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Boehringer signs €465m lung cancer vaccine deal

Licenses CureVac's cancer immunotherapy CV9202

Boehringer Ingelheim headquarters

Boehringer Ingelheim has obtained exclusive global rights to an investigational therapeutic cancer vaccine and plans to team up it with its lung cancer drug Giotrif.

The company will collaborate with CureVac on the development and commercialisation of the German biotech company's early-stage candidate CV9202 in a number of different lung cancer settings.

Klaus Dugi, CMO at Boehringer, said: “In our collaboration with CureVac, we will investigate combining existing treatments with the approach of sustained activation of the immune system. With this we hope to be able to develop new treatments and further expand our broad pipeline in lung cancer.”

German biotech company CureVac focuses on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) based drug development - and its CV9202 mRNA vaccine is in phase I trials for the treatment of lung cancer.

A spokesperson told PMLive: "There is a strong probability that at least one of the antigens in CV9202 will be present on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumour cells and can serve as target to kill the tumour. So it's a multivalent immunotherapy in a one-fits-for-all approach."

He added that Boehringer's commitment to developing novel treatments with a focus on lung and haematologic cancer was a really good fit with CureVac's mRNA-based cancer immunotherapy approach.

CureVac, which also has deals with Sanofi and Janssen, has received €35m to date from the deal with Boehringer and eventually could achieve €430m through a combination of milestone payments and royalties on sales.

Ingar Hoerr, co-founder and CEO of CureVac, said: “The out-licensing and clinical development of our promising therapeutic vaccine CV9202 represents the logical next step in developing this novel treatment for cancer patients and the significant commitment from Boehringer Ingelheim underscores the relevance of the mRNA technology.”

The agreement with Boehringer could add an important new component to the German pharma company's oncology portfolio, which has been on an upward trajectory ever since Giotrif (afatinib) was approved in the US and Europe last year.

Boehringer will begin trials of CV9202 by testing its use in combination with Giotrif in patients with advanced or metastatic epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), mutated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and chemo-radiation therapy in patients with unresectable stage III NSCLC.

Developments in cancer immunotherapies were led by Dendreon, when its Provenge prostate cancer vaccine was approved in the US in 2010, but more recently GSK and Merck KGaA have both stumbled in lung cancer.

Article by
Kirstie Pickering

19th September 2014

From: Research

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