Have you been following the news out of Europe recently? Between “Brexit” and the ongoing clashes over immigration, it would appear the continent’s fragile unity is coming apart before our eyes.
Looks can be deceiving, though. In the last few months, at least one new partnership is offering hope to people living with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
On June 1, German pharma giant Boehringer Ingelheim and French start-up Inventiva announced a new multi-million dollar research partnership to discover and bring to market new IPF therapies. Inventiva will receive an upfront payment to begin work, with an option to receive an additional 170 million euros plus royalties on any products they develop. For its part, Boehringer Ingelheim gets to expand its reach and build up its portfolio of IPF offerings, which includes OFEV®.
Inventiva was formed in 2012 after buying a unique drug discovery technology acquired from Abbott Laboratories and assembling a team of scientists and researchers in a range of clinical areas, including oncology, IPF and other rare diseases. They pride themselves on not just their expertise, but their strategy of validating results quickly.
So, apart from transferring big piles of money from one company to another, what does this mean for the average IPF patient? Plenty.
What a smaller company like Inventiva lacks in capital they make up for in specialized knowledge and research in IPF.
By partnering with a bigger, more established name like Boehringer Ingelheim, they get the capital to continue this research and hopefully discover new treatments.
This is how lots of “younger” companies are able to pursue desperately needed breakthroughs in diseases like IPF.
While it could be some time before patients see something tangible come out of this partnership, it’s a very good sign that researchers are taking IPF very seriously, and that the promise of a better day is getting ever closer.