Boehringer Ingelheim and Sarah Cannon Research Institute announced an expansion of their strategic partnership to bring treatments to cancer patients by developing novel immuno-oncology therapies. The effort combines Boehringer Ingelheim's oncology research and Sarah Cannon's expertise in clinical trial design and recruitment to evaluate BI 891065, a novel and potent SMAC mimetic, alone and as a potential combination partner with PD-1-directed cancer therapy.
SMAC mimetics are a new class of targeted, small molecules that trigger tumor cell death and immune system activation that may enhance the activity of immunotherapies in the treatment of cancer. Through this collaboration, Boehringer Ingelheim's BI 891065 will be studied in a Phase I clinical trial [NCT03166631] alone and in combination with BI 754091 (anti-PD-1) in patients with advanced metastatic solid tumors. The first patient has been enrolled in the Phase I study, which aims to include approximately 100 patients. Previously, the partners had announced a joint clinical development program to study Boehringer Ingelheim's BI 754091 (anti-PD-1) and BI 754111 (anti-LAG 3) monoclonal antibodies for the combination treatment of multiple cancers with high unmet medical needs. More immuno-oncology combination studies are planned moving forward.
"Ground-breaking advances in immuno-oncology are expected to transform cancer treatment paradigms. We are significantly expanding our efforts in this area including a broad research program focusing on the development of rational combinations of novel immuno-oncology approaches," said Mehdi Shahidi, M.D., Global Medical Head Oncology, and Boehringer Ingelheim. "As part of these ongoing efforts to transform the lives of cancer patients, we are extremely proud to be one of the first companies to bring this innovative combination therapy of an immune checkpoint inhibitor and a small molecule targeted treatment to the clinical stage of development," added Shahidi.
Preclinical data suggests BI 891065 is a promising combination partner for checkpoint inhibitors and, when used together, may provide a new approach to cancer therapy.