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BeiGene and Ensem Therapeutics in $1.33bn agreement to advance CDK2 inhibitor

BeiGene, a global biotechnology company, and Ensem Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focusing on high-value and difficult-to-drug oncology targets, have announced an agreement for BeiGene to acquire an exclusive global license to an Investigational New Drug (IND) application-ready oral cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) inhibitor.

“We are committed to developing novel molecules with the potential to transform the therapeutic landscape for cancer patients, and this partnership fits well with our strategic focus on breast cancer as an area with tremendous unmet need for innovative treatment options,” said Lai Wang, Ph.D., Global Head of R&D at BeiGene.

“This CDK2 inhibitor from ENSEM complements our internally discovered Phase 1 CDK4 inhibitor, which has the potential to improve upon current CDK4/6 inhibitors in some breast cancer patients, and strengthens our early development pipeline in breast cancer and other solid tumors. We are excited to work with ENSEM to bring this molecule into the clinic in the near future.”

Under the terms of the agreement, ENSEM will receive an upfront payment, and will be eligible for additional payments upon the achievement of certain development, regulatory, and commercial milestones, totaling up to $1.33 billion, in addition to tiered royalties.

“We are pleased to partner with BeiGene on the development of this differentiated CDK2 inhibitor,” said Shengfang Jin, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer at ENSEM. “We believe BeiGene is the right partner to advance our first IND-ready asset due to their wealth of expertise in bringing innovative cancer therapies to patients globally.

“This partnership validates the capabilities of ENSEM’s drug discovery and development team and the ability to rapidly advance potential best-in-class or first-in-class molecules utilizing our Kinetic Ensemble® platform. We look forward to progressing our additional pipeline programs to help patients in need and supporting BeiGene’s important work to take this therapy into clinical trials.”


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