Boehringer Ingelheim has formed an alliance with OSE Immunotherapeutics to develop a SIRP-alpha antagonist compound to treat advanced solid tumours.
Under the collaboration and licence agreement, the companies will work together on the monoclonal antibody OSE-172 that is currently in late preclinical development for multiple cancers.
SIRP-alpha is a receptor expressed by myeloid lineage cells and its inhibition is expected to prevent the binding of CD47 ligand to the receptor, causing cellular inhibitory effects.
Boehringer believes that OSE-172 can improve T cell activity and anti-tumour immunity.
Boehringer Ingelheim cancer immunology and immune modulation research global head Jonathon Sedgwick said: “A key area of focus is the identification of drugs that target myeloid cell immune regulatory receptors of which SIRP-alpha is a leading example.
“We are dedicated to developing ground-breaking, first-in-class therapies that can transform the lives of patients and help win the fight against cancer.”
Boeringher will acquire the global rights to develop, register and commercialise the compound. OSE Immunotherapeutics will obtain €15m upfront and up to €1m in potential short-term milestones after the launch of a Phase I clinical trial.
The company could receive more than €1.1bn upon reaching pre-specified development, commercialisation and sales milestones, plus royalties on worldwide net sales.
OSE Immunotherapeutics CEO Dominique Costantini said: “This partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim is a real recognition of the value of our innovative approach to treating cancer and will create an exciting new alliance to fuel the Phase I development of OSE-172.
“Boehringer Ingelheim’s expertise and insights will be invaluable as we step up the clinical development and work to commercialise this new treatment paradigm.”