The acquisition will help expand Boehringer Ingelheim’s focus on patients with difficult-to-treat solid tumours

NewZealandFactory building_300dpi

Factory building, East Tamaki, Auckland New Zealand. (Credit: Boehringer Ingelheim.)

Boehringer Ingelheim has agreed to acquire NBE-Therapeutics, a Switzerland-based clinical-stage biotechnology company, in a deal valued at €1.18bn.

NBE-Therapeutics is developing antibody-drug conjugates and targeted cancer therapies derived from its immune-stimulatory iADC platform. Its lead candidate NBE-002 is currently under Phase 1 studies for triple-negative breast cancer and other solid tumours.

With the acquisition, Boehringer Ingelheim can access the NBE-Therapeutics’ advanced platform that leverages leading ADC portfolio to develop potential combinations with other assets from its cancer immunology portfolio.

Boehringer Ingelheim managing directors’ board member Michel Pairet said: “NBE-Therapeutics’ iADC platform adds exceptional tumour targeting capabilities to our oncology portfolio. Together with our immune cell-targeting assets, this could enable new powerful combinations that will allow for efficacious and durable treatments for patients.

“This acquisition is a further example of Boehringer Ingelheim’s long-term strategy to enhance our position as an innovator of novel cancer therapies for patients in need. We welcome NBE-Therapeutics’ richly talented team to Boehringer Ingelheim and we look forward to collaborating with them on this important work.”

Boehringer Ingelheim said that its cancer cell-directed research is focused on the development of targeted therapies for the treatment of difficult-to-treat solid tumours.

ADC-based approaches have become a powerful targeted therapy with the potential for induction of immunogenic cell death with reduced systemic exposure and toxicity, said Boehringer.

The acquisition is expected to strengthen Boehringer Ingelheim’s strategic focus on targeted cancer cell-directed therapies and will complement the company’s existing capabilities in antigen discovery, along with antibody and T-cell engager technologies.

Closing of the transaction is expected during the first quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions.

NBE-Therapeutics chief executive officer Bertrand Damour said: “I am extremely proud of the NBE-Therapeutics’ team and delighted that our world-class ADC expertise is being recognised by Boehringer Ingelheim. This transaction is a validation of our platform and its potential for the next-generation cancer therapies.

“We look forward to progressing NBE-002, our lead program and best-in-class anti-ROR1 ADC, and to continuing the fight against cancer alongside Boehringer Ingelheim with its strong clinical development capabilities.”

The transaction builds on Boehringer Ingelheim’s recent strategic acquisitions and collaborations, including the acquisition of ViraTherapeutics and AMAL Therapeutics.