Edison Investment Research Limited
London, UK, 17 November 2020
BerGenBio (BGBIO): Initiation - Bemcentinib leading the AXL charge
BerGenBio (BGBIO) is a pioneer in AXL biology and the development of AXL inhibitors: selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) bemcentinib and functional blocking monoclonal antibody tilvestamab. AXL expression is a negative prognostic marker in most cancers. Its upregulation drives aggressive disease including drug resistant, immune-evasive and metastatic cancers, as well as fibrosis and viral infection. AXL signalling is the essential mediator of EMT and immune suppression. Selective AXL inhibition can prevent and reverse acquired drug resistance and stop immune suppression, potentially augmenting the efficacy of other cancer drug classes. Bemcentinib, an oral once-a-day pill, has demonstrated efficacy in 2L AML and 2L NSCLC, and could be the first selective AXL inhibitor to market. We value BGBIO at NOK59.1 per share.
We value BerGenBio at NOK5.16bn or NOK59.1 per share based on a risk-adjusted NPV analysis. The key drivers are bemcentinib in 2L NSCLC (peak sales $1.2bn, NOK40.7/share) and AML (peak sales $588m, NOK13.3/share) plus COVID-19 opportunity (NOK5.9/share). We add net cash of NOK 777.9m at end-Q320 and net off payments due to Rigel (NOK9.8/share). We do not include tilvestamab in our valuation. Key R&D inflection points in 2020/21 will determine registration pathways.
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