- Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) and AbbVie are reportedly in discussions about a potential cancer partnership to expand their respective treatment portfolios, according to Bloomberg.
- BI received a cancer-related boost over the weekend, when the European Committee for Medicinal Products (CHMP) recommended an expanded label for its lung cancer drug Giotrif to include second-line treatment of advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the lung.
- AbbVie has worked to bolster its oncology presence, buying Pharmacyclics for $21 billion last year. That deal gave it access to the blockbuster blood cancer drug Imbruvica (ibrutinib), which is jointly developed with Janssen.
The rumored talks between BI and AbbVie would represent a continuation of an M&A trend which has seen hundreds of billions in drug company tie-ups over the last year.
A press person at Boehringer Ingelheim declined to comment to BioPharma Dive on the reported discussions. If a partnership with AbbVie does in fact emerge, BI would be able to expand the company’s lung cancer-focused portfolio.
The recent positive opinion from CHMP on Giotrif strengthens the drug’s label, adding to the existing approval for treatment of EGFR-mutated lung cancer. CHMP’s recommendation was based on the LUX-Lung 8 trial which compared Giotrif’s progression free survival (PFS) rates to Genentech’s Tarceva. Giotrif reduced PFS by 19% comparatively.
BI also markets Vargatef for lung cancer treatment.