Boehringer Ingelheim has signed its second deal in a week, this time linking up with fellow German firm DeveloGen and worth up to 244 million euros.

The two companies say they will collaborate in the field of diabetes, obesity, the metabolic syndrome and other insulin resistance-associated disorders. Under the terms of the deal, DeveloGen is getting an upfront fee of 7 million euros, plus potential milestones of up to 237 million euros “as well as tiered sales performance payments”.

The Goettingen-based biopharmaceutical company will also receive research payments “to support further discovery and development efforts” and more cash could come in from additional compounds.

DeveloGen’s chief executive Cord Dohrmann noted that using “a unique functional genomics approach”, the firm has identified and validated “a relevant target directly addressing insulin resistance”. Initial compounds have proven to be effective in preclinical models of type 2 diabetes and obesity, he added, “improving carbohydrate and lipid metabolism while reducing weight gain and preserving beta cell function."

Andreas Barner, Boehringer’s chairman, said the “steadily increasing prevalence of diabetes can only be addressed by new and improved therapies involving novel mechanisms with improved safety and efficacy”. He added that the collaboration “will complement and expand” the company’s current diabetes pipeline.

The latter is led by the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor Ondero (linagliptin), which is in Phase III, and two Phase II sodium glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors, BI 44847 and BI 10773. The deal with DeveloGen follows the signing of a $354 autoimmune pact with Exelixis announced last week.