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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Boehringer Ingelheim partners locally to develop first-in-class psychiatry treatment

Health Industry Hub | May 5, 2023 |

Pharma News: Kinoxis Therapeutics announced a strategic partnership and licensing agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim for the development of first-in-class oxytocin targeting precision psychiatry treatments to improve the quality of life of people living with neuropsychiatric disorders.

Mental health conditions are major global health burden, affecting 1 in every 8 people with an economic impact larger than cancer and cardiovascular disease combined. Social dysfunction is a major symptom of many neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, depression, and dementia. It can manifest in various ways, including social withdrawal, communication difficulties, inappropriate or abnormal behaviour during social interactions, difficulty forming or maintaining relationships, aggressive behaviour, and difficulty recognising, understanding, or responding appropriately to emotions in others. Social dysfunction may severely impact the lives of the affected people, their careers, and their families, while also placing a major burden on society. Despite the high prevalence of social dysfunction and the impact, there are currently no specific pharmacological treatments.

Starting with Kinoxis’ proprietary oxytocin receptor targeting molecules, the partners will work on a small molecule precision psychiatry approach to address this challenge.

“We are extremely pleased to have entered into this collaborative agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim to accelerate the development of our unique oxytocin receptor targeting compounds,” said Hugh Alsop, CEO of Kinoxis Therapeutics. “This collaborative effort will enable development of these molecules to address the significant unmet needs of individuals living with mental health conditions.”

“Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to developing novel therapeutics to address the major unmet needs of people living with mental health disorders. The potential of the collaboration with Kinoxis to develop approaches that precisely manipulate oxytocin pharmacology is extremely exciting,” said Hugh Marston, Global Head CNS Discovery Research at Boehringer Ingelheim.

Oxytocin is an endogenous neuropeptide playing a critical role in the regulation of social behavior. Through this partnership, Kinoxis and Boehringer Ingelheim aim to unlock the therapeutic potential of targeting the brain oxytocin system to treat disrupted social behavior, which is also a barrier to engagement with psychosocial interventions that can be critical to help people living with chronic and complex mental health conditions.

Under the terms of the agreement, Kinoxis will receive an upfront payment and research support payments. The company is eligible for research, preclinical, clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestones of up to US$181 million (AU$266m), in addition to royalties on future Boehringer Ingelheim product sales.


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