The company exercised an option to continue the partnership, which began in 2016. A joint research team has identified a target for a fibrosis therapy, and preliminary results indicate it could be effective.
“We are very pleased with this decision by Boehringer Ingelheim, which underscores the research capabilities developed by Inventiva in fibrosis,” Dr. Pierre Broqua, Inventiva’s chief scientific officer, said in a press release. He added that Inventia was “excited to develop this new IPF approach with Boehringer Ingelheim, a partner offering the research, development, and commercial expertise needed to develop breakthrough therapies for patients suffering from fibrotic diseases such as IPF.”
Boehringer Ingelheim’s decision to continue the collaboration will mean a milestone payment of €2.5 million ($3 million) to Inventiva. In addition, Inventiva is eligible for research funding, payments of up to €170 million ($204 million) for therapy development milestones, and royalty payments for any commercial product resulting from the collaboration.
The companies are working together on treatment development, but Boehringer Ingelheim will be in charge of conducting clinical trials and commercializing therapies.
Inventiva has developed a technology for verifying fibrotic-condition targets, a process scientists call target validation This a crucial step in therapy development. Scientists first verify that a potential target is causing a disease, then they develop a therapy to address it.
Inventiva will use its platform to study the mechanism of action of targets in several organs. It will also obtain information from experiments with IPF patient’s cells.
“We are excited about moving this very productive and highly interactive collaboration forward,” said Dr. Clive R. Wood, a senior vice president at Boehringer Ingelheim. The partnership “combines Inventiva’s strong competency and know-how in the field of transcriptional regulation and fibrosis with Boehringer Ingelheim’s expertise in the discovery and development of treatments for fibrotic diseases like IPF,” he said.
IPF affects up to 3 million people worldwide. It causes permanent scarring in the lungs, difficulty breathing, and a reduction in the amount of oxygen the lungs can supply to other organs. People with IPF experience shortness of breath and coughing, and it’s often difficult for them to participate in everyday physical activities.