Boehringer Ingelheim and OSE Immunotherapeutics are partnering to develop the latter's checkpoint inhibitor, OSE-172, for the treatment of advanced solid tumors. The candidate, a SIRP-alpha antagonist targeting myeloid lineage cells, is currently in preclinical studies in various cancers.
For the global rights to OSE-172, Boehringer will hand over €15 million ($18.4 million), with another €15 million to follow when the treatment hits phase 1. On top of that, OSE stands to collect royalties on worldwide net sales, as well as more than €1.1 billion in preset development, commercialization and sales milestones, the companies said.
“We are excited to partner with OSE Immunotherapeutics to develop this promising, novel cancer immunotherapy,” said Jonathon Sedgwick, Ph.D., global head of cancer immunology and immune modulation research at Boehringer Ingelheim. “A key area of focus is the identification of drugs that target myeloid cell immune regulatory receptors of which SIRP-alpha is a leading example. We are dedicated to developing ground-breaking, first-in-class therapies that can transform the lives of patients and help win the fight against cancer.”
OSE-172 is a monoclonal antibody that targets SIRP-alpha, a receptor expressed in myeloid lineage cells, including dendritic cells, tumor-associated macrophages and myeloid-derived suppressor cells. It blocks the CD47 ligand from binding to and activating SIRP-alpha and could potentially boost antitumor immunity by ramping up the activity of myeloid lineage cells.
OSE has a number of partnerships to advance its pipeline. These include a development and commercialization deal with Servier around its interleukin-7 antagonist targeting autoimmune disease worth up to $283 million and a research collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering to assess the potential of OSE-703, its anti-CD127 antibody, to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and other solid tumors. Back in July 2016, Janssen took the option to license OSE's anti-CD28 monoclonal antibody, FR104, in autoimmune diseases after positive phase 1 data.