Boehringer Ingelheim and Gilead Sign Agreement for HIV Compound Rights
German corporation, Boehringer Ingelheim, and the Californian firm, Gilead Sciences, have entered into a licensing agreement, under which Boehringer Ingelheim has given Gilead exclusive worldwide rights for the research, development and commercialisation of its novel non-catalytic site integrase inhibitors for HIV. This includes the lead compound BI 224436, which has been evaluated in a Phase Ia dose-escalation study to assess bioavailability and pharmacokinetics in healthy volunteers.
Under the agreement, Gilead Sciences will pay Boehringer Ingelheim an upfront fee. Boehringer Ingelheim could also receive further payments depending upon the achievement of certain development, regulatory and commercial milestones, as well as royalties on future net sales.
Norbert Bischofberger, PhD, Executive Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer for Gilead Sciences, commented that “we are very pleased to have established this licensing agreement. The Boehringer Ingelheim compounds complement our internal discovery programs and the efforts are aligned with our commitment to continue to innovate in the field of HIV.” “We are looking forward to progressing BI 224436 or other compounds further into clinical development.”
Prof. Dr. Klaus Dugi, Corporate Senior Vice President Medicine at Boehringer Ingelheim added that “both companies’ genuine interest in advancing research and development in virology is reflected by this collaboration’s aim to address unmet patient needs.” “While Gilead will drive the integrase inhibitors in HIV into clinical development, we will focus our development efforts on further compounds of our virology pipeline, particularly our portfolio in hepatitis C.” In terms of the latter area, Boehringer recently moved their lead compound – a second-generation once-daily protease inhibitor BI 201335 – into Phase III.
Non-catalytic site integrase inhibitors (NCINIs) target the key component of the HIV virus responsible for incorporation of the viral DNA into the human genome. NCINIs inhibit HIV integrase by binding to a novel site, distinct from the catalytic site used by the current class of integrase inhibitors, and therefore may possess a differentiated resistance profile from Merck & Co’s Isentress (raltegravir) or Gilead’s own drug, elvitegravir.