Jumpstart to the clinic

China's BeiGene jumps into clinic with first-in-class cancer compounds from J&J

After spending a year building a discovery pipeline from scratch, BeiGene Ltd. last week in-licensed two compounds from Johnson & Johnson that move the Chinese biotech into Phase II. The first-in-class programs include a mAb with Phase II data in melanoma, and a tyrosine kinase inhibitor in Phase I for solid tumors.

BeiGene was founded last year in Beijing to discover and develop compounds for cancers prevalent in Asia, such as liver cancers, gastric cancers and nasopharyngeal carcinoma (see BioCentury, Nov. 15, 2010).

President Peter Ho said that BeiGene has grown from a dozen employees to a staff of

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