Boehringer Ingelheim has forged a multi-year partnership with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to carry out joint research towards rapid advancement of new therapies for various forms of cancers.
In this regard, Boehringer Ingelheim and MD Anderson plan to set up a joint Virtual Research and Development Center to facilitate effective data sharing and analysis among themselves.
The Virtual Research and Development Center will be engaged in the development of potential new treatments such as KRAS inhibition concepts and a TRAILR2 agonistic antibody.
According to Boehringer Ingelheim, the KRAS inhibition concepts will be developed as mutations in the KRAS gene are common in different types of cancers, particularly in some forms of lung and gastrointestinal cancers.
The TRAILR2 agonistic antibody, on the other hand, is believed to have the potential to preferentially induce cancer cell death.
Boehringer Ingelheim corporate vice president and oncology global head Victoria Zazulina said: “We could not have chosen a better partner with all its research, translational and clinical expertise in lung and gastrointestinal cancers. Together, we hope to transform the treatment landscape for these diseases by tackling their root causes and drivers, that have so far remained elusive, exploring new and smart ways of killing cancer cells.”
Boehringer Ingelheim said the partnership is built on a flexible framework, which allows projects to enter at various stages – research, development and/or clinical stage over many years. The partnership is said to further combine the patient-driven drug-development capabilities of MD Anderson’s therapeutics discovery division with the pipeline of novel drugs from Boehringer Ingelheim.
MD Anderson’s therapeutics discovery division focuses on advancing the next generation of cancer treatments. As part of the division, the TRACTION (Translational Research to Advance Therapeutics and Innovation in Oncology) platform undertakes translational research to better understand how new drugs work and which patients will see the most benefit.
MD Anderson TRACTION executive director Tim Heffernan said: “We look forward to working with Boehringer Ingelheim to advance their innovative pipeline of cancer medicines. Our Therapeutics Discovery team is well-poised to conduct impactful translational research, and this partnership will allow us to more rapidly advance much-needed new therapies to patients.”