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2023-11-23| Partnerships

BeiGene to Expand Oncology Pipeline Through ENSEM Therapeutics Partnership

by Sinead Huang
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BeiGene, a global biotechnology company, is set to acquire an exclusive global license for an Investigational New Drug (IND) application-ready oral cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) inhibitor from Ensem Therapeutics. In accordance with the terms outlined in the agreement, ENSEM is set to receive an initial upfront payment. Furthermore, the company stands to qualify for supplementary payments contingent upon the successful attainment of specific developmental, regulatory, and commercial milestones, amounting to a cumulative sum of up to $1.33 billion, along with structured royalty payments.

Related article: Putting Patients First: The Quest to Make Anticancer Cell Therapy Accessible to All

BeiGene’s Solid Tumor Breakthrough: Beyond Breast Cancer

BeiGene’s Global Head of R&D, Lai Wang, Ph.D., highlighted the significance of this partnership, emphasizing their commitment to transforming cancer therapy. The collaboration strategically aligns with BeiGene’s focus on breast cancer, recognizing it as an area with significant unmet needs. Dr. Wang expressed enthusiasm about the potential of the CDK2 inhibitor from ENSEM, which complements BeiGene’s internal Phase 1 CDK4 inhibitor.

The strategic rationale extends beyond breast cancer, strengthening BeiGene’s early development pipeline for various solid tumors. ENSEM’s expertise in drug discovery and development, particularly in the realm of difficult-to-drug oncology targets, positions them as valuable partners. This collaboration emphasizes BeiGene’s dedication to bringing innovative therapies to a global patient population.

ENSEM’s Perspective and Kinetic Ensemble® Platform

ENSEM’s President and CEO, Shengfang Jin, Ph.D., expressed satisfaction with partnering with BeiGene on the development of their CDK2 inhibitor. Dr. Jin acknowledged BeiGene as the right partner to advance ENSEM’s first IND-ready asset, citing BeiGene’s global expertise in delivering innovative cancer therapies. This collaboration validates ENSEM’s drug discovery capabilities and its Kinetic Ensemble® platform, emphasizing the rapid advancement of potential best-in-class or first-in-class molecules.

ENSEM’s unique approach integrates computational and AI deep learning methodologies with advanced experimental techniques. The Kinetic Ensemble® platform focuses on high-value and difficult-to-drug targets, contributing to the discovery of innovative small molecule precision medicines for oncology. This collaboration showcases the potential of such platforms in accelerating drug development and bringing novel therapies to patients.

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