Initial clinical I-O data for bemcentinib (BGB324) is promising

Lighthouse | 29 January 2018

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  • BerGenBio is presenting two posters at the ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium, which include data from 4 of its 6 Phase II clinical trials with the specific, oral Axl inhibitor, bemcentinib (BGB324).
  • The first poster shows that bemcentinib in combination with pembrolizumab (Keytruda) was well tolerated in 34 patients from the Phase II clinical trials in NSCLC, triple-negative breast cancer and melanoma, with the observed serious adverse events similar to those seen with Keytruda alone.
  • The first poster also provides biomarker data, which shows that an Axl immunohistochemistry (IHC) assay can clearly identify Axl expressing tumour and immune cells.
  • The second poster presents data from the Phase II trial in AML and MDS from 35 patients who received bemcentinib monotherapy, in which 2 patients achieved complete response, 5 partial responses, and a further 8 achieved disease stabilisation for over four months.
  • The second poster also showed that in 6 out of 9 analysed patients, there was a diversification of T-cell repertoire, which is indicative of bemcentinib increasing immune activity.
  • Further clinical data from all 6 Phase II clinical trials with bemcentinib as monotherapy and in combination with immuno-oncology, chemotherapy and targeted-treatment regimens will be reported at ASCO in June (see Initiation note from 4 January for full list of clinical trials and settings).

Trinity Delta view: This initial clinical data supports the preclinical results that highlighted bemcentinib’s potential as an immuno-oncology agent.

PD-1/PD-L1 monoclonal antibodies, in particular pembrolizumab, form the backbone of immuno-oncology treatments that are transforming oncology care with other checkpoint inhibitors, but they are associated with severe immunological adverse events. The initial safety data suggests that bemcentinib can be combined safely with these treatments. Also, the increased T-cell diversification in the bemcentinib-treated AML/MDS patients suggests that bemcentinib will be shown to act synergistically with pembrolizumab in the three combination trials.


We initiated on BerGenBio on 4 January and our conservative fair value of the company at the time was NOK31.34/share, since then the shares have risen 70% to NOK36.20. We will now review our valuation, and note that there are several further value inflection points this year with Phase II data being reported from six studies, which could materially increase our valuation of BerGenBio. It should also be remembered that BGB324 has a very wide potential, most notably in combination with immuno-oncology therapies.


29 January 2018

Price (NOK)36.20
Market Cap (NOKm)1,807
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

Franc Gregori
+44 (0) 20 3637 5041


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