Capital raised as new opportunities open up

Lighthouse | 16 April 2018

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  • New preclinical data demonstrate the potential of inhibiting Axl in fibrotic diseases.
  • A paper in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (AJRCCM) shows that Axl expression is elevated in patient tissues and models of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF); bemcentinib (BGB324, specific Axl inhibitor) reduced the development of the disease in preclinical models.
  • A poster presented at the EASL meeting on 13 April showed that expression of Axl was associated with progression of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in preclinical models and bemcentinib prevented the development of fibrosis in advanced NASH models.
  • A poster is also being presented at AACR by BerGenBio’s partner, ADC Therapeutics, which shows that BGB601/ADCT-601 (antibody-drug conjugate targeting cells expressing Axl) has promising activity in triple-negative breast cancer and pancreatic cancer preclinical models. This programme is expected to enter clinical development within the next 12 months.
  • BerGenBio has raised NOK187.5m ($24m) in gross proceeds from the private placement of 4.63m shares at NOK40.50.

Trinity Delta view: This new preclinical data highlights the potential of bemcentinib in fibrotic diseases; these represent several major indications that currently have limited treatment options available. Bemcentinib already has blockbuster potential given its broad potential oncology, especially in the field of immuno-oncology, and these data open up major new market opportunities.

It is likely the BerGenBio will start planning new clinical trials in the field of fibrosis, probably IPF. These could either be with its small molecule bemcentinib or its Axl antibody, BGB149. The company is also well financed now to plan such trials, following the private placement, which we estimate extends the cash runway into 2020.


Our current valuation of BerGenBio is NOK2,519m ($296m) or NOK50.46/share; however, this excludes any consideration of bemcentinib/BGB149 potential in fibrosis. Data from the six Phase II oncology trials with bemcentinib (see initiation note), including the first efficacy data from immuno-oncology settings, is due to be presented at ASCO at 1-5 June, and these could cause a major re-rating of the shares.


16 April 2018

Price (NOK)47.70
Market Cap (NOKm)2,389
Primary exchangeOslo
Company CodeBGBIO
Corporate clientYes

Company description

BerGenBio is a clinical-stage, drug development company based in Bergen, Norway and Oxford, UK. It is developing innovative anti-cancer therapies that act on the promising Axl signalling pathway. The lead oncology compound, BGB324, is in a number of Phase II trials.


Mick Cooper PhD
+44 (0) 20 3637 5042

Lala Gregorek
+44 (0) 20 3637 5043


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