Boehringer Ingelheim has announced its acquisition of all shares of AMAL Therapeutics, a private Swiss biotechnology company focused on cancer immunotherapy.
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, and Boehringer Ingelheim plans to develop new therapies by combining assets from its cancer immunology portfolio with AMAL’s proprietary KISIMA immunisation platform.
“Acquiring AMAL is part of Boehringer Ingelheim’s long-term strategy to enhance our existing position as an innovator of novel cancer therapies, including immuno-oncology treatments, which leverage cutting-edge scientific discoveries and their applications,” said Michel Pairet, member of Boehringer Ingelheim’s board of managing directors.
He continued, “We want to pioneer new paradigms of biology-based care for cancer patients, and the technologies and expertise developed at AMAL are critical to our efforts.”
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 focus on immune cell-directed therapies.
Under the terms AMAL will remain at the campus of the University of Geneva in Switzerland and operate as a subsidiary within Boehringer Ingelheim.