Boehringer Ingelheim and Vitae Pharmaceuticals have announced a major collaboration to research and develop novel treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.
The partnership will advance research and development of beta-secretase (BACE) inhibitors, which hold potential for slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
The inhibition of BACE – an enzyme involved in the formation of amyloid-beta plaques which accumulate in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease – offers the potential to slow or even halt disease progression.
Under the agreement, both companies will work jointly to identify and advance candidates for clinical development.
Thereafter, Boehringer Ingelheim will lead development and commercialisation of all products for Alzheimer’s disease to capitalise on its global marketing and sales expertise.
Boehringer Ingelheim worldwide corporate senior vice president of R&D and medicine Dr Manfred Haehl said that the company would use its overall expertise in CNS disease research, drug development and commercialisation to strengthen its neuroscience portfolio.
“Ultimately, we aim to create new treatments for patients suffering from this serious debilitating disease,” Haehl said.
“We therefore will see the companies’ joint efforts expanding to create medicines for Alzheimer’s disease.”
Vitae will have the right to develop products independently for certain other indications.
Vitae will receive $42m in upfront and near-term payments from Boehringer Ingelheim, including upfront cash, an equity investment in Vitae and research funding to support further discovery efforts.
Vitae will also be eligible to receive $200m in pre-commercial milestone payments based on the achievement of clinical and regulatory goals, as well as further milestone payments based on potential additional compounds and/or other approved indications.
Vitae will then receive commercial performance payments and royalties from Boehringer Ingelheim on all potential future product sales.