Boehringer In­gel­heim buys CD38 drug; Mer­ck bets on ma­chine learn­ing in an­ti­body de­sign

CD38 may be best known as a tar­get for can­cer ther­a­pies — no­tably J&J’s Darza­lex and Sanofi’s Sar­clisa. But Boehringer In­gel­heim be­lieves it has po­ten­tial in im­muno­log­i­cal and fi­brot­ic dis­eases, too.

The Ger­man phar­ma gi­ant is ac­quir­ing a pre­clin­i­cal CD38 pro­gram from Ri­bon Ther­a­peu­tics, pay­ing an undis­closed up­front and promis­ing fu­ture mile­stones.

Un­like the ap­proved CD38 drugs, which are both an­ti­bod­ies, Ri­bon de­vel­oped a small mol­e­cule in­hibitor, which it be­lieves car­ries the ex­tra ad­van­tage of block­ing in­tra­cel­lu­lar CD38 ac­tiv­i­ty.

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