Boehringer Ingelheim signed an option to acquire its San Diego-based collaborator for an undisclosed amount of money if certain milestones under its existing partnership are achieved. According to reports, this move comes two years after partnering with Trutino Biosciences on the development of new cancer immunotherapeutics.
Reportedly, Boehringer Ingelheim said its research pact with Trutino is part of its “overarching effort” to harness an individual’s own immune system to fight cancer.
Clive R. Wood, senior vice president and global head of discovery research at Boehringer Ingelheim, expressed excitement about the deal and bringing the Trutino Biosciences team into the company fold.
“Our existing collaboration has made rapid and impressive progress in a short time frame, and we expect this field to have potential combination benefits with our existing immune-targeting assets. The selective activation of specific cytokines localized in the tumor microenvironment holds enormous promise and has the potential to be a key element in fully harnessing the power of the immune system to fight cancer,” Wood said in a statement.
Phillip Kim, founder and CEO of Trutino also stated that the efforts made under the two-year-old agreement could change the lives of patients suffering from cancer. Kim also maintained that this option to acquire further strengthens the ties between the two companies.
“Boehringer Ingelheim has a deep commitment to our innovative scientific approaches and to bringing novel cancer therapies to patients. This global partnership validates the broad potential of our proprietary ‘On Demand Cytokine’ platform. As part of this expanded collaborative framework, we aim to rapidly develop a new generation of cytokine therapies as single agent and in combination with Boehringer Ingelheim’s pipeline portfolio of cancer vaccines, oncolytic viruses, T cell engagers and other therapeutic modalities,” Kim said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Boehringer Ingelheim, under terms of the latest deal, reserves the right to purchase all shares of Trutino Biosciences once specified program milestones have been achieved within a given timeframe. Till then, Trutino will remain an independent company.
Although financial terms were not disclosed, Boehringer Ingelheim said the deal consists of an option fee, the issuance of a convertible note and fixed purchase price terms, according to reports.