Update On Bemcentinib's Involvement in Potential Treatment of COVID-19 Pandemic


BERGEN, Norway, July 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- BerGenBio AS (OSE:BGBIO), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, selective AXL kinase inhibitors for unmet medical need, notes the UK Research and Innovation's (UKRI) decision to cease the grant funding to the University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust for the COVID-19 ACCORD clinical study in which BerGenBio's bemcentinib was the lead drug candidate to be tested. Subsequently the University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust, who is the study sponsor,  has notified all sites in the ACCORD study to cease recruitment of new patients into the trial.  Patients already recruited, including those dosed with bemcentinib, will continue on treatment as per the protocol.

Bergenbio also confirms it is in late stage set-up phase to sponsor and conduct a similar study to ACCORD in a country of high COVID-19 incidence and expects to be in a position to update the market in the near future.

Richard Godfrey, Chief Executive Officer of BerGenBio, commented: "Bemcentinib still holds great potential for the treatment of COVID-19, hence its selection by the UK Government for its urgent inclusion as the first drug to be dosed in the ACCORD study.  In recent weeks the incidence of COVID-19 in the UK has drastically reduced and as a result the ACCORD programme hasn't moved forward as swiftly as we expected.  We are faced with the reality of the pandemic and need to adapt quickly in order to move forward in the interests of patients. 

"We look forward to sponsoring an oversees study and are pleased that we are well positioned to do this important and rapid testing."

The ACcelerating COVID-19 Research & Development platform (ACCORD) study was being funded by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to rapidly test potential drugs through early stage clinical trials and feed them into the UK's large-scale COVID-19 studies such as the RECOVERY trial, currently the world's largest randomised controlled clinical trial for COVID-19 treatment.

About BerGenBio

BerGenBio is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing transformative drugs targeting AXL as a potential cornerstone of therapy for aggressive diseases, including immune-evasive, therapy resistant cancers. The company's proprietary lead candidate, bemcentinib, is a potentially first-in-class selective AXL inhibitor in a broad Phase II oncology clinical development programme focused on combination and single agent therapy in lung cancer and leukaemia. A first-in-class functional blocking anti-AXL antibody, tilvestamab, is undergoing Phase I clinical testing. In parallel, BerGenBio is developing companion diagnostic tests to identify those patient populations most likely to benefit from bemcentinib: this is expected to facilitate more efficient registration trials supporting a precision medicine-based commercialisation strategy. 

BerGenBio is based in Bergen, Norway with a subsidiary in Oxford, UK. The company is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (ticker: BGBIO). For more information, visit www.bergenbio.com

For more information, please contact

Richard Godfrey CEO, BerGenBio ASA
+47 917 86 304

Rune Skeie, CFO, BerGenBio ASA
+47 917 86 513

International Media Relations

Mary-Jane Elliott, Chris Welsh, Lucy Featherstone, Carina Jurs
Consilium Strategic Communications
+44 7780 600290

Media Relations in Norway

Jan Petter Stiff, Crux Advisers
+47 995 13 891

Forward looking statements

This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, which as such are not historical facts, but are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions. These assumptions are inherently subject to significant known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors. Such risks, uncertainties, contingencies and other important factors could cause actual events to differ materially from the expectations expressed or implied in this announcement by such forward-looking statements.

This information is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.

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Company Codes: Bloomberg:BGBIO@NO, ISIN:NO0010650013, Oslo:BGBIO, RICS:BGBIO.OL

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