Pipeline strategies

Boehringer Ingelheim is dedicated to delivering first-in-class cancer cell-directed therapies and boldly pursuing innovative strategies in immuno-oncology, as well as designing smart combinations. Our goal is to achieve breakthroughs that give hope to patients with gastrointestinal cancers, lung cancers and other cancer types.

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Our clinical development pipeline

Our clinical development pipeline includes cancer cell-directed compounds, immuno-oncology compounds and compounds targeting both cancer cells and immune cells.

Cancer cell and immuno-oncology compounds

A fully interactive version of our pipeline table can be found here, and a downloadable PDF version can be found here.

Cancer cell-directed strategies

We are building on our knowledge and experience, and discovering powerful new cancer cell-directed agents that will give more benefit to more patients. Professor Norbert Kraut, Vice President and Global Head of Oncology Research at Boehringer Ingelheim, provides an overview of our leading program of cancer cell-directed research approaches.

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Professor Norbert Kraut considers our cancer cell-directed research approaches. Filmed in 2018

We are targeting key cancer hallmarks and driver pathways to deliver therapies with breakthrough potential. Our goal is to transform the cancer treatment landscape by targeting its key root causes.

Key cancer hallmarks and driver pathways

Key cancer hallmarks and driver pathways

ErbB, epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase family receptor; KRAS, Kirsten rat sarcoma; MYC, myelocytomatosis oncogene cellular homolog; Wnt, wingless/integrated.

We are investigating some of the most frequently mutated oncogenic drivers, including those previously considered ‘undruggable’. There are currently no approved drugs targeting β-catenin, p53, Kirsten rat sarcoma (KRAS) or myelocytomatosis oncogene cellular homolog (MYC) – successfully targeting these drivers could address more than half of the patient population across all cancer types,2,3 and more than 80% of the dysregulated oncogenic drivers in lung and gastrointestinal cancers.2,4,5

Frequently mutated oncogenic drivers

Frequently-mutated-oncogenic-drivers

KRAS, Kirsten rat sarcoma; MYC, myelocytomatosis oncogene cellular homolog.

Darryl B. McConnell, Research Site Head at Boehringer Ingelheim Regional Centre, Vienna, explains some of the approaches for targeting KRAS, the beating heart of cancer. Although KRAS was long considered ‘undruggable’, a better understanding of the molecular structure of KRAS by the scientific community has allowed Boehringer Ingelheim to take steps towards the rational design of KRAS-targeted agents. One such approach is based on disrupting the interaction between KRAS and its regulator SOS1.

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Darryl B. McConnell discusses targeting KRAS in cancer. Filmed in 2019

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Immuno-oncology strategies

We are driven to develop first-in-class immuno-oncology treatments to boost the immune system’s ability to recognize, attack and kill tumours. Dr Jonathon Sedgwick, Head of Cancer Immunology and Immune Modulation at Boehringer Ingelheim, describes our approach to immuno-oncology research, including boosting the immune system at a broader level.

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Dr Jonathon Sedgwick considers the four pillars of our immuno-oncology research approaches. Filmed in 2019

We are working to make cancers more visible to the immune system by focusing on T-cell priming and immune modulation. Our strategies are tailored to the immunogenicity of the tumor microenvironment:

  • Immunosuppressive
  • Immunogenic with a low number of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes; or
  • Immunogenic with a high number of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes

Making cancers more visible to the immune system with T-cell priming and immune modulation

Making cancers more visible to the immune system with T-cell priming and immune modulation

TME, tumor microenvironment; TIL, tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes.

Combination approaches

We believe that the greatest chance of success in the fight against cancer will be through intelligent combination approaches.

Cancer cell-directed and immuno-oncology combination approaches

Cancer cell-directed and immuno-oncology combination approaches

DC, dendritic cell; ICD, immunogenic cell death; NCE, new chemical entity; PROTAC, PROteolysis TArgeting Chimeric molecules.

By focusing on lung and gastrointestinal cancers, we will be more effective at identifying new targets and combinations. Find out more about our combinations under clinical investigation here.

Resources

Explore the materials below to learn more about how Boehringer Ingelheim is taking cancer on.

Video
when_it_comes_to_outsmarting_cancer
Discover how our R&D programs are aiming to develop exceptional medicines for cancer patients
Discover how our R&D programs are aiming to develop exceptional medicines for cancer patients

References

1

Hanahan D, et al. Cell 2011;144(5);646–74.

2

Dang CV, et al. Nat Rev Cancer 2017;17(8):502–8.

3

Kandoth C, et al. Nature 2013;502(7471):333–9.

4

The Cancer Genome Atlas Network. Nature 2014;511(7511):543–50.

5

The Cancer Genome Atlas Network. Nature 2012;487(7407):330–7.

Pipeline compounds shown here are under preclinical and/or clinical investigation, and have not been approved. Their safety and efficacy have not been established.

 

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Page last updated: July 2021