Boehringer Ingelheim has linked with US cancer research and care institute the MD Anderson Cancer Center in a deal focused on the development of novel approaches to treating pancreatic cancer, extending its focus on difficult-to-treat diseases. 

PDAC is one of the most lethal of cancers because it is usually detected in later stages and is often resistant to standard therapies. Newly diagnosed patients have a median survival of less than one year and a five-year survival rate of just 3-5 percent, underscoring the urgent need for new treatment options.

The alliance is aiming to utilise and MD Anderson’s unique understanding of the potential drivers of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and Boehringer’s experience in drug discovery and development to discover novel therapies for the disease.

The collaboration will focus on identifying and developing therapeutic concepts in novel target areas as well as identification of biomarkers that can accurately identify patients who would respond to potential new therapies.

“This partnership is a perfect match because it combines MD Anderson’s outstanding capabilities in preclinical concept validation and clinical testing with Boehringer Ingelheim’s strength in developing innovative medicines in novel target spaces,” said Clive Wood, who heads the German drugmaker’s Discovery Research unit.