BerGenBio AS announces that preclinical data demonstrating that lead compound, BGB324, combined with immune checkpoint inhibitors has the potential to synergistically improve treatment of human cancers, has been presented at the American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting (AACR), April 16-20, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
BGB324 is a first-in-class, highly selective, orally bioavailable small molecule inhibitor of the Axl receptor tyrosine kinase. It blocks the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which is a key driver in immune evasion, drug-resistance and metastasis.
The poster presentation entitled: “BGB324, a selective small molecule inhibitor of the receptor tyrosine kinase AXL, enhances immune checkpoint inhibitor efficacy“, was held on Sunday April 17, 2016 as part of the session on Immune Modulating Agents 1. The data demonstrates that selective inhibition of Axl signalling with BGB324 significantly increased responsiveness to immune checkpoint blockade in syngeneic mammary and lung cancer mouse models. It was found that the combination of BGB324 with different immune checkpoint inhibitors (anti-CTLA-4, anti-PD-1, anti-PD-L1) displayed increased infiltration of cytotoxic T lymphocytes and natural killer cells and significantly improved anti-tumour responses.
Richard Godfrey, Chief Executive Officer of BerGenBio, commented:
“We are pleased with the encouraging preclinical data on BGB324 presented at the annual AACR meeting. Whilst BGB324 is currently in clinical trials as a single agent and in combination with standard of care drug in acute myeloid leukaemia, and in combination with erlotinib in non-small cell lung cancer; this data suggests it also has the potential to be used in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors, an important emerging class of anti-cancer drug, to enhance their efficacy.”