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First Patient Dosed with Cancer Drug Bemcentinib in COVID-19 Trial

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 04 Jun 2020
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Image: First Patient Dosed with Cancer Drug Bemcentinib in COVID-19 Trial (Photo courtesy of BerGenBio ASA)
Image: First Patient Dosed with Cancer Drug Bemcentinib in COVID-19 Trial (Photo courtesy of BerGenBio ASA)
Dosing of bemcentinib has commenced in the UK government-backed Phase II clinical trial for assessing the cancer drug in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Bemcentinib, BerGenBio ASA’s (Bergen, Norway), proprietary lead candidate, is a potentially first-in-class selective AXL inhibitor in a broad Phase II oncology clinical development program focused on combination and single agent therapy in lung cancer, leukemia and COVID-19. A first-in-class functional blocking anti-AXL antibody, tilvestamab, is undergoing Phase I clinical testing. Bemcentinib was selected as the first candidate to be tested as part of the ACcelerating COVID-19 Research & Development platform (ACCORD) study, launched by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in April this year. ACCORD brings together a single, UK-wide clinical trial platform to rapidly test potential drugs through early stage clinical trials and feed them into the UK’s large-scale COVID-19 studies.

The first patient has been dosed with bemcentinib at the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. The study is open in a further seven sites across the UK. The Phase II study will recruit 120 subjects in total, assessing the safety and efficacy of bemcentinib as an add-on therapy to standard of care (SoC) in 60 hospitalized COVID-19 patients with a further 60 control group patients receiving SoC. BerGenBio anticipates that top line data will readout later in the summer. Data will be open source and freely available to enable global knowledge sharing and collaboration. If positive results are seen, bemcentinib will advance rapidly into the large-scale Phase III trials in the UK.

“We are delighted that dosing has commenced with bemcentinib in the ground-breaking ACCORD study and we hope that patients will swiftly start to see benefits,” said Richard Godfrey, Chief Executive Officer of BerGenBio. “Initiating this clinical trial in such short order is the result of tremendous teamwork between my colleagues at BerGenBio and the teams at IQVIA and UHS, among many others. This illustrates exactly what can be achieved when we all work together and focus on delivering the best experimental drug candidates to patients that so urgently need them. We look forward to providing results as soon as is practically possible and very much hope our drug can fulfill the aims of the study and be used to treat thousands of COVID-19 patients worldwide.”

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