Boehringer Ingelheim enters global licensing agreement to develop and commercialise antibodies from A*STAR for targetted cancer therapies

This partnership allows Boehringer Ingelheim to strengthen its tumour cell-directed Antibody-Drug Conjugate (ADC) and immune cell-targeted (T-cell engager) portfolio

Boehringer Ingelheim and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) yesterday announced a global licensing agreement under which Boehringer Ingelheim will obtain exclusive worldwide rights to research, develop and commercialise products based on a panel of innovative, tumour-specific antibodies from A*STAR. Boehringer Ingelheim aims to use these antibodies to direct therapeutic effector mechanisms such as Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs) and T-cell engagers exclusively to tumour cells, and, to that end, develop a range of highly-targetted cancer treatments, the companies said in a joint statement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Boehringer Ingelheim will be responsible for further research, pre-clinical and clinical development as well as commercialisation of targetted cancer therapies using the antibodies from A*STAR. A*STAR may receive payments totalling >100 million EUR in upfront and success-based development and commercialisation milestones.

“Boehringer Ingelheim believes that these promising antibodies in-licensed from A*STAR will help us advance potent therapeutic candidates against key molecular cancer targets,” said Clive R Wood, Senior Corporate Vice President and Global Head, Discovery Research, Boehringer Ingelheim, in the statement, and continued, “We look forward to developing these assets for a broad range of cancers with the goal to deliver breakthrough opportunities for patients.”

The statement further said that the technology used to identify the unique A*STAR antibodies resulted from a multi-institutional collaboration in Singapore. A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) and Institute of Bioengineering and Bioimaging (IBB) generated antibodies which exclusively target antigens that were initially identified from gastric cancer cells. Experimental Drug Development Centre (EDDC), Singapore’s national platform for drug discovery and development hosted by A*STAR, then optimised the antibodies and confirmed their applicability to a range of other solid cancers. EDDC also demonstrated the utility of these antibodies in directing different therapeutic modalities selectively to cancer cells.

Professor Damian O’Connell, Chief Executive Officer, EDDC, said in the statement, “As Singapore’s national drug discovery and development platform, EDDC is proud to translate great science in Singapore into valuable assets that can enable the precision treatment of cancer. We believe that Boehringer Ingelheim, with its broad expertise and technologies, is the right partner to maximise the potential of these antibodies for the development of safer, more targetted therapies for cancer patients.”

Professor Tan Sze Wee, Assistant Chief Executive (Enterprise), A*STAR, also said in the statement, “These antibodies were developed in Singapore through close collaboration across multiple institutions. There was also strong support by the Singapore Gastric Cancer Consortium. The agreement is testament to the best-in-class research taking place in Singapore. Cancer is a devastating disease, and we hope the fruits of our research can improve patient outcomes.”

antibodiesBoehringer Ingelheimglobal licensing agreementInstitute of Bioengineering and Bioimaging
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