeutic targets for cancer drug development.

About Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is an aggressive form of cancer, classified as any type of epithelial lung cancer other than small cell lung carcinoma. About 85% to 90% of lung cancers are NSCLC. There are 3 primary types of NSCLC: adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and large cell carcinoma. The American Cancer Society estimates that 228,190 new cases of NSCLC will be diagnosed in 2013.

About BerGenBio AS

BerGenBio AS is a biopharmaceutical company located in Bergen, Norway. The company is committed to developing first in class therapeutics that inhibit EMT, preventing the formation of cancer stem cells and disrupting the important mechanisms of acquired cancer drug resistance. The company is founded on proprietary platform technology called CellSelect™, which uses information from RNAi screening studies to identify and validate novel drug targets and biomarkers. BGB324 is the first compound in BerGenBio's pipeline to enter clinical trials, with additional compounds and drug targets at different stages of preclinical development.

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