BI Forms R&D Pacts with Yale, Vanderbilt
Boehringer Ingelheim has formed two separate research agreements, one with Yale University in the field of immune-modulation, and one with Vanderbilt University for anti-cancer small-molecule drugs.
In the first pact, Boehringer Ingelheim is partnering with Yale University with the goal of researching novel therapeutic targets in the field of immune-modulation. Immune-modulation refers to a range of treatments aimed at harnessing a patient's immune system to fight disease. Under the terms of the agreement, the research capabilities of Boehringer Ingelheim and Yale University will be brought together to identify new immune-modulatory agents for oncology, autoimmune, and respiratory disorders. The company will provide research funding for a select number of projects and work closely with scientists at Yale University to advance this research. The company has an option to obtain an exclusive license for all of these programs under pre-agreed terms with Yale University.
In a separate pact, Boehringer Ingelheim has formed a research alliance with Vanderbilt University and the cancer drug-discovery laboratory of Professor Stephen W. Fesik, PhD, the Orrin H. Ingram, II Chair in Cancer Research and Professor of Biochemistry, Pharmacology, and Chemistry. The aim of the new collaboration is the research and development of small-molecule inhibitors of oncogenic Ras for the treatment of cancer. Ras is the most frequently mutated oncogene known in cancer with K-Ras being the most commonly mutated form occurring in pancreas, colon, biliary tract, and lung adenocarcinomas. Mutations in the Ras family (comprised of H-Ras, N-Ras and K-Ras) are very common, and found in 20 to 30% of all human tumors. Ras has been a particularly difficult protein to target since its discovery in human cancers more than 30 years ago.
Under the terms of the agreement, the research capabilities of Vanderbilt University and Boehringer Ingelheim will be brought together in a multi-year research program focusing on the development of small-molecule inhibitors of Ras. Further details of the agreement were not disclosed.