Boehringer Ingelheim partners with PureTech to develop immuno-oncology candidates

Boehringer Ingelheim entered into an agreement potentially worth more than $200 million to jointly develop immuno-oncology treatments with PureTech Health, the latter drugmaker announced Wednesday. The partnership will use PureTech's lymphatic targeting technology for immune modulation to develop therapies for an undisclosed number of targets. Clive Wood, global head of discovery research at Boehringer Ingelheim, commented "the approach is a potentially powerful tool for modulating the immune system and may allow us to improve efficacy and reduce systematic toxicities through precise targeting."  

Under the agreed terms, Boehringer Ingelheim will initially pay PureTech up to $26 million, which includes upfront payments, research support and preclinical milestones. The latter company is also eligible for more than $200 million in various milestones as well as royalties on product sales.  

The partnership will initially focus on using PureTech's platform to deliver an immuno-oncology candidate for gastrointestinal (GI) cancers directly to the gut lymphatics. PureTech note that Boehringer Ingelheim will hold complete responsibility for development after products enter the development stage.

PureTech explained that its technology is designed to the body's lipid transport mechanisms of the gastrointestinal tract to "enable the transport of drug molecules directly into the lymphatic system when administered orally", adding that "targeting the lymphatic vasculature enables rational design of therapeutics to modulate immunity in a tissue-specific manner and minimise systemic toxicity due to global immunosuppression." The company indicated that preclinical data suggest that its approach has the potential to enable less toxic therapeutics in the area of cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Separately on Wednesday, Boehringer Ingelheim reported full-year revenue for 2018 of 17.5 billion euros ($19.8 billion), representing a decrease of 3 percent from the prior year.

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