nitpicker /
5 September 2019AsiaSarah Morgan

Lupin and Boehringer enter $720m anti-cancer drug partnership

Indian drugmaker Lupin and German pharma company Boehringer Ingelheim have formed an alliance to develop a therapy for patients with difficult-to-treat cancers.

Lupin will receive $20 million upfront, with potential total milestones of more than $700 million.

Announced yesterday, September 4, the licensing, development and commercialisation agreement aims to develop Lupin’s lead MEK inhibitor compound in combination with one of Boehringer Ingelheim’s KRAS inhibitors for patients with gastrointestinal and lung cancers.

KRAS mutations occur in one in seven of all human metastatic cancers making it the most frequently mutated cancer-causing gene, said Boehringer Ingelheim.

Norbert Kraut, head of global cancer research at Boehringer Ingelheim, said: “The licensing of Lupin’s novel MEK inhibitor enables us to pair with our innovative KRAS inhibitors to develop new combination treatment concepts providing more effective and durable responses for patients with cancers driven by activated KRAS who currently have limited treatment options available.”

Developed as part of Lupin’s oncology pipeline, its MEK inhibitors have shown pre-clinical activity as a single agent as well as in combination. According to the release, the inhibitors have shown early clinical benefit in a small subset of patients.

Nilesh Gupta, managing director of Lupin, said: “With the success of our second new drug discovery programme in oncology, we have made a significant mark in bringing novel treatments to patients.”

In December last year, AbbVie licensed Lupin’s MALT1 (Mucosa-Associated Lymphoid Tissue Lymphoma Translocation Protein 1) inhibitor programme.

MALT-1 is a protein involved in T-cell and B-cell lymphocyte activation. At the time, AbbVie said it intends to pursue development across a range of haematological cancers.

“We are proud of the achievements of our team and the capabilities we have built which enable us to further our new drug discovery programme. We are delighted to partner with Boehringer Ingelheim in developing treatments that will truly benefit patients in need,” said Gupta.

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