Boehringer Ingelheim to Acquire NBE-Therapeutics
Boehringer Ingelheim to Acquire NBE-Therapeutics for EUR 1.18 Billion, Significantly Enhancing Its Cancer Pipeline Portfolio with Novel Antibody-Drug Conjugates
- Acquisition will add another key dimension to Boehringer Ingelheim’s focus on patients with difficult-to-treat solid tumors
- NBE-Therapeutics’ pipeline is based on its innovative next generation antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology platform
- NBE-Therapeutics’ will remain at its campus in Basel, Switzerland and operate as a new site within Boehringer Ingelheim’s R&D network
Ingelheim, Germany and Basel, Switzerland – 10 December 2020 – Boehringer Ingelheim today announced the signing of a binding agreement for acquiring all shares of NBE-Therapeutics, a private, clinical-stage Swiss biotechnology company focused on antibody-drug conjugates and advancing targeted cancer therapies derived from its immune stimulatory iADC™ platform. NBE-Therapeutics’ lead compound NBE-002 is currently in phase I clinical studies for triple negative breast cancer and other solid tumors. Importantly, Boehringer Ingelheim gains access to an innovative and unique platform that it will use to build a leading ADC portfolio and develop potential combinations with other assets from its cancer immunology portfolio.
“NBE-Therapeutics’ iADC platform adds exceptional tumor targeting capabilities to our oncology portfolio. Together with our immune cell-targeting assets, this could enable new powerful combinations that will allow for efficacious and durable treatments for patients,” said Michel Pairet, member of Boehringer Ingelheim’s Board of Managing Directors with responsibility for the company’s Innovation Unit. “This acquisition is a further example of Boehringer Ingelheim’s long-term strategy to enhance our position as an innovator of novel cancer therapies for patients in need. We welcome NBE-Therapeutics’ richly talented team to Boehringer Ingelheim and we look forward to collaborating with them on this important work.”
The total transaction value is 1.18 billion euros and also includes contingent clinical and regulatory milestones.
“I am extremely proud of the NBE-Therapeutics’ team and delighted that our world class ADC expertise is being recognized by Boehringer Ingelheim. This transaction is a validation of our platform and its potential for the next generation cancer therapies,” said Bertrand Damour, Chief Executive Officer of NBE-Therapeutics. “We look forward to progressing NBE-002, our lead program and best-in-class anti ROR1 ADC, and to continuing the fight against cancer alongside Boehringer Ingelheim with its strong clinical development capabilities.”
Boehringer Ingelheim’s cancer cell directed research is focused on the development of targeted therapies for the treatment of difficult-to-treat solid tumors. Inducing tumor cell death is a key component, and ADC based approaches have emerged as a powerful targeted therapy with potential for induction of immunogenic cell death at reduced systemic exposure and toxicity.
The NBE-Therapeutics’ acquisition will significantly strengthen Boehringer Ingelheim’s strategic focus on targeted cancer cell-directed therapies and complements existing capabilities in antigen discovery as well as antibody and T-cell engager technologies. By combining its world-class, in-house research and development with that of highly innovative biotechnology companies, Boehringer Ingelheim is developing innovative therapies and accelerating the delivery of the next generation of cancer treatments. This builds on recent strategic acquisitions and collaborations, including the acquisition of ViraTherapeutics and AMAL Therapeutics, which are also contributing assets.
NBE-Therapeutics is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, where it was founded with financial backing from a syndicate of both corporate and institutional investors, including the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, and PPF Group, as their largest shareholders, and Denmark’s Novo Holdings. NBE-Therapeutics’ technology platform and derived assets are protected by a broad portfolio of patents and licenses.
The consummation of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected during the course of Q1 2021.
About the ADC Platform
Antibody-drug conjugates (ADC’s) are a class of drugs that consist of an antibody that specifically binds to a target on tumor cells. The antibody is also linked to a cytotoxic drug to kill these cells. If the drug was given systemically, it would cause an unacceptable level of toxicity. However, due to the ability to now localize the drug to the tumor microenvironment using an antibody, the safety profile of the drug becomes acceptable.
NBE-Therapeutics’ proprietary technology platform creates highly potent immune stimulatory antibody-drug conjugates with an anthracycline payload, directly targeting tumor cells and inducing a long-lasting immunological anti-tumor effect. Its technology also incorporates a proprietary enzymatic conjugation step allowing for the site-specific conjugation of small molecule drugs to monoclonal antibodies overcoming liabilities related to limited serum stability and heterogeneous linkage.
NBE-Therapeutics’ lead candidate, NBE-002, is an anti-ROR1 ADC. ROR1 is a receptor tyrosine kinase expressed in various hematologic and solid malignancies, including triple negative breast cancers and lung adenocarcinoma. The compound is currently in phase I clinical studies.
NBE-Therapeutics is a privately-owned Swiss biotech company based in Basel and founded in 2012 with the vision of developing next-generation immune-stimulatory antibody drug conjugate (iADC™) products. NBE-Therapeutics advances its products to clinical proof of concept with the goal of improving treatment options for cancer patients.
The company leverages proprietary platforms covering all aspects of ADC development: its Transpo-mAb Display™ technology for antibody discovery, its SMAC-Technology™ for site-specific payload conjugation of toxins to antibodies and a novel highly effective and immune-stimulatory anthracycline-based toxin platform. The company is financially backed by the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, the PPF Group and Novo Holdings as institutional investors, and by additional Swiss, German and Dutch private investors. For more information about NBE visit the website www.nbe-therapeutics.com.
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.
Boehringer Ingelheim in Oncology
Cancer takes. Takes away time. Takes away loved ones. At Boehringer Ingelheim Oncology, we are giving patients new hope, by taking cancer on. We are dedicated to collaborating with the oncology community on a shared journey to deliver leading science. Our primary focus is in lung and gastrointestinal cancers, with the goal of delivering breakthrough, first-in-class treatments that can help win the fight against cancer. Our commitment to innovation has resulted in pioneering treatments for lung cancer and we are advancing a unique pipeline of cancer cell directed agents, immuno-oncology therapies and intelligent combination approaches to help combat many cancers.
Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund
Created in 2010, the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund GmbH (BIVF) invests in groundbreaking therapeutics-focused biotechnology companies to drive innovation in biomedical research. BIVF is searching for significant enhancements in patient care through pioneering science and its clinical translation by building long-term relationships with scientists and entrepreneurs. BIVF’s focus is to target unprecedented therapeutic concepts addressing high medical needs in immuno-oncology, regenerative medicine, infectious diseases and digital health. These may include novel platform technologies to address so far undruggable targets, new generation vaccines and/or new biological entities.
BIVF takes an active role with its portfolio companies – delivering significant added value through its own extensive drug discovery, scientific and managerial expertise. BIVF has a fund volume of 300 million euros and currently supervises a portfolio of more than 30 companies. For more information, please visit www.boehringer-ingelheim-venture.com.
Bertrand Damour, CEO
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