BeiGene stakes up to $1.33B on Ensem CDK2 inhibitor

Nov. 21, 2023

With an eye on innovative cancer treatments, BeiGene has acquired an exclusive global license to Ensem Therapeutics' IND application-ready oral cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) inhibitor.

According to Ensem, the program, currently known as ETX-197, has the potential to treat patients with tumors that have cyclin E amplification and patients who have acquired resistance to standard of care due to dysregulation of CDK2 activity. While CDK2 is a preclinically validated oncology target, there is currently no CDK2-specific drug on the market, says Ensem.

“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,” said Lai Wang, BeiGene's global head of R&D.

Per the deal, BeiGene will hand the Massachusetts-based biotech — which emerged from stealth mode last year — an upfront payment as well as additional milestone payments totaling up to $1.33 billion, plus royalties.