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Our Collaborators

Thousands of researchers are collaborating together around the world. When it comes to generating ideas to help cancer patients, the lights are always on.

Transforming bright scientific ideas into new treatments for patients increasingly requires a strong, international network of partners. Boehringer Ingelheim is continually seeking to collaborate at all stages of research and development, with the goal of offering cancer treatments that fit the needs of patients, caregivers and doctors.


In 2016, research and development (R&D) expenditure at Boehringer Ingelheim corresponded to 19.6% of net sales, representing an investment of €3.1 billion. This is part of a commitment to invest €11 billion within R&D over 5 years.1 To date our extensive oncology clinical trial programme has involved more than 800 study centres in 47 countries.


Read more about our ongoing collaborations below, or find out more about collaborating with us here.

Our research collaborations

We are developing a growing collaborative network with academic centres and biotechnology companies, reflecting our focus on emerging science that could open new avenues and lead to the breakthrough medications of the future. Our research collaborators include:


Dundee University

We have joined forces with Dundee University with the aim of developing PROteolysis TArgeting Chimeric molecules (PROTACs) as new therapeutic agents. Dr Alessio Ciulli, based at the School of Life Sciences at Dundee, is one of the pioneers in the field of PROTACs, which target disease-causing proteins for degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome system.2


Eureka Therapeutics

We have entered into a research agreement with Eureka Therapeutics to discover next-generation therapeutic antibodies in oncology. The collaboration focuses on utilising a Eureka Therapeutics technology platform to identify antibodies against intracellular oncogenes, which represent approximately 90% of cancer-specific targets. Prior to this technology, many of these were previously considered to be ‘undruggable targets’.3


MD Anderson Cancer Center

We are collaborating with the MD Anderson Cancer Center to develop innovative medicines for one of the most lethal forms of cancer, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). MD Anderson’s unique understanding of the potential drivers behind PDAC will be applied to identify novel therapeutic targets and biomarkers that could accurately identify patients who would respond to potential new therapies.4


Vanderbilt University (Cancer Drug Discovery Laboratory)

We have entered into 2 multi-year research programmes with the cancer drug research laboratory of Professor Stephen Fesik at Vanderbilt University. These programmes focus on therapies targeting Ras, which is one of the most frequently mutated oncogenes known. One programme focuses on the development of small-molecule inhibitors of oncogenic Ras and the other on targeting Son of Sevenless (SOS), a protein responsible for activating K-Ras.5


Yale University

We are collaborating with Yale University with the aim of developing new immune-modulatory agents for oncology, autoimmune diseases and respiratory diseases. The collaboration is jointly led by Dr Lieping Chen, whose pioneering work in discovering the PD-L1/PD-1 pathway and anti-PD-L1/PD-1 therapy has led to highly promising treatments for cancer patients. Research into immune-modulation in oncology complements Boehringer Ingelheim’s efforts in the fields of targeted therapy and cancer vaccines.6

Our clinical collaborations

We are involved in several collaborations in clinical research aimed at the development and commercialisation of new therapies to improve patients’ lives. Our clinical collaborations include those with:



We have partnered with CureVac, a leader in mRNA-based drug development, to develop the mRNA-based immunotherapeutic cancer vaccine (ICV) BI 1361849* (CV9202). This novel therapeutic approach uses optimised mRNA sequences to increase antigen expression, ultimately mobilising the patient’s own immune system to elicit a specific response against tumour tissue. BI 1361849 is currently being investigated as a treatment for non-small cell lung cancer.7


Eli Lilly

We are collaborating with Eli Lilly on a Phase Ib study that will evaluate the novel combination of BI 836845*, an insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1/IGF-2 ligand co-neutralising antibody, in combination with abemaciclib, Lilly’s cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4 and 6 inhibitor, in patients diagnosed with HR(+)/HER2(–) metastatic breast cancer. Based on favourable Phase Ib trial results, the collaboration has the potential to expand to Phase II trials.8



Together with MSD, we are initiating a Phase II trial of afatinib in combination with pembrolizumab in patients with locally advanced or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) of the lung. Due to the poor prognosis and survival rates for SqCC of the lung, there is a high unmet need for new treatments in this area.9



We have joined forces with Philogen to investigate novel treatment approaches for acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). AML is one of the most common types of leukaemia in adults, accounting for approximately one-third of all such cases in the Western world. The collaboration includes a trial of teleukin, an immunostimulatory empowered antibody, in combination with BI 836858*, an anti-CD33 monoclonal antibody, in patients with AML that have relapsed after stem cell transplantation.10,11


Sarah Cannon Research Institute

We have formed a strategic collaboration with Sarah Cannon Research Institute to study BI 754091,* an anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody, and BI 754111*, an anti-LAG-3 monoclonal antibody, for the combination treatment of multiple cancers with high unmet medical needs, including NSCLC.12


The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Beat AML Master Trial

We are contributing to a ground-breaking, first-of-its-kind collaborative trial programme to advance treatments for patients with AML, organised by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The Beat AML Master Trial will evaluate investigational medicines from several biopharmaceutical companies. Two sub-study arms within the trial will offer our investigational anti-CD33 monoclonal antibody, BI 836858, as a treatment.13,14



We have entered into a long-term partnership with ViraTherapeutics to jointly develop a next-generation oncolytic virus therapy platform. Oncolytic virus therapy is a cancer treatment approach that uses a virus to infect and break down cancer cells. The collaboration includes investigation of ViraTherapeutics’ lead candidate, vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein (VSV-GP), in Phase I clinical trials.15

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Boehringer Ingelheim. Press release. Available at: https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/press-release/boehringer-ingelheim-will-invest-11-billion-euros-research-and-development-next-five (Accessed: June 2017).


Boehringer Ingelheim. Press release. Available at: https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/press-release/boehringer-ingelheim-and-university-dundee-collaborate (Accessed: June 2017).


Boehringer Ingelheim. Press release. Available at: https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/press-release/eureka-therapeutics-inc-and-boehringer-ingelheim-announce-collaboration-identify-next (Accessed: June 2017).


Boehringer Ingelheim. Press release. Available at: https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/press-release/boehringer-ingelheim-and-md-anderson-join-forces (Accessed: June 2017).


Boehringer Ingelheim. Press release. Available at: https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/press-release/boehringer-ingelheim-and-vanderbilt-join-forces-develop-new-ras-inhibitors-cancer (Accessed: June 2017).


Boehringer Ingelheim. Press release. Available at: https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/press-release/boehringer-ingelheim-and-yale-university-collaborate-investigate-novel-immunotherapy (Accessed: June 2017).


Boehringer Ingelheim. Press release. Available at: https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/press-release/boehringer-ingelheim-and-curevac-collaboration (Accessed: June 2017).


Boehringer Ingelheim. Press release. Available at: https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/press-release/boehringer-ingelheim-and-lilly-announce-clinical-trial-collaboration-metastatic-breast (Accessed: June 2017).


Boehringer Ingelheim. Press release. Available at: https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/press-release/afatinib-plus-pembrozilumab-be-evaluated-sqcc-lung (Accessed: June 2017).


Boehringer Ingelheim. Press release. Available at: https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/press-release/boehringer-ingelheim-and-philogen-partner-aml (Accessed: June 2017).


Boehringer Ingelheim. Data on file.


Boehringer Ingelheim. Press release. Available at: https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/press-release/sarah-cannon-collaboration (Accessed: June 2017).


Boehringer Ingelheim. Press release. Available at: https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/press-release/boehringer-ingelheim-joins-leukemia-lymphoma-society (Accessed: June 2017).


Boehringer Ingelheim. Data on file.


Boehringer Ingelheim. Press release. Available at: https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/press-release/viratherapeutics-collaboration (Accessed: June 2017).

*This is an investigational compound and has not been approved. Its safety and efficacy have not been established.