SHANGHAI, Nov. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- iPharma (H.K.) Ltd., a global biotech company focusing on the development of innovative immune oncology therapies, announced today that it has entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the global pharmaceutical industry's top 20 companies, to manufacture, develop, and commercialize BI 853520, a focal adhesion kinase inhibitor (FAKi).
FAK is frequently upregulated in many cancer types and controls a variety of cellular functions that are important for the tumorigenesis, including adhesion, migration, invasion, proliferation, survival, and immune evasion. FAK kinase inhibition has been shown to drive inhibition of tumor growth and metastasis via cancer cell-and immune-mediated effects.
BI 853520 has completed clinical Phase I studies in multiple solid tumorslike e.g. advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAC), platinum-resistant ovarian cancer (OC), esophageal cancer (EC) and soft tissue sarcoma. Following the Phase I studies, iPharma is expecting to initiate Phase I/II studies in 2018 in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors and/or potentially with other therapies. In addition to an undisclosed upfront payment, Boehringer Ingelheim is entitled to receive milestone and royalty payments.
"iPharma is advancing a pipeline consisting of novel molecules for the treatment of cancers and other indications with large unmet medical needs and limited treatment options. We are very pleased to partner with Boehringer Ingelheim to develop new immuno-oncologic combination treatments having both a meaningful and lasting impact on cancer patients" said Dr. Binhui (Ben) Ni, Chief Executive Officer of iPharma. "This partnership is aligned with our mission and therapeutic focus, we believe it will help both companies fulfill our ultimate commitments of bringing new, life-altering treatments to patients in China and worldwide."
"We are excited to partner with Boehringer Ingelheim, a global leader in developing drugs to treat cancer" said David Malek, Director at iPharma. "By working together, we wish to accelerate the development of new treatments that can potentially cure or slow the progression of devastating diseases. We see the potential for BI 853520 to generate meaningful results in combination with other immune-oncology agents in difficult-to-treat cancer indications".
"Boehringer Ingelheim's commitment and expertise in this field offers the best opportunity to collaboratively develop therapies to treat diseases that affect large patient populations," said Dr. Jimmy Wei, managing partner, i-Bridge capital and a Director at iPharma.
About iPharma Ltd
iPharma Ltd. is a joint venture between I-Bridge Capital, a leading Chinese Investor and BioLineRx Ltd. (NASDAQ:BLRX), a publicly-listed biotech company based in Israel. Our vision focuses on discovering and developing novel drugs at or near clinical stages via global licensing strategy for the treatment of diseases with large unmet medical needs in China and globally. Our approach is to leverage local know-how, financial resource and fast growing pharmaceutical market in China with a team that has proven track record of global and local drug discovery and development experiences and equipped with profound local business acumen. The team has successfully taken more than 10 novel drug candidates into clinical trials in global and Asia/China.
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