Boehringer Ingelheim, Sarah Cannon Research Institute to Study New Combo Therapy

Boehringer Ingelheim, Sarah Cannon Research Institute to Study New Combo Therapy

Boehringer Ingelheim and Sarah Cannon Research Institute will jointly evaluate a SMAC mimetic candidate alone and in combination with an anti-PD-1 immunotherapy for the treatment of solid tumors.

The two partners will launch a Phase 1 clinical trial (NCT03166631) to evaluate BI 891065 by itself and with BI 754091, Boehringer Ingelheim’s PD-1 antibody, in patients with advanced metastatic solid tumors.

The first patient has already been enrolled but the trial, expected to include roughly 100 participants, is still recruiting.

“Groundbreaking advances in immuno-oncology are expected to transform cancer treatment paradigms,” Dr. Mehdi Shahidi, global medical head of oncology at Boehringer Ingelheim, said in a press release. “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.”

SMAC mimetics are a new class of precise, small molecules that kill tumor cells and trigger immunotherapies against various cancers.

Previously reported preclinical data suggest that, when used along with a checkpoint inhibitor like BI 754091, a SMAC mimetic drug like BI 891065 may open new doors to cancer treatment.

The partners presented their data at both the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting and the 2017 Keystone Symposia Conference on Molecular and Cellular Biology.

“We look forward to continuing our research to find more effective therapies for patients across tumor types through novel immune therapies and combinations of therapies,” said Dr. Howard A. Burris, Sarah Cannon’s president of clinical operations and chief medical officer. “This expanded collaboration furthers our mission to provide access to the latest treatments in the community for our patients.”

This isn’t the first time Boehringer Ingelheim and Nashville-based Sarah Cannon enter a strategic partnership. In 2016, the two led a joint clinical development program to study Boehringer Ingelheim’s anti-PD-1 therapy in combination with an anti-LAG 3 monoclonal antibody (BI 754111), another immune checkpoint inhibitor created to treat multiple cancers with unmet needs.