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BenGenBio Drug Moves Forward

Norway’s BerGenBio has finished up a $15 million round to push its lead Axl kinase inhibitor into new Phase I and Phase II studies for acute myeloid leukemia.

BerGenBio is in the early stages of developing a pipeline of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) inhibitors, with three antibodies and a small molecule for triple negative breast cancer in the lead optimization phase. In addition to AML, lead drug BGB324 is also being studied for non-small cell lung cancer, liver fibrosis and CML.

“Our recent research findings have shown broader potential clinical application for BGB324, and we intend to evaluate these in additional Phase I and Phase II clinical trials starting in 2015,” noted CEO Richard Godfrey. “In aggressive drug resistant cancers our on-going Phase 1b trial in AML is expected to report towards the end of 2015 and in non-small-cell-lung-cancer we will start enrolling patients very soon.”

Over the last few years a number of cancer drug developers have opened near Oslo, many hoping to imitate the success of Algeta, which was bought out by Bayer for $2.9 billion.