PureTech Health — which is developing therapeutics to tackle dysfunctions in the brain-immune-gut axis — is adding another big biopharmaceutical company, Germany’s Boehringer Ingelheim, to its rich roster of partners with deep pockets.
The research collaboration allows Boehringer access to PureTech’s lymphatic targeting technology for immune modulation. In return, PureTech is eligible to receive up to $26 million, including upfront payments, research support, and preclinical milestones, as well as another $200 million in development and sales milestones, in addition to royalties on product sales.
The technology was developed out of research by Chris Porter and his team at the Australian Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and exclusively in-licensed by PureTech. It is designed to reroute drugs directly into the lymphatic system when administered orally, bypassing the liver. Specifically, therapies are engineered to make a beeline for the mesenteric lymph nodes, which are key centers for immune cell priming, education and proliferation in the gastrointestinal tract. By targeting the lymphatic system directly, patients can be spared from the risks of systemic drug exposure and potential toxicity. Preclinical data suggest the tech platform could catalyze the development of comparatively more effective and less toxic therapeutics to address cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
The Boehringer tie up will focus first on using this approach to administer an immuno-oncology candidate for gastrointestinal cancers. Once product candidates enter the development stage, Boehringer will take charge of R&D.
Boston-headquartered but London-listed PureTech (LON: $PRTC) already has a plethora of big pharma partners in its arsenal, including Amgen $AMGN, Lilly $LLY, J&J $JNJ, Pfizer $PFE and Roche. This Boehringer deal is the second big pharma collaboration for PureTech’s internal R&D division after it inked a deal with the Swiss drugmaker last year.
PureTech also has a string of affiliate drug developers include Vedanta, resTORbio and Karuna. Earlier this week, a hydrogel capsule developed by PureTech affiliate Gelesis was approved by the FDA for weight management.
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