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BeyondSpring Lead Asset Plinabulin's Anti-Cancer Mechanism Accepted for Poster Presentation at the 2017 Keystone Symposia in British Columbia

NEW YORK, March 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BeyondSpring Inc. (NASDAQ:BYSI), a global clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of innovative cancer therapies, today announced that an abstract on the molecular action describing the immunological involvement in the anti-cancer effect of BeyondSpring’s lead asset, Plinabulin, has been accepted for poster presentation at this year’s Keystone Symposia’s “Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy: Taking a Place in Mainstream Oncology” meeting in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada.

A PDF accompanying this announcement is available at

The poster, which is the result of an international collaboration of over two years between BeyondSpring and the University of Basel, will be presented during the evening of Tuesday, March 21, 2017, at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. BeyondSpring is advancing Plinabulin, a small molecule that alters the tumor micro-environment and stimulates dendritic cell maturation and T-cell activation, into a global Phase 3 clinical trial for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment and global Phase 2/3 clinical trial for Neutropenia prevention.

Plinabulin inhibits alpha and beta Tubulin from polymerization, clearly shown in a recently solved crystal structure, with a differentiated mechanism of action compared to other Tubulin-targeting agents. By disrupting microtubules, Plinabulin potently activates GEF-H1, which allows it to further promote immune-enhancing effects in subsequent signaling pathways in the cell, with broad anti-cancer applications. The poster highlights the difference between Plinabulin and Tubulin stabilizing agents, such as the taxanes, as the latter do not release GEF-H1 and do not induce the immune-oncology action.

“This poster is the first description of an agent as a GEF-H1 activator in clinical development, positioning Plinabulin as a first-in-class GEF-H1 activator, an immuno-modulatory chemotherapy,” said Dr. Alfred Zippelius, Professor of Oncology at the University of Basel. “Plinabulin’s various mechanisms of action clearly demonstrate why the combination of Plinabulin and Docetaxel and the combination of Plinabulin and PD-1 antibodies are believed to be effective at treating NSCLC, making it a highly attractive asset in combatting cancer. As such, Plinabulin has the potential to fill an unmet medical need by improving outcomes as a second- and third-line treatment for patients with advanced NSCLC.”

“Up to this point, Plinabulin has shown favorable safety and anti-tumor activity in a variety of cancer models, demonstrating its potential efficacy across a broad spectrum of cancers,” added Dr. G. Kenneth Lloyd, BeyondSpring Chief Scientific Officer. “It has also proven to be well-tolerated and shown encouraging anti-tumor activity, generating an amplified immune system response to fight disease.”

“This poster is a milestone for our understanding of Plinabulin's anti-cancer mechanism of action with a well-defined target and pathway,” concluded Dr. Lan Huang, BeyondSpring CEO. “As Plinabulin continues to advance in the clinic for both NSCLC treatment and Neutropenia prevention, BeyondSpring has seen very promising data thus far and looks forward to finding the right strategic partners to further advance our clinical trials and bring Plinabulin to patients as quickly and efficiently as possible. Patients and payors everywhere are in need of a highly effective, inexpensive-to-produce solution, and we’re pleased to be continuing this journey with Plinabulin all of the way to market.”

The 2017 Keystone Symposia’s “Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy: Taking a Place in Mainstream Oncology” meeting will take place on March 19 through 23 at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada.

About BeyondSpring
BeyondSpring is a global clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative immuno-oncology cancer therapies with a robust pipeline from internal development and from collaboration with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington. BeyondSpring is advancing its lead asset, Plinabulin, into a Phase 3 clinical trial as a direct anticancer agent in non-small cell lung cancer and a Phase 2/3 clinical trial in the prevention of chemotherapy-induced Neutropenia. BeyondSpring has a seasoned management team with many years of experience bringing drugs to market.

About Plinabulin
Plinabulin is an innovative small molecule agent that has multiple mechanisms of action, with an immune-enhancing mechanism and tumor vasculature targeting as suggested by preclinical studies.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes forward-looking statements that are not historical facts.  Words such as "will," "expect," "anticipate," "plan," "believe," "design," "may," "future," "estimate," "predict," "objective," "goal," or variations thereof and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements are based on BeyondSpring's current knowledge and its present beliefs and expectations regarding possible future events and are subject to risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of several factors including, but not limited to, the anticipated amount needed to finance the company's future operations, unexpected results of clinical trials, delays or denial in regulatory approval process, or additional competition in the market. The forward-looking statements made herein speak only as of the date of this release and BeyondSpring undertakes no obligation to update publicly such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as otherwise required by law.

Caitlin Kasunich / Amy Singh
KCSA Strategic Communications
212.896.1241 / 212.896.1207 /