Boehringer Ingelheim and MiNA Therapeutics (“MiNA”), a pioneer in RNA activation therapeutics, announced that they have signed a collaboration and licensing agreement focused on the development of novel compounds to treat fibrotic liver diseases such as NASH, based on MiNA’s small activating RNA (“saRNA”) therapeutics platform. The new partnership underscores Boehringer Ingelheim’s commitment to advancing innovative new treatment approaches and furthering its comprehensive clinical offerings in cardiometabolic diseases. It combines MiNA’s leading expertise in the development of saRNAs with Boehringer Ingelheim’s experience in bringing first-in-class breakthrough treatments to patients with cardiometabolic disease.
NASH is a major cause of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis and an area of high unmet medical need. It has an especially high prevalence among obese and diabetic patients and currently there are no treatments available. NASH is expected to become the most common cause of advanced liver disorders eventually necessitating liver transplantation in the coming decades.
saRNAs have been demonstrated to activate transcription of specific genes resulting in upregulation of proteins with therapeutic potential. In the new collaboration, Boehringer Ingelheim and MiNA aim to identify targets to restore metabolic functionality of hepatocytes and prevent fibrotic tissue formation in patients with NASH. It will enable Boehringer Ingelheim to rapidly design, profile and develop novel compounds, potentially also creating opportunities for combination with Boehringer Ingelheim’s other NASH-pipeline assets.
“This collaboration is a recognition of our platform and expertise in liver-based diseases as well as validation from an established pharmaceutical leader in what has been an exciting year for the company,” said Robert Habib, CEO of MiNA.
“This new collaboration is another sign of our ongoing commitment to patients with cardio-metabolic diseases, including NASH,” said Clive R. Wood, Ph.D., Corporate Senior Vice President Discovery Research at Boehringer Ingelheim. “It will combine MiNA’s pioneering work with saRNAs with our expertise in biopharmaceutical research and development,” added Wood.
Boehringer Ingelheim has a long history of excellence in the discovery and development of medicines for cardiometabolic disease patients. It has established a broad portfolio of marketed products for thromboembolic diseases, type 2 diabetes, acute myocardial infarction, hypertension and cardio-renal risk reduction. The cardiometabolic diseases pipeline extends beyond type 2 diabetes and anticoagulation with a focus on innovative drugs for the treatment of the devastating consequences of diabetes as well as contributing factors like obesity.
Under the terms of the agreement, MiNA will receive an upfront payment and committed research funding as well as potential research, development and regulatory milestone payments totalling up to EUR 307 million. In addition, MiNA is entitled to up to double-digit royalties on sales of selected products resulting from the partnership. No further financial details have been disclosed.
In this agreement, MiNA was advised by Ferghana Partners and Taylor Wessing LLP.