BeiGene, Ltd., a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative molecularly-targeted and immuno-oncology drugs for the treatment of cancer, and SpringWorks Therapeutics, a clinical-stage rare disease and oncology company focused on sourcing and developing innovative treatments for underserved patient populations, announced today that the companies have entered into a global clinical collaboration agreement to evaluate the safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy of combining BeiGene's investigational RAF dimer inhibitor, lifirafenib (BGB-283) and SpringWorks Therapeutics' investigational MEK inhibitor, PD-0325901, in patients with advanced solid tumors. Under the terms of the agreement, BeiGene will be responsible for administering the Phase 1b clinical trial that is expected to commence during the first quarter of 2019 in patients with advanced solid tumors that harbor RAS, RAF mutations and other MAPK pathway aberrations, with all costs of the clinical studies and governance responsibilities to be shared equally among both parties. SpringWorks Therapeutics will also oversee fixed-dose formulation work as part of the collaboration.
"BeiGene is committed to developing innovative medicines for cancer patients with little or no treatment options. We are delighted to work with SpringWorks Therapeutics to explore the potential benefits of this combination in patients with RAS mutations, a patient population with high unmet medical needs," said John V. Oyler, co-founder, chief executive officer and chairman of BeiGene.
"Mutations in RAS genes are found in roughly one-fourth of all human cancers, making this a critically important area for developing new cancer treatments. Despite decades of research, no anti-RAS therapies have been approved to date," said Saqib Islam, chief executive officer of SpringWorks Therapeutics. "The combination of a MEK inhibitor with a RAF dimer inhibitor has strong scientific rationale, and we look forward to partnering with BeiGene to build upon the existing preclinical data, which have demonstrated potential benefits with this combination therapy approach."