Public Release: 

Boehringer Ingelheim and MD Anderson join forces to discover new treatment approaches for pancreatic cancer

University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Boehringer Ingelheim and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center today announced a collaboration focused on developing innovative medicines for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). The new collaboration combines MD Anderson's unique understanding of potential biological drivers of PDAC with Boehringer Ingelheim's experience in drug discovery and development.

The collaboration will focus on identifying and developing therapeutic concepts in novel target areas as well as identification of biomarkers that can accurately identify patients who would respond to potential new therapies.

Pancreatic cancer accounts for 4 percent of cancer deaths worldwide (330,000 people) and is the seventh most common cause of death from cancer. Pancreatic cancer is anticipated to become the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States before 2030. PDAC is one of the most deadly cancers due to its late detection and resistance to available standard-of-care therapy. Effective medicines directed against PDAC are therefore urgently needed.

"We are excited to be able to work with the leading cancer research and care institution in the world to develop therapies for patients with this devastating cancer," said Michel Pairet, M.D., senior corporate vice president of research and non-clinical development at Boehringer Ingelheim. "This partnership is a perfect match because it combines MD Anderson's outstanding capabilities in preclinical concept validation and clinical testing with Boehringer Ingelheim's strength in developing innovative medicines in novel target spaces such as epigenetics."

"At MD Anderson, we have created integrated platforms that enable the discovery of more effective therapeutics for cancer patients," said Timothy Heffernan, Ph.D., executive director and co-leader for MD Anderson's Center for Co-Clinical Trials. "This alliance combines our expertise in cancer genetics and translational medicine with outstanding drug discovery and development, and it has great potential to impact devastating diseases like pancreatic cancer."

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