Topas Therapeutics and Boehringer Ingelheim sign multi-year collaboration

Initial focus on next generation vector-based therapeutics

26-Apr-2018 - Germany

Topas Therapeutics GmbH (Topas), a Hamburg, Germany-based private platform company leveraging the natural tolerance induction capabilities of the liver, today announced that it has signed a multi-year agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim to collaborate in the field of antigen-specific tolerance induction with an initial focus on virus-based delivery vectors that confer novel therapeutics to patients.

Virus-based therapeutics are emerging as a promising new approach to the treatment of cancer, with applications such as oncolytic viruses and also delivery vectors for cancer vaccines. However, as with any virus, the body may develop an unwanted immune reaction, prohibiting repeated administration of the viral therapeutic and possibly limiting its utility. In this collaboration, the Topas tolerizing nanoparticle technology will take aim at preventing this vector-neutralizing response.

Under the terms of the agreement, Topas will be responsible for the design, application and production of its proprietary tolerizing particles while Boehringer Ingelheim will contribute its antigen know-how and its pharmacology expertise to the collaboration in order to develop tolerance-generating adjuvant candidates. Boehringer Ingelheim has an option to license several pre-clinical development candidates produced under the collaboration for development and commercialization. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Topas’ technology platform induces antigen-specific immune tolerance by harnessing the liver’s natural immunology capabilities. Peptide-loaded nanoparticles mimic bloodborne antigens, selectively target liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs), and generate antigen-specific regulatory T cells that suppress unwanted immune reactions.

Timm Jessen, CEO of Topas Therapeutics, said: “We are proud to be working with Boehringer Ingelheim to generate novel product candidates using our proprietary technology. This collaboration supports the value and broad applicability of our tolerance induction approach, now comprising the increasingly significant field of novel therapeutics and their precise delivery. The high level of interest we have seen in our technology, including this key collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim, supports the growing recognition of the importance of tolerance induction in drug development, and we believe will fuel Topas’ future commercial potential.”

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