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Boehringer Ingelheim Acquires Swiss Biotechnology Firm AMAL Therapeutics.

M2 PHARMA-July 16, 2019-Boehringer Ingelheim Acquires Swiss Biotechnology Firm AMAL Therapeutics

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- German biopharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim has acquired all shares of AMAL Therapeutics SA, a private Swiss biotechnology company focused on cancer immunotherapy and advancing first-in-class therapeutic cancer vaccines derived from its technology platform KISIMA, the company said.

AMAL's lead vaccine ATP128 is currently developed for stage IV colorectal cancer and is slated to begin first-in-human trials later this month.

Boehringer Ingelheim plans to develop new therapies by combining assets from its cancer immunology portfolio with AMAL's proprietary KISIMA immunization platform.

The total transaction could amount up to EUR 325m, and is comprised of an upfront payment as well as contingent clinical, development and regulatory milestones plus up to EUR 100m if certain commercial milestones are hit.

Boehringer Ingelheim's Cancer Immunology group is built to discover therapies that engage triggering of immune responses against non-inflamed, "cold" tumors, which represent a large group of cancer types refractory to many treatments, including checkpoint inhibitor drugs.

Immune targeting of cold tumors is a particular challenge. AMAL's KISIMA vaccine technology, designed to stimulate potent immune responses, is a promising therapeutic option for patients with these type of cancers.

The AMAL acquisition, along with that of the 2018 acquisition of Vira Therapeutics (Vira-T) and in-license of OSE Immunotherapeutics' SIRP-alpha targeting antibody, significantly strengthens Boehringer Ingelheim's strategic focus on immune cell-directed therapies.

By combining its in-house research and development with that of biotechnology companies, Boehringer Ingelheim is developing innovative immuno-oncology therapies and accelerating the delivery of the next-generation of cancer treatments.

AMAL is headquartered on the medical campus of the University of Geneva, from which it was spun-out in 2012, with financial backing from a syndicate of both corporate and institutional investors, including the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and High-Tech Grunderfonds as the initial seed investors.

Additional investments were provided by VI Partners, Helsinn Investment Fund, BioMed Partners and Schroder Adveq. AMAL's technology platform and derived products are protected by a broad portfolio of patents and licenses.

Unlike prophylactic vaccines that immunize a patient to prevent an infection before it occurs, therapeutic vaccines combat existing diseases.

Anti-cancer therapeutic vaccines carry antigens, pieces of protein that also are in tumors. By presenting antigens to the patient's immune system, a vaccine can prompt tailor-made responses, including activation of killer T cells that target the tumor and can boost memory immunity to reduce the risk of relapse.

AMAL's proprietary technology platform KISIMA enables the assembly of three functional components into one patented fusion protein used as a vaccine: First, a proprietary cell-penetrating peptide for antigen delivery; second, a proprietary toll-like receptor peptide agonist as an adjuvant, and third, a multi-antigenic cargo that can be tailored for specific indications.

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Publication:M2 Pharma
Date:Jul 16, 2019
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