Ochre Bio inks potential $1bn liver disease treatment partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim

Companies collaborate on regenerative RNA-based treatments for chronic liver diseases, including MASH cirrhosis.

Regenerative medicine company Ochre Bio has unveiled a partnership with pharma giant Boehringer Ingelheim aimed at revolutionizing treatments for chronic liver diseases, including late-stage metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH) cirrhosis. Under the terms of the partnership, Ochre Bio stands to receive up to $35 million in upfront and near-term research-based milestone payments, with additional milestones tied to clinical, regulatory and commercial achievements, including tiered royalties, that could see the overall deal value to rise to more than $1 billion.

Approximately 1 million deaths annually are attributed to complications associated with chronic liver disease, and the multi-year partnership will investigate multiple targets as it seeks to advance the field of regenerative treatments for liver disease.

Headquartered in Oxford, UK, Ochre Bio specializes in developing novel RNA medicines for chronic liver disease using a discovery platform that combines machine learning with extensive human datasets. The company says its collaboration with Boehringer will benefit from its human-centric approach to discovery, leveraging advanced imaging, deep genomic phenotyping, RNA synthesis and ex vivo human-organ perfusion models to fast-track the development of novel targets for under-addressed liver diseases.

“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 CSO 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.”

By tapping into Ochre Bio’s leading capabilities in leveraging human data and disease models, Boehringer Ingelheim aims to discover new treatments that enhance the liver’s self-repair mechanisms to combat disease progression, particularly in MASH cirrhosis.

“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 Dr Søren Tullin, head of cardiometabolic diseases research at Boehringer Ingelheim. “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.”