INGELHEIM, Germany & VIENNA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Boehringer Ingelheim and Proxygen today announced they have entered into a collaboration and license agreement to enable the identification of molecular glue degraders against various oncogenic targets. The collaboration combines Proxygen’s unique molecular glue degrader discovery platform and its expertise in targeted protein degradation with Boehringer Ingelheim’s long-term strategy to provide first-in-class, breakthrough therapies for cancer patients.
Molecular glue degraders and PROTACs harness the power of the cell’s recycling machinery to selectively eliminate disease-causing proteins. Molecular glue degraders achieve this by specifically bridging the distance between target proteins and ubiquitin ligases, which consequently flag the target proteins for rapid degradation. Molecular glues orchestrate this protein-protein proximity through highly cooperative binding. They circumvent the need for a defined binding pocket on the surface of the target protein, a requirement for conventional small molecule drugs, allowing pharmaceutical intervention on proteins that were previously considered undruggable.
“Proxygen’s molecular glue degrader platform has the potential to become a valuable component of Boehringer Ingelheim’s cancer research strategy to treat tumors driven by the most frequently mutated cancer-causing proteins that were previously considered undruggable and to further expand our efforts in the area of targeted protein degradation,” says Norbert Kraut, Global Head of Cancer Research at Boehringer Ingelheim. “We are very pleased to partner with Proxygen, complementing our efforts in taking difficult-to-treat cancers on.”
The identification of molecular glue degraders has been serendipitous up to this point. Proxygen’s highly scalable and broadly applicable molecular glue discovery platform promises a goal-oriented and comprehensive avenue towards an improved identification of molecular glue degrader candidates.
“We are very excited to join forces with Boehringer Ingelheim,” says Bernhard Boidol, Chief Executive Officer of Proxygen. “Working together with a leader in innovative oncological research and development not only validates the broad applicability of our molecular glue degrader platform but also allows us to rapidly develop new therapies for the high unmet medical need of many patients with lung and colorectal cancers.”
Proxygen’s new method has recently been recognized by Boehringer Ingelheim through its Grass Roots ‘Innovation Prize’ in Vienna, Austria. The ‘Innovation Prize’ recognizes the innovation power of young life-science companies and bio-entrepreneurs to create and sustain pipelines for the next generation of medicines. Launched in 2015, the Grass Roots programs comprise of ‘Office Hours,’ ‘Academy’ and the ‘Innovation Prize.’ As a company dedicated to improving health and quality of life, these programs give Boehringer Ingelheim the opportunity to lend expertise to the early-stage innovation community and offer guidance around the science to help enable ideas to deliver the next breakthroughs.
Proxygen is entitled to receive up-front payments, research and development support and milestone gated development payments, as well as tiered royalties based on future commercial sales of developed products.
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