A second deal between Germany’s Boehringer Ingelheim and a UK firm has been announced this week, this time with Oxford-based Evox Therapeutics for a collaboration focused on exosome-mediated drug delivery.

The research collaboration aims to investigate the exosome-mediated delivery of RNAs with high medical relevance to targets for specific disease areas of focus to Boehringer.

Evox combines its exosome (small, cell-derived vesicles) engineering platform with highly specific targeting technology, “to enable the development of natural delivery nanoparticles for the treatment of severe diseases”.

“The use of exosomes as drug delivery vehicles provide significant advantages over other delivery methods as they can carry therapeutic molecules to difficult-to-reach target tissues,” noted Evox’ chief executive Antonin de Fougerolles.

As per the deal terms, both parties will perform in vitro and in vivo research with Evox’s exosome technology in return for undisclosed financial considerations.

Boehringer will then have the option to negotiate a licence agreement to further develop RNA drug candidates using Evox’ exosome-mediated delivery technology.

It is hoped that the collaboration - which falls under Boehringer’s Research Beyond Borders (RBB) initiative, that explores emerging science and technologies for and beyond its core therapeutic areas – will help open the door to new treatment concepts in diseases with high medical need not amenable to therapeutic intervention.

News of the deal came hot on the heels of that revealing a partnership between Boehringer and Autifony Therapeutics, focused on a novel therapeutic approach to a range of CNS disorders.

Roche IBD deal

Meanwhile, Boehringer also announced a collaborative agreement with Roche, focusing on the discovery and development of orally available novel Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) oligonucleotides for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs).

Together, the companies will leverage complementary expertise and innovative LNA technology to bring novel treatment approaches to IBD patients.

Under the agreement, Boehringer and Roche will collaborate on drug discovery and development, share clinical development costs and also responsibility for the commercialisation of potential products.

Further terms were not revelead.