The agreement, the second one between the two firms, uses BiomX’s XMarker microbiome-based biomarker discovery platform to aid in identifying IBD-linked pathogenic bacterium.
Additional agreement terms see BiomX receive research payments with Boehringer able to negotiate an exclusive right to biomarkers discovered under the collaboration.
Further terms also permit Israeli-based BiomX to retains rights to use the biomarkers as companion diagnostics for phage therapy.
“Boehringer Ingelheim is developing a first-in-class pipeline to address remaining unmet needs in IBD, including complications, utilising clinical and biomarker measures to identify these patient segments,” explains Carine Boustany, Senior Vice President, Site Head Discovery Research US & Head of Global Immunology & Respiratory Diseases Research, Boehringer Ingelheim.
“This collaboration will help us advance our understanding of a segment of patients with IBD that may specifically benefit from blunting the recognition of the pathogenic microbiome.”
‘Patient IBD phenotypes’
The agreement builds on one formed in September 2020, where the focus was on identifying biomarkers associated with patient phenotypes in IBD.
As part of the pact, the deal also saw BiomX generate metagenomic data of gut microbiome samples obtained from IBD patients with the aim of identifying biomarkers.
Commenting on the second collaboration, Jonathan Solomon, Chief Executive Officer of BiomX, says: “We are pleased to enter into this second agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim.
“Inflammatory bowel disease is a heterogenous inflammatory condition that remains extremely difficult to treat.
“By leveraging our unique, ultra-high resolution XMarker biomarker discovery platform, we hope to identify those biomarkers that can pinpoint the presence of pathogenic bacteria associated with IBD.
“Through this collaboration, we may be able to develop effective biomarkers that can be used to segment patient groups within IBD which could help determine the most appropriate course of therapy.”
BiomX’s XMarker platform uses a unique metagenomics-based approach to discover predictive microbial genomic signatures that can be further developed into biomarkers.
The platform combines ultra-high-resolution DNA analysis, AI techniques and high-scale cloud computing resources to build classifiers of high sensitivity and specificity.
XMarker is also being used in a similar capacity in a collaboration with Janssen Research & Development inked in 2018.
The agreement looks to investigate responders and non-responders to an IBD therapeutic created by Janssen.