TORONTO & WALTHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Phenomic AI (“Phenomic”) today announced that they have entered into a strategic collaboration and licensing agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim to discover targets important in stroma-rich cancers. The partners will leverage Phenomic’s expertise in target identification and stromal biology based on its scTx® single-cell transcriptomics platform which will greatly enhance Boehringer’s efforts to develop first-in-class medicines to transform the lives of people with cancer by delivering meaningful advances with the ultimate goal to cure a range of cancers.
Stroma-rich cancers, such as colorectal and pancreatic cancers, are amongst the hardest to treat in part because of the tumor stroma: a complex tissue that protects cancerous cells from therapies and supports cancer growth and metastasis. Phenomic’s platform aims to address this challenge by identifying targets to potentially overcome the barrier the tumor stroma creates to meaningfully extend patient lives.
“At Boehringer Ingelheim, we are committed to transforming patients’ lives. Through our new partnership with Phenomic, we aim to accelerate and expand our pipeline of first-in-class therapies for patients affected by stroma-rich cancers, which account for the vast majority of cancer deaths every year,” said Theresa Goletz, VP Cancer Immunology and Immune Modulation, Boehringer Ingelheim. “This collaboration demonstrates our commitment to innovation by incorporating advanced AI and machine learning tools into drug discovery to address high unmet patient needs.”
“Phenomic is committed to breaking through the barriers in drug discovery for cancer and developing novel therapies targeting tumor stroma. We are excited to be working with Boehringer Ingelheim, a global leader with expertise in delivering breakthrough medicines for cancer patients,” stated Girish Aakalu, Ph.D., CEO of Phenomic. “Through this collaboration, we believe that we can improve outcomes for patients with difficult-to-treat solid tumors by applying our next-generation drug discovery and development tools.”
Phenomic’s scTx® platform uniquely integrates one of the world’s largest single-cell RNA datasets from human tissues with comprehensive analysis and validation tools. Advanced AI and machine learning algorithms enable the analysis of this highly diversified database including imaging, RNA sequencing, and spatial transcriptomics data to understand the biology of single cells sitting in complex multi-cell systems. Unique stromal models and experimental capabilities enable Phenomic to then assess the results and identify novel targets for therapeutics through an iterative process involving digital screening and experimental validation.
Under the agreement, Boehringer Ingelheim has the option to license targets discovered and functionally validated by Phenomic as a basis for novel cancer therapeutics. Boehringer Ingelheim will also be responsible for all non-clinical and clinical development, as well as commercialization of associated cancer therapies. Phenomic will receive upfront and near-term payments of approximately $9 million including research funding and collaboration milestones. Phenomic is also eligible to receive more than USD $500 million in licensing fees as well as clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones in addition to royalties on future product sales.
Boehringer Ingelheim is working on breakthrough therapies that transform lives, today and for generations to come. As a leading research-driven biopharmaceutical company, the company creates value through innovation in areas of high unmet medical need. Founded in 1885 and family-owned ever since, Boehringer Ingelheim takes a long-term, sustainable perspective. More than 53,000 employees serve over 130 markets in the two business units Human Pharma and Animal Health. Learn more at www.boehringer-ingelheim.com
Phenomic AI (“Phenomic”) is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to overcoming the tumor stroma, a complex barrier that drives poor outcomes in the majority of solid tumors. The company is applying its proprietary single-cell transcriptomics platform, known as scTx®, to advance a first-of-its-kind approach to solid cancer drug discovery and development. scTx identifies novel drug targets and provides new insights into previously inaccessible tumor biology. Through its unique platform, Phenomic is developing a robust portfolio of potential first-in-class drug candidates to treat challenging stroma-rich solid cancers. The company was founded by pioneering artificial intelligence experts and experienced drug developers and is led by a world-class team with deep expertise in immuno-oncology, cancer, stromal biology, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Learn more about the Phenomic team, platform and pipeline at www.phenomic.ai.