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Strategic Partnership to Bring Hope to Patients With Fibrotic and Inflammatory Diseases

In January 2020, the partnership between Enleofen Bio and the global pharmaceutical company, Boehringer Ingelheim was announced, to enhance the interleukin-11 programme and advance it to clinical use.

Lack of knowledge of the fibrotic process has resulted in very limited effective therapies to treat many fibro-inflammatory diseases. The breakthrough discovery in the role of interleukin-11 (IL-11) in fibrotic diseases in recent years has since sparked the development of bio-therapeutics called neutralising antibodies. In this context, they are used to target and block IL-11 to reverse inflammation and reduce fibrosis in diseased organs. These findings of preclinical studies in mice models were published in high impact scientific journals such as Nature, Science Translational Medicine, and Gastroenterology.

The Singapore-based biotech company Enleofen Bio and global pharmaceutical company, Boehringer Ingelheim forged a new partnership to bring IL-11 therapies to reality for patients with fibro-inflammatory conditions worldwide.

“More than 225 million people worldwide suffer from heart and kidney failure, which resulted from the hardening of the organ tissues with no treatment. The development of anti-IL-11 therapies will offer hope to patients with end-stage heart, kidney, lung or liver failure, addressing the unmet medical needs of patients worldwide,” shared Professor Terrance Chua, Medical Director, NHCS and Group Chairman Medical Board, SingHealth.

This strategic partnership looks to add value to the IL-11 programme and boost the development of therapies. As a global leader, Boehringer Ingelheim will bring to the table its expertise in drug manufacturing and clinical development of IL-11.

“We are very excited to engage Boehringer Ingelheim, a leading and innovative pharmaceutical company on this important phase of drug and clinical development. This marks a major biotechnology success in Singapore and we are extremely proud of the clinicians and scientists at NHCS and Duke-NUS,” said Professor Stuart Cook, Tanoto Foundation Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, Director of Duke-NUS’ Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders Programme, and Senior Consultant at the Department of Cardiology, NHCS.

Both Professor Ivy Ng, Group CEO of SingHealth and Professor Thomas M. Coffman expressed their exhilaration for this strategic partnership between Enleofen Bio and Boehringer Ingelheim in bringing new promising therapies to improve healthcare outcomes for patients.

The discovery science and drug target validation was made possible by the research done in the laboratories of National Heart Research Institute of Singapore (NHRIS) of NHCS, Duke-NUS Medical School’s Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disorders Programme and SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC. Funding from the National Medical Research Council (NMRC) underpinned the research on IL-11, which was patented over several years of scientific study at SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC. [APBN]