Boehringer follows the popular KRAS trail to MD Anderson — inks new alliance on 'virtual' research center
Boehringer Ingelheim is following the steadily widening KRAS trail to MD Anderson.
In a new research pact announced Monday morning, the German pharma company says it will work with MD Anderson investigators in Houston to create a joint “Virtual Research and Development Center” looking at two hot prospects: KRAS inhibition and a TRAILR2 agonistic antibody for apoptosis.
KRAS has become a darling in the cancer R&D arena as Amgen has emerged as a leader in the field, targeting G12C, a pocket on KRAS that could offer developers a pathway to new drugs on what has long been seen as an undruggable target. And just a few weeks ago Novartis allied itself with another G12C player, Mirati, in another indication of the popularity of KRAS.
Boehringer says it is particularly interested in applications related to certain types of lung and gastrointestinal cancers. And the alliance marks another in a series of external pacts following Boehringer’s decision to go external after paring down on its in-house R&D efforts.
As for MD Anderson, the institute has allied itself with a broad range of drug developers interested in tapping its research division as well as a big base of cancer patients journeying to Houston for treatment.
This isn’t the first time that Boehringer has shown an interest in KRAS. More than 2 years ago the company teamed up with scientists at Vanderbilt in studying the protein SOS (Son Of Sevenless), a molecule that activates KRAS.
Social image: Boehringer Ingelheim, AP Images