Boehringer Ingelheim has pulled out of a cardiovascular pact with Athera Biotechnologies of Sweden after a review of its R&D priorities.

Athera, which is 65% owned by Karolinska Development, noted that the German firm will not exercise the option agreement signed in June 2013 to license its cardiovascular antibody, called PC-mAb. The decision to terminate the deal “has been made as a consequence of a re-focus in its corporate R&D strategy”.

Athera says its ongoing Phase I study with PC-mAb will proceed as planned with cash from the European Commission’s Cardimmun project. Chief executive Carina Schmidt heralded Boehringer’s “vast experience and resources within the cardiovascular field [which] has significantly contributed to the successful progress of PC-mAb into the clinical development stage”.

Ms Schmidt said the firm will initiate activities “to secure a new strategic partner for the later phases of clinical development and commercialisation”.