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2023-04-23| Partnerships

Boehringer to Leverage RetinAI’s AI Tech to Further Geographic Atrophy Research

by Reed Slater
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German biotech company Boehringer Ingelheim recently announced a partnership with Switzerland-based RetinAI to advance the company’s retinal therapeutics programs. The collaboration will focus on geographic atrophy (GA) and hopefully lead to new treatment options for the condition.

Related Article: Apellis’ Syfovre Nets First FDA Approval For Geographic Atrophy 

GA’s Current Unmet Needs

GA is an advanced form of age-related macular degeneration that can lead to loss of sight. The likelihood of developing the condition increases with age, and with aging populations increasing worldwide, the condition could represent a massive market. 

Around 5 million people worldwide have GA, and there are currently no approved therapies to prevent the onset or treat the progression of GA. Key symptoms of GA include a dark spot in the field of vision, difficulty adapting to low light, visual hallucinations, visual distortions, and more. 

The partnership with RetinAI is not Boehringer’s first foray into the space. In May 2020, the company collaborated with CDR-Life to develop an antibody fragment-based therapeutic to treat GA. That deal could bring CDR-Life over $530 million in upfront and milestone payments. 

Boehringer also has four other retinal disease treatment candidates in various stages of clinical development, but details are scant at the moment. Some key areas of interest include a phospholipid modulator, a vascular modulator, an ischemia modulator, and a Sema3A antibody.

The Role of RetinAI in the Partnership

Dedicated to analyzing health data from the eyes with AI technology, RetinAI seems to be an ideal partner for Boehringer’s future ambitions in the retinal therapeutic space. Founded in 2017, the company accelerates data analysis to improve study design, clinical studies, and research. 

Specific to Boehringer’s case, RetinAI will use its tech to identify novel biomarkers and predictors of disease progression using Boehringer’s imaging datasets from clinical trials and real-world data. 

Dr. Carlos Ciller, CEO of RetinAI, said, “Our Discovery platform and novel AI tools in GA accelerate research and provide robust disease insights. We are confident that this collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim can pave the way to novel treatments that are better tailored to a patient’s disease to transform the lives of people living with retinal diseases.”

The press release did not disclose any financial figures, but it is nonetheless an exciting development in the GA space, which is a condition that is growing year over year and will require more attention in the future. 

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