QUANTRO Therapeutics have entered a three-year collaboration, option and license agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim for the identification and development of inhibitors for up to three cancer-associated transcription factors.
The collaboration will employ QUANTRO’s proprietary drug discovery platform based on time-resolved transcriptomics to identify and develop drug candidates interfering with key transcriptional programs in cancer. It is part of Boehringer Ingelheim’s long-term strategy to provide first-in-class breakthrough therapies for cancer patients.
Transcription factors are central regulators of gene expression that are commonly deregulated in cancer and have emerged as a promising class of therapeutic targets. However, targeting transcription factors through small-molecule inhibitors remains notoriously difficult.
QUANTRO’s unique drug discovery platform combines genome engineering, chemical
genetics, and innovative gene expression profiling to develop novel therapeutics that interfere with aberrant transcriptional programs.
Prof. Norbert Kraut, global head of Cancer Research at Boehringer Ingelheim, said:
“Transforming cancer care takes a diversity of minds. Therefore, we are excited about
partnering with QUANTRO on oncogenic transcription factors. Development of small molecule inhibitors for this target class is truly challenging due to their frequent lack of
enzymatic activity and ligandable pockets.
“QUANTRO’s innovative drug discovery approach tackles this important protein family in a new way and has the potential to deliver drug candidates that overcome the barriers of drugging important cancer drivers that so far remain inaccessible to targeted therapies.”
Dr. Dieter Nachtigall, Chief Executive Officer of QUANTRO, said: “After establishing
QUANTRO’s drug discovery pipeline and demonstrating the superior sensitivity and specificity of our time-resolved transcriptomics assay, we are delighted to work with Boehringer Ingelheim over the next three years to identify and develop drug candidates targeting transcription factors in cancer.
“This collaboration and our interaction with the highly committed oncology team of Boehringer Ingelheim will boost our efforts to develop novel therapies interfering with transcriptional regulators.”
QUANTRO is entitled to receive up-front payments, research and development support,
milestone payments as well as royalties on products resulting from the collaboration. Financial details were not disclosed.
QUANTRO retains all rights to its technology platform and to internal and proprietary drug discovery programs targeting different cancer-associated transcription factors.