Boehringer Ingelheim expands IPF pipeline with deal to develop Bridge Biotherapeutics' autotaxin inhibitor BBT-877

Boehringer Ingelheim signed an agreement with Bridge Biotherapeutics potentially worth more than €1 billion ($1.1 billion) to develop the latter's experimental autotaxin inhibitor BBT-877 for patients with fibrosing interstitial lung diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), the companies announced Thursday. Michel Pairet, Boehringer Ingelheim's board member responsible for the innovation unit, said "this new collaboration complements our growing pipeline in fibrosing interstitial lung diseases." 

Currently, Boehringer Ingelheim markets the IPF treatment Ofev (nintedanib) in more than 70 countries, including the US, the EU and Japan, with sales of the drug climbing nearly 29% in the first quarter to €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion). Meanwhile, the company partnered with Inventiva in 2016 to jointly develop new treatments for IPF and other fibrotic diseases.

Under the latest deal, the drugmakers noted that Bridge Biotherapeutics will receive upfront and near-term payments of €45 million ($50 million) and is eligible to receive up to more than €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion) in potential milestone payments and staggered, up to double-digit royalties. The companies will initially focus on developing BBT-877 for the treatment of IPF, with mid-stage testing expected to begin within the next 12 months.

Bridge Biotherapeutics gained exclusive global rights to BBT-877 from LegoChem Biosciences in 2017. The treatment was awarded orphan drug status by the FDA in January for the treatment of IPF.  

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