Thursday, November 23, 2023

Boehringer Ingelheim expands immuno-oncology portfolio with the acquisition of bacterial cancer therapy specialist T3 Pharma

 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Boehringer Ingelheim today announced the acquisition of privately-held T3 Pharmaceuticals AG (“T3 Pharma”), a clinical stage Swiss biotech company, for an amount of up to 450 million CHF. T3 Pharma has developed a proprietary therapy platform that uses live bacteria to deliver immune-modulating proteins to cancer cells and tumor micro-environments.

Despite the significant transformation of the cancer treatment landscape by immunotherapies, long-term remissions only occur in 15-20% of cancer patients. Boehringer Ingelheim aims to considerably increase this rate by utilizing complementary immuno-oncology platforms such as T-Cell Engagers (TcEs), oncolytic viruses, and cancer vaccines, which have the potential to turn cold tumors into hot ones, extending the benefits of immunotherapy to more patients in need.

T3 Pharma’s pioneering technology will bolster Boehringer Ingelheim’s array of novel immune-modulatory cancer treatments, reinforcing the company's oncology strategy to transform the lives of people affected by cancer.

“The acquisition of T3 Pharma will significantly expand our immuno-oncology pipeline portfolio and is synergistic with many of our existing R&D programs. This will bring us closer to achieving our vision of driving a paradigm shift in cancer care treatments,” said Michel Pairet, Member of the Board of Managing Directors at Boehringer Ingelheim with responsibility for the Innovation Unit.

“We are extremely proud of the work of T3 Pharma’s team and very excited to continue and accelerate the successful development of our bacterial delivery platform as part of Boehringer Ingelheim. Being integrated with our partners at Boehringer will enable us to realize the full potential of our platform to fight solid cancers,” said Simon Ittig, CEO of T3 Pharma.

T3 Pharma has developed a unique platform using engineered Yersinia enterocolitica bacteria to deliver bioactive proteins directly and selectively into the tumor micro-environment, while sparing healthy tissues. The bacteria can be loaded with multiple immune-modulatory proteins of choice, enabling the design of immuno-oncology combination therapies in one single agent.

Boehringer Ingelheim is adopting a comprehensive approach to cancer therapy development including both cancer cell-directed and immuno-oncology approaches. This strategy aims to enable smart combinations that deliver life-changing and best-in-class treatments that may offer the greatest benefit for people affected by cancer. To make this ambition a reality, the company is constantly exploring emerging science cooperating with a growing global network of leading academic and industry partners and by investing in startup companies via its Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, which was among the main investors of T3 Pharma.

T3 Pharma is headquartered in Allschwil near Basel, Switzerland, where it was founded with financial backing from both corporate and institutional investors. Operations of T3 Pharma will be kept in the Basel region following the acquisition.

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