Boehringer Ingelheim Collaborates with CDR-Life to Develop Antibody Fragment-based Therapeutics for Geographic Atrophy, a Leading Cause of Blindness Worldwide

  • The collaboration with CDR-Life is the second strategic partnership within a year for Boehringer Ingelheim in retinal diseases, furthering the company’s commitment to develop novel treatments and technologies for patients who have only inadequate treatment options
  • Together the partners will advance CDR-Life’s preclinical antibody fragments targeting a key pathway in geographic atrophy (GA) 

INGELHEIM, Germany & SCHLIEREN, Switzerland I May 13, 2020 I Boehringer Ingelheim and CDR-Life today announced they have entered into a collaboration and licensing agreement to research and develop antibody fragment-based therapeutics for geographic atrophy (GA). GA is a progressive, irreversible retinal disease that occurs in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) for which there is no current treatment. Together, with Boehringer Ingelheim’s expertise in the therapeutic development of biologics and CDR-Life’s strong know-how in antibody engineering, the two companies will progress CDR-Life’s preclinical candidate, with the aim to preserve sight for patients with GA.

“Partnering with CDR-Life provides Boehringer Ingelheim with the opportunity to collaborate with a team that has a proven track record developing antibody fragment-based therapeutics for retinal diseases,” said Clive R. Wood, Ph.D., Corporate Senior Vice President and Global Head of Discovery Research at Boehringer Ingelheim. “The prospect of losing one’s sight is frightening. We are committed to transformational therapies that have the potential to succeed in preserving the health and vision of patients with retinal diseases, such as geographic atrophy.”

Utilizing antibody fragment-based technology, which retains the specificity of an antibody while significantly reducing the size of the molecule, may have significant advantages over traditional large molecule approaches for the treatment of retinal diseases, such as GA. When applied to the eye via intravitreal injection, high affinity antibody fragment therapies have the potential to reach the retinal pigment epithelial cells where degeneration is known to occur. This precise technology may help decrease the cellular stresses caused by AMD and prevent further loss of sight.

“Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the leading research and development companies in the field of biologics,” said Christian Leisner, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer at CDR-Life. “This is an exciting partnership that brings together Boehringer Ingelheim’s development expertise and CDR-Life’s innovative antibody fragments to provide hope for people living with a blinding retinal disease. We look forward to advancing this project towards the clinic together with the Boehringer Ingelheim team.”

Boehringer Ingelheim takes a holistic approach to the development of novel retinal disease therapies, targeting key mechanisms in the pathogenesis of retinal diseases. By leveraging existing expertise in oncology, inflammation, neurodegeneration, fibrosis and cardiometabolic diseases, the company has built a comprehensive portfolio of next generation retinal therapy approaches in various stages of development up to Phase 2 in macular degeneration and diabetic retinal diseases.

CDR-Life´s preclinical program utilizing antibody fragment-based technology complements this growing portfolio, providing an innovative approach to treat GA.

Under the terms of the agreement, Boehringer Ingelheim will receive an exclusive, worldwide license to develop certain compounds based on CDR-Life´s technology against a specific target and will be responsible for global development and commercialization. CDR-Life will be eligible to receive up to CHF 474.5 million in upfront and success-based milestone payments, as well as research funding and royalties on sales.

About Boehringer Ingelheim
Making new and better medicines for humans and animals is at the heart of what we do. Our mission is to create breakthrough therapies that change lives. Since its founding in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim is independent and family-owned. We have the freedom to pursue our long-term vision, looking ahead to identify the health challenges of the future and targeting those areas of need where we can do the most good.

As a world-leading, research-driven pharmaceutical company, more than 51,000 employees create value through innovation daily for our three business areas: Human Pharma, Animal Health, and Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing. In 2019, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of 19 billion euros. Our significant investment of almost 3.5 billion euros in R&D drives innovation, enabling the next generation of medicines that save lives and improve quality of life. 

We realize more scientific opportunities by embracing the power of partnership and diversity of experts across the life-science community. By working together, we accelerate the delivery of the next medical breakthrough that will transform the lives of patients now, and in generations to come.

More information about Boehringer Ingelheim can be found at www.boehringer-ingelheim.com or in our annual report http://annualreport.boehringer-ingelheim.com

About CDR-Life
CDR-Life is a biopharmaceutical company redefining antibody therapies to transform the lives of people with sight- and life-threatening diseases. The foundation is a modular antibody fragment platform for composing antibodies with ideal pharmacological and drug-like properties. CDR-Life’s lead programs include trispecific immunotherapies that are highly tumor-selective for increased efficacy and reduced toxicity. The company’s portfolio contains several first-in-class immunotherapies against hematological as well as solid tumor malignancies. CDR-Life partners with pharmaceutical companies to bring these game-changing antibody therapies to patients. For more information, please visit: www.cdr-life.com (link is external)

SOURCE: Boehringer Ingelheim

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