Market Overview

Boehringer Ingelheim and Tsinghua University Team up to Develop Novel Treatment Approaches that Rally the Immune System Against Infectious Diseases

  • The new collaboration aims to develop novel breakthrough therapy
    approaches applying principles of immune modulation to infectious
  • Immuno-infection is a new focus area of Boehringer Ingelheim's
    Research Beyond Borders (RBB) department, which explores emerging
    science and technology beyond the company's core areas of focus
  • Boehringer Ingelheim and Tsinghua University will establish a Joint
    Research Center for Immuno-Infection for new therapy concept
    exploration as a joint undertaking that will coordinate collaboration
    between scientists from the partners and with other academic groups

Boehringer Ingelheim and Tsinghua University in Beijing announce a
collaboration aiming to research and develop immunological therapies for
infectious diseases. Scientists will work in the Boehringer
Ingelheim-Tsinghua University Joint Research Center for Immuno-Infection
to harness the mechanisms of immune modulation to combat infectious
diseases. The collaboration brings together the leading expertise of
Tsinghua University in infectious disease research and immunology with
Boehringer Ingelheim's experience in the development of novel therapies
for patients suffering from diseases with high unmet medical need and
its comprehensive research and development programs in cancer immunology
and immune modulation.

Infectious diseases such as lower respiratory tract infections (e.g.
bacterial/viral pneumonia) and tuberculosis are amongst the leading
causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide. In China, chronic hepatitis
B and tuberculosis are of high prevalence and associated with high
mortality. Although pathogen-directed treatments and vaccinations have
greatly reduced the impact of infectious diseases in past decades, they
continue to be a major challenge for health. Increasing levels of
resistance threaten the effectiveness of many anti-microbial drugs. No
new antibiotic classes were developed during the past three decades and
many treatments fail to achieve cure, resulting in large numbers of
patients at risk due to long-term persistent infections.

Similar to cancer, many pathogens may inhibit or modulate their host's
immune system and thus circumvent immune defense. Immune system
activating therapies, which have brought a major therapeutic
breakthrough in cancer may open similar transformative opportunities for
infectious disease treatment.

"Value through innovation has been the driving force of Boehringer
Ingelheim to meet the unmet medical need for patients, and to better
serve society", said Professor Zheng You, Vice President of Tsinghua
University. "For Tsinghua University, innovation is one of the most
important aspects we pursue, and this is the basis and synergy for this

Professor Chen Dong, Dean of School of Medicine at the Tsinghua
University says, "We look forward to combining Boehringer Ingelheim's
leading competencies in immune oncology and immunology and the discovery
and clinical development of new therapeutic agents with our leading
expertise and strength in anti-infective therapy research and especially
in immune modulation, for patients suffering from diseases with high
unmet medical needs."

"The joint scientific hub gives our scientists the opportunity to work
hand in hand with the outstanding scientists from Tsinghua University to
discover novel treatment approaches in the field of immunology and
infectious diseases," explains Clive R. Wood, Ph.D. Senior Corporate
Vice President, Discovery Research at Boehringer Ingelheim. "This
partnership has the potential to open new approaches for currently
untreatable infectious diseases."

"Our collaboration with Tsinghua University is a further expression of
our strong commitment to supporting research and development in China,
and acknowledges the leading position China has achieved in many
scientific areas", said David Preston, President and CEO of Boehringer
Ingelheim Greater China.

This collaboration is an initiative of Boehringer Ingelheim's Research
Beyond Borders (RBB) and Cancer Immunology and Immune Modulation
Research Departments. Immuno-infection is a new focus area for
Boehringer Ingelheim's RBB department, which also focuses on gene
therapy, regenerative medicine and the role of the microbiome in human
health and disease.

With the new collaboration, Boehringer Ingelheim further expands its
activities in the growing biomedical innovation hot spot of China. By
combining a focus on cutting-edge science with a long-term view, the
company aspires to develop the next generation of medical breakthroughs
to improve the lives of patients suffering from diseases with high unmet
medical needs.

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