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BerGenBio ASA and Merck & Co. partner for phase II combination lung cancer trials.

M2 PHARMA-March 9, 2017-BerGenBio ASA and Merck & Co. partner for phase II combination lung cancer trials


Norwegian BerGenBio ASA announced on Wednesday that it has formed a partnership with Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) (known as MSD outside the US and Canada) and will conduct Phase II combination studies of its oral Axl kinase blocker BGB324 alongside Merck's PD-1 inhibitor KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).

The compound Axl kinase was chosen as it promotes cancer cell migration, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), tumour cell proliferation and therapy resistance, according to European Biotechnology, which said that the the protein is overexpressed in the membranes of 60% of lung cancers, highly invasive breast cancers, and pancreatic cancer as well as in acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Studies have suggested that this overexpression can result in a resistance to both targeted therapies and conventional chemotherapy in different models, including lung cancer, breast cancer resistant to EGFR inhibition, oesophageal carcinoma, gastrointestinal stromal tumours and AML.

BerGenBio will conduct two international Phase II studies to evaluate the potential clinical synergy of combining BGB324 with Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy.

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Publication:M2 Pharma
Date:Mar 9, 2017
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