BeiGene and Medison Pharma Announce Exclusive Distribution Agreement and Acceptance of New Drug Application for BTK Inhibitor BRUKINSA™ (zanubrutinib) in Israel

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and BEIJING, China and PETACH TIKVA, Israel, May 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BeiGene, Ltd. (NASDAQ: BGNE; HKEX: 06160), a commercial-stage biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing innovative molecularly-targeted and immuno-oncology drugs for the treatment of cancer, and Medison Pharma Ltd., a leading global commercial partner for biotech and pharma companies that operates in Israel, Canada, and Central and Eastern Europe, today announced an exclusive distribution agreement for Medison to commercialize BeiGene’s BTK inhibitor BRUKINSA™ (zanubrutinib) in Israel and the acceptance of a new drug application (NDA) in Israel for BRUKINSA for the treatment of patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) who have received at least one prior therapy.

“Our first distribution agreement for BRUKINSA and the acceptance of our first NDA outside of the United States and China marks a significant step in realizing our global commercialization plans. We are excited to work with Medison, a leader in drug commercialization with extensive experience, to bring our potentially best-in-class BTK inhibitor to patients in Israel,” commented Howard Liang, Ph.D., CFO and Chief Strategy Officer of BeiGene. “In addition, our planned expansion into new markets illustrates BeiGene’s patient-first principle and commitment to bringing meaningful treatments to patients worldwide.”

"We are thrilled and inspired by the opportunity to help patients by enabling access to BRUKINSA, and we plan to work closely with regulators to bring this innovative product to the market here as quickly as possible,” said Meir Jakobsohn, Founder and CEO, Medison Pharma. "We are happy to find in BeiGene a partner that understands the mutual value our companies can unlock together and are honored to be the first company in the world to sign a distribution agreement with BeiGene for BRUKINSA."

About BRUKINSA™ (zanubrutinib)

BRUKINSA (zanubrutinib) is a small molecule inhibitor of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) discovered by BeiGene scientists that is currently being evaluated globally in a broad pivotal clinical program as a monotherapy and in combination with other therapies to treat various B-cell malignancies. BRUKINSA was granted accelerated approval by the U.S. FDA to treat adult patients with MCL who have received at least one prior therapy in November 2019. This accelerated approval is based on overall response rate (ORR). Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial.

New Drug Applications (NDAs) in China for relapsed refractory (R/R) MCL and R/R chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) have been accepted by the China National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) and granted priority review.

BRUKINSA is not approved for use outside of the United States.


Warnings and Precautions


Fatal and serious hemorrhagic events have occurred in patients with hematological malignancies treated with BRUKINSA monotherapy. Grade 3 or higher bleeding events including intracranial and gastrointestinal hemorrhage, hematuria and hemothorax have been reported in 2% of patients treated with BRUKINSA monotherapy. Bleeding events of any grade, including purpura and petechiae, occurred in 50% of patients treated with BRUKINSA monotherapy.

Bleeding events have occurred in patients with and without concomitant antiplatelet or anticoagulation therapy. Co-administration of BRUKINSA with antiplatelet or anticoagulant medications may further increase the risk of hemorrhage.

Monitor for signs and symptoms of bleeding. Discontinue BRUKINSA if intracranial hemorrhage of any grade occurs. Consider the benefit-risk of withholding BRUKINSA for 3-7 days pre- and post-surgery depending upon the type of surgery and the risk of bleeding.


Fatal and serious infections (including bacterial, viral, or fungal) and opportunistic infections have occurred in patients with hematological malignancies treated with BRUKINSA monotherapy. Grade 3 or higher infections occurred in 23% of patients treated with BRUKINSA monotherapy. The most common Grade 3 or higher infection was pneumonia. Infections due to hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation have occurred.

Consider prophylaxis for herpes simplex virus, pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia and other infections according to standard of care in patients who are at increased risk for infections. Monitor and evaluate patients for fever or other signs and symptoms of infection and treat appropriately.


Grade 3 or 4 cytopenias, including neutropenia (27%), thrombocytopenia (10%) and anemia (8%) based on laboratory measurements, were reported in patients treated with BRUKINSA monotherapy.

Monitor complete blood counts during treatment and treat using growth factor or transfusions, as needed.

Second Primary Malignancies

Second primary malignancies, including non-skin carcinoma, have occurred in 9% of patients treated with BRUKINSA monotherapy. The most frequent second primary malignancy was skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of skin), reported in 6% of patients. Advise patients to use sun protection.

Cardiac Arrhythmias

Atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter have occurred in 2% of patients treated with BRUKINSA monotherapy. Patients with cardiac risk factors, hypertension, and acute infections may be at increased risk. Grade 3 or higher events were reported in 0.6% of patients treated with BRUKINSA monotherapy. Monitor signs and symptoms for atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter and manage as appropriate.

Embryo-Fetal Toxicity

Based on findings in animals, BRUKINSA can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Administration of zanubrutinib to pregnant rats during the period of organogenesis caused embryo-fetal toxicity, including malformations at exposures that were 5 times higher than those reported in patients at the recommended dose of 160 mg twice daily. Advise women to avoid becoming pregnant while taking BRUKINSA and for at least 1 week after the last dose. Advise men to avoid fathering a child during treatment and for at least 1 week after the last dose. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to a fetus.

Adverse Reactions

The most common adverse reactions in > 10% of patients who received BRUKINSA were neutrophil count decreased (53%), platelet count decreased (39%), upper respiratory tract infection (38%), white blood cell count decreased (30%), hemoglobin decreased (29%), rash (25%), bruising (23%), diarrhea (20%), cough (20%), musculoskeletal pain (19%), pneumonia (18%), urinary tract infection (13%), hematuria (12%), fatigue (11%), constipation (11%), and hemorrhage (10%). The most frequent serious adverse reactions were pneumonia (11%) and hemorrhage (5%).

Of the 118 patients with MCL treated with BRUKINSA, 8 (7%) patients discontinued treatment due to adverse reactions in the trials. The most frequent adverse reaction leading to treatment discontinuation was pneumonia (3.4%). One (0.8%) patient experienced an adverse reaction leading to dose reduction (hepatitis B). 

Drug Interactions

CYP3A Inhibitors: When BRUKINSA is co-administered with a strong CYP3A inhibitor, reduce BRUKINSA dose to 80 mg once daily. For coadministration with a moderate CYP3A inhibitor, reduce BRUKINSA dose to 80 mg twice daily.

CYP3A Inducers: Avoid coadministration with moderate or strong CYP3A inducers.

Specific Populations

Hepatic Impairment:  The recommended dose of BRUKINSA for patients with severe hepatic impairment is 80 mg orally twice daily.


BRUKINSA is a kinase inhibitor indicated for the treatment of adult patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) who have received at least one prior therapy.

This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on overall response rate. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial.

Please see full Prescribing Information at and Patient Information at

About the Zanubrutinib Clinical Trial Program

Clinical trials of zanubrutinib include:

  • Fully-enrolled Phase 3 ASPEN clinical trial in patients with Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (WM) comparing zanubrutinib to ibrutinib (NCT03053440), currently the only approved BTK inhibitor for WM;

  • Phase 3 SEQUOIA trial comparing zanubrutinib with bendamustine plus rituximab in patients with treatment-naive (TN) chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) (NCT03336333);

  • Phase 3 ALPINE trial comparing zanubrutinib to ibrutinib in patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) CLL/SLL (NCT03734016);

  • Phase 3 trial comparing zanubrutinib and rituximab to bendamustine and rituximab in patients with untreated MCL (NCT04002297);

  • Phase 2 MAGNOLIA trial in patients with R/R marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) (NCT03846427);

  • Phase 2 ROSEWOOD trial (NCT03332017) in China comparing obinutuzumab and zanubrutinib vs obinutuzumab alone in treating patients with R/R FL;

  • Phase 2 trial (NCT04382586) in the U.S. comparing zanubrutinib plus supportive care, to placebo plus supportive care for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 disease and pulmonary distress;

  • Completed Phase 2 trials in patients with R/R MCL (NCT03206970) and R/R CLL/SLL (NCT03206918); and

  • Completed enrollment in Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with WM (NCT03332173).

About BeiGene

BeiGene is a global, commercial-stage biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing, manufacturing, and commercializing innovative medicines to improve treatment outcomes and access for patients worldwide. Our 3,800+ employees in China, the United States, Australia, and Europe are committed to expediting the development of a diverse pipeline of novel therapeutics for cancer. We currently market two internally-discovered oncology products: BTK inhibitor BRUKINSA™ (zanubrutinib) in the United States, and anti-PD-1 antibody tislelizumab in China. We also market or plan to market in China additional oncology products licensed from Amgen Inc., Celgene Logistics Sàrl, a Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) company, and EUSA Pharma. To learn more about BeiGene, please visit and follow us on Twitter at @BeiGeneUSA.

About Medison Pharma

Medison is one of the world’s largest commercial partner of leading global biotech companies, providing the complete spectrum of integrated services for international companies looking to enter or expand their presence in Israel, Canada and CEE markets. Medison operates a corporate venture arm with a dedicated research and evaluation team boasting deep scientific and commercial backgrounds. Medison also operates a scouting program to cater its partners and is an active investor in life science projects around drug development and digital health.

Forward-Looking Statements for BeiGene

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other federal securities laws, including statements regarding the distribution agreement, new drug application and potential approval and commercialization of BRUKINSA in Israel and BeiGene’s planned expansion into new markets. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including BeiGene's ability to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of its drug candidates; the clinical results for its drug candidates, which may not support further development or marketing approval; actions of regulatory agencies, which may affect the initiation, timing and progress of clinical trials and marketing approval; BeiGene's ability to achieve commercial success for its marketed products and drug candidates, if approved; BeiGene's ability to obtain and maintain protection of intellectual property for its technology and drugs; BeiGene's reliance on third parties to conduct drug development, manufacturing and other services; BeiGene’s limited operating history and BeiGene's ability to obtain additional funding for operations and to complete the development and commercialization of its drug candidates; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company’s clinical development, commercial and other operations, as well as those risks more fully discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in BeiGene’s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in BeiGene's subsequent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of this press release, and BeiGene undertakes no duty to update such information unless required by law.

BeiGene Investor ContactBeiGene Media Contact
Craig WestLiza Heapes or Vivian Ni
+1 857-302-5189+1 857-302-5663 or + 1 857-302-7596
Medison Contact 
Gil Gurfinkel 
VP Corporate Development