Boehringer Ingelheim has signed an option to buy Trutino Biosciences, a San Diego-based biotech company.
A pre-clinical stage biotech company, Trutino Biosciences is engaged in discovering and developing next-generation cytokine therapies to treat immuno-oncology and autoimmune diseases.
Boehringer Ingelheim has a two-pronged research strategy to fight cancers: through cancer cell-directed and immune cell-targeting compounds.
The ongoing research partnership between the two firms is part of an effort to mobilise a patient’s immune system to fight cancer.
Boehringer Ingelheim corporate senior vice president and global head of discovery research Clive R. Wood said: “Boehringer Ingelheim is excited to extend our partnership with Dr. Kim and his outstanding team at Trutino Biosciences. Our existing collaboration has made rapid and impressive progress in a short time frame, and we expect this field to have potential combination benefits with our existing immune-targeting assets.
“The selective activation of specific cytokines localized in the tumor microenvironment holds enormous promise and has the potential to be a key element in fully harnessing the power of the immune system to fight cancer.”
Trutino Biosciences founder and CEO Phillip Kim said: “It’s been two years since our initial strategic alliance began and we are very excited to further strengthen our partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim, a leader in cancer immunology, to advance potential cytokine therapeutic options that will transform the lives of cancer patients worldwide.
“Boehringer Ingelheim has a deep commitment to our innovative scientific approaches and to bringing novel cancer therapies to patients. This global partnership validates the broad potential of our proprietary ‘On Demand Cytokine’ platform.
“As part of this expanded collaborative framework, we aim to rapidly develop a new generation of cytokine therapies as single agent and in combination with Boehringer Ingelheim’s pipeline portfolio of cancer vaccines, oncolytic viruses, T cell engagers and other therapeutic modalities.”
As per the agreement, Boehringer Ingelheim has the right to acquire all shares of Trutino Biosciences once particular programme milestones have been met within a scheduled timeframe.
Until then, Trutino will continue to run as an independent firm, with the current strategic partnership and collaboration agreement between the firm will continue.
The deal consideration comprises an option fee, the issuance of a convertible note and fixed acquisition price terms to buy Trutino Biosciences once pre-defined milestones are met.
The option fee and principal amount of the convertible note funded by Boehringer Ingelheim at the signing of the option will together completely finance Trutino Biosciences through the next major development milestones.
In 2020, the two firms entered a multi-target strategic partnership on conditionally masked cytokines.