Thursday, April 18, 2024

Phenomic Enters Strategic Collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim to Discover Novel Targets for Stroma-Rich Cancer Therapies

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Phenomic AI announced that they have entered into a strategic collaboration and licensing agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim to discover targets important in stroma-rich cancers. The partners will leverage Phenomic’s expertise in target identification and stromal biology based on its scTx® single-cell transcriptomics platform which will greatly enhance Boehringer’s efforts to develop first-in-class medicines to transform the lives of people with cancer by delivering meaningful advances with the ultimate goal to cure a range of cancers.

Stroma-rich cancers, such as colorectal and pancreatic cancers, are amongst the hardest to treat in part because of the tumor stroma: a complex tissue that protects cancerous cells from therapies and supports cancer growth and metastasis. Phenomic’s platform aims to address this challenge by identifying targets to potentially overcome the barrier the tumor stroma creates to meaningfully extend patient lives.

“At Boehringer Ingelheim, we are committed to transforming patients’ lives. Through our new partnership with Phenomic, we aim to accelerate and expand our pipeline of first-in-class therapies for patients affected by stroma-rich cancers, which account for the vast majority of cancer deaths every year,” said Theresa Goletz, VP Cancer Immunology and Immune Modulation, Boehringer Ingelheim. “This collaboration demonstrates our commitment to innovation by incorporating advanced AI and machine learning tools into drug discovery to address high unmet patient needs.”

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“Phenomic is committed to breaking through the barriers in drug discovery for cancer and developing novel therapies targeting tumor stroma. We are excited to be working with Boehringer Ingelheim, a global leader with expertise in delivering breakthrough medicines for cancer patients,” stated Girish Aakalu, Ph.D., CEO of Phenomic. “Through this collaboration, we believe that we can improve outcomes for patients with difficult-to-treat solid tumors by applying our next-generation drug discovery and development tools.”

Phenomic’s scTx® platform uniquely integrates one of the world’s largest single-cell RNA datasets from human tissues with comprehensive analysis and validation tools. Advanced AI and machine learning algorithms enable the analysis of this highly diversified database including imaging, RNA sequencing, and spatial transcriptomics data to understand the biology of single cells sitting in complex multi-cell systems. Unique stromal models and experimental capabilities enable Phenomic to then assess the results and identify novel targets for therapeutics through an iterative process involving digital screening and experimental validation.

Under the agreement, Boehringer Ingelheim has the option to license targets discovered and functionally validated by Phenomic as a basis for novel cancer therapeutics. Boehringer Ingelheim will also be responsible for all non-clinical and clinical development, as well as commercialization of associated cancer therapies. Phenomic will receive upfront and near-term payments of approximately $9 million including research funding and collaboration milestones. Phenomic is also eligible to receive more than USD $500 million in licensing fees as well as clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones in addition to royalties on future product sales.

SOURCE: BusinessWire


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