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Boehringer Ingelheim brings in Bridge Biotherapeutics
INGELHEIM, Germany and SEONGNAM, Korea—Boehringer Ingelheim and Bridge Biotherapeutics have announced a new collaboration and license agreement, with the goal of developing Bridge Biotherapeutics’s autotaxin inhibitor BBT-877 for patients with fibrosing interstitial lung diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). BBT-877 is currently in Phase 1 clinical studies, and is anticipated to enter Phase 2 testing within the next 12 months.
James Lee, CEO of Bridge Biotherapeutics, noted that “Bridge Biotherapeutics is pleased to partner with Boehringer Ingelheim, a recognized leader in IPF. The expertise of Boehringer Ingelheim will ensure that our novel therapeutic candidate can be developed to potentially address unmet medical needs of IPF patients worldwide.”
Both companies will initially focus on developing the compound for the treatment of IPF, an area of high unmet medical need and one of Boehringer Ingelheim’s key focus areas. Boehringer Ingelheim has developed Ofev (nintedanib), an antifibrotic drug shown to slow disease progression by reducing lung function decline. Ofev is currently approved for the treatment of IPF in more than 70 countries, including the U.S., the EU and Japan.
IPF is a rare, debilitating and fatal lung disease affecting approximately three million people worldwide. It causes progressive scarring of the lungs, resulting in breathing difficulties and continual, irreversible deterioration in lung function. BBT-877 inhibits autotaxin, an enzyme mediating a key pro-fibrotic event in multiple cell types. It has shown a promising safety and efficacy profile in preclinical models for fibrosing interstitial lung diseases, and potential for combination with the current standard of care.
“This is a transformational event for Bridge Biotherapeutics with a total potential value in excess of €1.1 billion. It is a testament to the company’s excellence in the development of novel therapeutics for disease areas with high unmet medical need,” commented B. Chris Kim, Ph.D., a board member of Bridge Biotherapeutics based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Bridge Biotherapeutics will receive upfront and near term payments of €45 million. The company is eligible to receive up to more than €1.1 billion in potential payments based on the successful achievement of specified development, regulatory and commercial milestones and staggered, up to double digit royalties.
“We look forward to working with the team at Bridge Biotherapeutics to develop a new treatment option for patients with IPF. This new collaboration complements our growing pipeline in fibrosing interstitial lung diseases and is a sign of our determination to bring the next generation of treatment options to these patients,” said Michel Pairet, a member of Boehringer Ingelheim’s Board of Managing Directors with responsibility for the company’s Innovation Unit.