Oncoheroes Biosciences Inc (“Oncoheroes”) and Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH (“Boehringer Ingelheim”) have signed a worldwide, exclusive licensing agreement for volasertib, an investigational anti-cancer compound that was originally discovered and developed by Boehringer Ingelheim. Under the terms of this agreement Boehringer Ingelheim assigns to Oncoheroes the intellectual property of volasertib, with exclusive rights to research, develop, sell and sublicense the compound. Oncoheroes is committed to further develop and commercialize volasertib for pediatric cancer indications.
Volasertib is an inhibitor of Polo-like-kinase 1 (PLK1), an enzyme known to be involved in cancer progression in a number of diseases. The compound was being developed by Boehringer for the treatment of a specific form of leukemia but clinical development activities were halted after a large Phase III study with adult patients failed to meet its primary endpoints. Meanwhile, independent academic groups had generated strong data in support of further developing the drug for rhabdomyosarcoma and a few other pediatric cancer indications. By signing this licensing agreement, Oncoheroes and Boehringer Ingelheim make it possible to continue the clinical development of volasertib to the benefit of younger cancer patients.
Oncoheroes is a Boston-based biotech company exclusively focused on the development of innovative medicines to treat cancer in children and adolescents. The company was co-founded by Ricardo Garcia and Cesare Spadoni, two parents touched by childhood cancer and determined to change the outlook for these young patients.
“This is probably the first example of an investigational compound being specifically repurposed to investigate it as a treatment for a form of childhood cancer. We are committed to identify more such opportunities and also develop our own innovative treatments for children and adolescents with cancer”, jointly stated Ricardo Garcia and Dr Cesare Spadoni, Oncoheroes’ Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer, respectively.
The financial details of this deal are not disclosed. Oncoheroes has already established links with international pediatric oncology networks and is actively working to start clinical development activities as soon as possible.
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About Oncoheroes Biosciences Inc.
Oncoheroes is a ground-breaking biotech company exclusively focused on the discovery and development of better drugs for children and adolescents with cancer. Our vision is to deliver benefits to young cancer patients and create value in the process. The company is headquartered in Boston, US, with a discovery lab in Barcelona, Spain. Oncoheroes is actively looking for in-licensing opportunities in the pediatric oncology space and working to generate new proprietary assets for a number of pediatric cancer indications with high unmet medical need. The company was co-funded by Ricardo Garcia (serial entrepreneur), Cesare Spadoni (drug development professional), Marc Goldberg (savvy Life Science VC investor) and Marco Muñoz (seasoned fundraiser). The management team is formed by drug development and industry professionals in US and Europe and the company has already established strong links with the major international pediatric oncology network as well as the childhood cancer community at large.
About Boehringer Ingelheim
Improving the health of humans and animals is the goal of the research-driven pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim. The focus in doing so is on diseases for which no satisfactory treatment option exists to date. The company therefore concentrates on developing innovative therapies that can extend patients’ lives. In animal health, Boehringer Ingelheim stands for advanced prevention.
Family-owned since it was established in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the pharmaceutical industry’s top 20 companies. Some 50,000 employees create value through innovation daily for the three business areas human pharmaceuticals, animal health and biopharmaceuticals. In 2018, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of around 17.5 billion euros. R&D expenditure of almost 3.2 billion euros, corresponded to 18.1 per cent of net sales.
As a family-owned company, Boehringer Ingelheim plans in generations and focuses on long-term success. The company therefore aims at organic growth from its own resources with simultaneous openness to partnerships and strategic alliances in research. In everything it does, Boehringer Ingelheim naturally adopts responsibility towards mankind and the environment.