Ochre Bio Announces Partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim to Develop Novel Regenerative Treatments for Patients with Advanced Liver Disease

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Oxford, UK — 22 April 2024 Ochre Bio, a pioneer in chronic liver disease medicine development, today announced a partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim focused on the discovery and development of novel, first-in-class regenerative treatments for chronic liver diseases (CLDs), such as late-stage metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH) cirrhosis.

Within the partnership, Ochre Bio will utilise its proprietary discovery platform combining machine learning with human big data, including advanced imaging and deep genomic phenotyping, as well as in-house RNA chemistry, and the unique ability to employ proprietary ex-vivo human-organ perfusion models.  This will enable the identification, characterization, and validation of multiple novel regenerative targets for CLDs. Boehringer Ingelheim aims to develop new treatments modulating innovative regenerative targets with the potential to enhance the liver’s self-repair capabilities to prevent or reverse disease progression.

The partnership is part of Boehringer Ingelheim’s commitment to improving the lives of people living with interconnected cardiovascular, renal and metabolic diseases (CRM) including MASH cirrhosis. It builds on Ochre Bio’s leading capabilities to leverage human data and disease models to accelerate the discovery and validation of novel liver disease targets.

As chronic liver disease progresses, the liver’s natural capacity to regenerate and repair diminishes, which can result in serious complications such as liver failure or liver cancer.[1] Chronic liver disease (CLD) and associated cirrhosis account for approximately 1 million deaths per year.[2] In addition, CLD causes significant morbidity, loss of health-related quality of life (HRQL), and economic burden.[3] Currently, there are no approved medicines for cirrhosis resulting from CLD and there is an urgent need for new effective treatment options.

“Our partnership with Ochre Bio is driven by a shared goal to accelerate the development of new treatments for chronic liver diseases including MASH cirrhosis,” said Søren Tullin, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Global Head of Cardiometabolic Diseases Research, Boehringer Ingelheim. “Ochre Bio brings to the table unique and exciting capabilities in liver disease research. We believe their application of advanced genomics and machine learning coupled with human-centric translational models holds the potential to uncover novel regenerative pathways that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of those affected by chronic liver disease.”

“Chronic liver disease remains a global killer on the rise and represents a significant unmet medical need for patients,” said Quin Wills, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Ochre Bio. “We are delighted to be working with the exceptional scientists at Boehringer Ingelheim, who share our belief that liver regeneration is an underexplored therapeutic goal in patients with liver failure.”

In this multi-year, multi-target collaboration, Ochre Bio will receive up to USD 35 million in upfront and near-term research-based milestone payments.  Ochre may also receive milestones for clinical, regulatory, and commercial success as well as tiered royalties with an overall deal value with the potential to exceed USD 1 billion.

Ochre Bio announces a partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim focused on the discovery and development of novel, first-in-class regenerative treatments for chronic liver diseases, such as late-stage metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH) cirrhosis. (Source: Ochre Bio)
  • Partnership highlights Ochre Bio’s unique human-centric discovery capabilities combining deep phenotyping, RNA synthesis and human-organ perfusion models to accelerate the development of novel targets for undertreated liver diseases.
  • Multiple targets are to be investigated during the course of a multi-year collaboration.

About Ochre Bio

Ochre Bio is a biotechnology company developing novel RNA medicines for under-treated chronic liver diseases. Its proprietary discovery platform combines machine learning and big human datasets, with in-house RNA chemistry, and testing in live human donor livers. Ochre Bio is headquartered in Oxford, UK, and has research labs in New York and Taipei.

To learn more visit: 

Company contact:

Jack O’Meara, CEO of Ochre Bio: 

[1] Hora S, Wuestefeld T. Liver Injury and Regeneration: Current Understanding, New Approaches, and Future Perspectives. Cells. 2023 Sep; 12(17): 2129. doi: 10.3390/cells12172129.

[2] Wu, XN., Xue, F., Zhang, N. et al. Global burden of liver cirrhosis and other chronic liver diseases caused by specific etiologies from 1990 to 2019. BMC Public Health 24, 363 (2024).

[3] Younossi ZM et al. The Global Burden of Liver Disease. 2023. 21(8);1978-1991.

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