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Boehringer and Philogen collaborate on acute myeloid leukaemia

Hope to bring new therapies for the rare disease
Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim is to work with Swiss-Italian biopharma company Philogen to investigate new treatment approaches for acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

The agreement will see both companies partake in an exploratory trial investigating immunotherapy concepts for relapsed AML patients.

Although AML is a rare disease, it is one of the most common types of leukaemia in adults, accounting for approximately one third of all adult leukaemias in the Western world.

Martin Stefanic, head of clinical development of hemato-oncology at Boehringer, said: “We look forward to working with Philogen - a highly innovative biotechnology company, and to progressing our clinical understanding of treatment strategies for AML.

“This new collaboration adds a highly innovative new approach to our existing broad haematological cancer pipeline.”

Boehringer currently has a potential treatment for AML - volasertib - in phase III development, and the drug was awarded Breakthrough Therapy Designation in the US, as well as orphan drug status in the US and Europe.

Volasertib is an inhibitor of polo-like kinase (Plk), an emerging target for cancer therapy that is overexpressed in a range of malignancies.

Treatment options for AML are still somewhat limited, however at the end of last year Pfizer's Mylotarg (gemtuzumab ozogamcin) also showed itself to significantly improve overall survival compared to best supportive care in elderly patients with AML who were not considered fit for intensive chemotherapy.

Estimates from the American Cancer Society say that there will be around 10,460 deaths from AML - with almost all being adults. AML is particularly prevalent in the elderly and also has very low survival rates. 

Article by
Nikhil Patel

14th October 2015

From: Research

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