Pharma Focus Europe

Phenomic and Boehringer Ingelheim Establish Strategic Collaboration for the Discovery of Novel Targets in Stroma-Enriched Cancer Therapies

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Phenomic AI has recently announced a strategic collaboration and licensing agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim, focusing on the identification of targets crucial in stroma-rich cancers. The collaboration aims to leverage Phenomic's scTx® single-cell transcriptomics platform, renowned for its expertise in target identification and stromal biology, to enhance Boehringer's efforts in developing groundbreaking medicines for challenging cancers, with the ultimate goal of achieving curative outcomes.

Stroma-rich cancers, such as colorectal and pancreatic cancers, present significant treatment challenges due to the complex nature of the tumor stroma. This tissue acts as a barrier, protecting cancer cells from therapies while supporting cancer growth and metastasis. Phenomic's platform is designed to address this challenge by identifying targets that could potentially overcome the barriers posed by tumor stroma, leading to meaningful extensions in patient lives.

Theresa Goletz, VP Cancer Immunology and Immune Modulation at Boehringer Ingelheim, expressed the company's commitment to transforming patients' lives through this collaboration. By incorporating advanced AI and machine learning tools into drug discovery, Boehringer aims to innovate and meet high unmet patient needs in stroma-rich cancers.

Phenomic, emphasized the company's dedication to revolutionizing cancer drug discovery and developing therapies targeting tumor stroma. The collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim, a global leader in breakthrough cancer medicines, is seen as an opportunity to enhance outcomes for patients with challenging solid tumors through the application of next-generation drug discovery and development tools.

Phenomic's scTx® platform stands out for integrating one of the world's largest single-cell RNA datasets from human tissues with advanced analysis and validation tools. AI and machine learning algorithms facilitate the comprehensive analysis of diverse data types, such as imaging, RNA sequencing, and spatial transcriptomics, to understand the biology of single cells within complex multi-cell systems. The iterative process involving digital screening and experimental validation, supported by unique stromal models, allows Phenomic to identify novel targets for therapeutics.

As part of the agreement, Boehringer Ingelheim holds the option to license discovered and functionally validated targets from Phenomic as the foundation for novel cancer therapeutics. Boehringer Ingelheim will take charge of all non-clinical and clinical development, as well as the commercialization of associated cancer therapies. Phenomic is set to receive upfront and near-term payments totaling approximately $9 million, covering research funding and collaboration milestones. Additionally, Phenomic stands to receive over USD $500 million in licensing fees, along with clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestones, as well as royalties on future product sales.



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