In a significant move to expand its immuno-oncology portfolio, Boehringer Ingelheim has acquired T3 Pharmaceuticals AG, a Swiss biotech company specializing in bacterial cancer therapy. The deal, valued at up to 450 million CHF, positions Boehringer Ingelheim at the forefront of developing innovative cancer treatments.
T3 Pharma, a privately-held, clinical-stage biotech firm, has been pioneering a unique therapy platform using live bacteria to deliver immune-modulating proteins directly to cancer cells and their micro-environments. This cutting-edge approach aims to transform cancer care by addressing the limitations of current immunotherapies, which only provide long-term remissions in 15-20% of cancer patients.
Boehringer Ingelheim, a global pharmaceutical leader, intends to increase the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy significantly. By integrating T3 Pharma’s technology, the company enhances its diverse portfolio of immuno-oncology solutions, including T-Cell Engagers (TcEs), oncolytic viruses, and cancer vaccines. These advanced treatments are designed to activate ‘cold tumors,’ potentially extending immunotherapy benefits to a broader range of patients.
Michel Pairet, a member of Boehringer Ingelheim’s Board of Managing Directors, emphasized the strategic importance of this acquisition. “Joining forces with T3 Pharma aligns perfectly with our ongoing R&D efforts and brings us a step closer to realizing our vision of revolutionizing cancer care treatments,” he stated.
Simon Ittig, CEO of T3 Pharma, expressed pride in his team’s achievements and enthusiasm for the future under Boehringer Ingelheim’s wing. “This integration allows us to fully unleash the potential of our bacterial delivery platform in combating solid cancers,” he said.
T3 Pharma’s groundbreaking platform utilizes engineered Yersinia enterocolitica bacteria to selectively target tumor micro-environments, reducing harm to healthy tissues. This technology enables the creation of immuno-oncology combination therapies in a single agent, loaded with various immune-modulatory proteins.
Boehringer Ingelheim’s comprehensive approach to cancer therapy includes both direct cancer cell targeting and immuno-oncology strategies. This dual focus aims to provide life-changing, best-in-class treatments for people affected by cancer. The company’s commitment to this goal is evident in its collaborations with global academic and industry leaders and investments in startups through the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, a major investor in T3 Pharma.
Post-acquisition, T3 Pharma will continue operations in the Basel region, Switzerland, where it was originally founded with support from corporate and institutional investors.