Boehringer Ingelheim announced a collaboration with Yale University, with the goal of researching novel therapeutic targets in the field of immune-modulation. Immune-modulation refers to a range of treatments aimed at harnessing a patient’s immune system to fight disease.
Under the terms of the agreement, the research capabilities of Boehringer Ingelheim and Yale University will be brought together to identify new immune-modulatory agents for oncology, autoimmune and respiratory disorders. The company will provide research funding for a select number of projects and work closely with scientists at Yale University to advance this research. The company has an option to obtain an exclusive license for all of these programs under pre-agreed terms with Yale University.
Dr Lieping Chen, United Technologies Chair in Cancer Research and Professor of Immunobiology and Director of Cancer Immunology at the Yale Cancer Center, Yale University School of Medicine, will lead this collaborative research jointly with Boehringer Ingelheim. He is a leading investigator in the characterization of cell surface co-stimulatory and co-inhibitory molecules that modulate immune responses, and was the first scientist to apply co-stimulation as a means for cancer immunotherapy. His pioneer works in discovering the PD-L1/PD-1 pathway and anti-PD-L1/PD-1 therapy have shown to be highly promising for treating cancer patients.
"We are very much looking forward to working closely with Dr. Chen and other scientific leaders in this innovative and emerging field as part of this joint research program", said Dr Michel Pairet, Senior Corporate Vice President of Research and Non-clinical Development at Boehringer Ingelheim. “This research collaboration affirms our commitment to the area of immune-modulation for both inflammatory diseases and oncology. In oncology, this will ideally complement our ongoing efforts in the fields of targeted therapy and cancer vaccines.
"This collaboration will help us to identify important pathways, and what the biological application of modulating those pathways will be," Dr. Chen says. "We will investigate whether these new pathways could become future drug targets."