BerGenBio AS, 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."