Boehringer Ingelheim signed an option to acquire its San Diego-based associate for an undisclosed fee if certain milestones are reached under its existing partnership. According to reports, this step comes two years after partnering with Trutino Biosciences to develop novel immunotherapeutic agents for cancer.
Reportedly, Boehringer Ingelheim said the research pact with Trutino is part of his “umbrella effort” to use 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 enthusiasm for the deal and bringing in the Trutino Biosciences team.
“Our existing collaboration has made rapid and impressive progress in a short period of time and we expect this field to offer potential combination benefits with our existing immune-targeted assets. The selective activation of specific cytokines located in the tumor microenvironment is promising and has the potential to be a key element in fully harnessing the immune system’s power to fight cancer,” Wood said in a statement.
Phillip Kim, founder and CEO of Trutino, also stated that the efforts under the two-year-old agreement could change the lives of cancer patients. Kim also insisted that this acquisition option further strengthens the ties between the two companies.
“Boehringer Ingelheim is deeply committed to our innovative scientific approaches and to bringing novel cancer therapies to patients. This global partnership confirms the broad potential of our proprietary On Demand Cytokine platform. As part of this comprehensive collaborative framework, we are committed to rapidly developing next-generation cytokine therapies as a single agent and in conjunction with Boehringer Ingelheim’s pipeline portfolio of cancer vaccines, oncolytic viruses, T-cell-engagers and other therapeutic modalities,” Kim said in a statement.
Meanwhile, under the terms of the latter deal, Boehringer Ingelheim reserves the right to purchase all shares of Trutino Biosciences once specified program milestones are reached within a specified time frame. Until then, Trutino will remain an independent company.
Although the financial terms have not been disclosed, Boehringer Ingelheim said the deal, according to reports, consists of an option fee, the issuance of a convertible bond and a fixed purchase price.