Boehringer Ingelheim and Circuit Therapeutics announce new collaboration to discover novel medicines for obesity


Boehringer Ingelheim and Circuit Therapeutics today announced a second collaboration using Circuit's proprietary optogenetics technology platform.


Ingelheim, Germany and Menlo Park, CA, USA, 12 August 2015

- Boehringer Ingelheim and Circuit Therapeutics today announced a second collaboration using Circuit’s proprietary optogenetics technology platform. This new three-year collaboration will focus on investigating metabolic disorders with the aim of developing novel medicines to improve the treatment of obesity and associated diseases. The prior collaboration between the two companies focused on the discovery of new treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders.

Boehringer Ingelheim is a leader in cardiometabolic disease research and development and has ambitious strategic goals in diabetes and metabolism. The new collaboration is intended to broaden Boehringer Ingelheim’s pipeline in this area. Eating disorders are among the major contributing factors to the development of overweight and obesity which are major risk factors for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other health problems.

Circuit’s optogenetics technology will be used to identify targets in central nervous circuits relevant for obesity, and central and peripheral circuits relevant for coordinating food intake. These insights will provide both companies with a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in obesity. It will also enable the prioritization of novel targets with a potential for therapeutic intervention superior to current standard of care in obesity. The ongoing collaboration between the companies in the area of neuropsychiatry has already yielded first targets for symptoms of anhedonia (the inability to feel and experience pleasure) relevant to a number of psychiatric disorders which will be investigated further by Boehringer Ingelheim.

"Boehringer Ingelheim is excited about the potential of the optogenetics technology platform developed by Circuit and wants to carry on the success already achieved in the area of neurology into the area of metabolism,” said Dr Michel Pairet, Senior Corporate Vice President of Research and Non-clinical Development at Boehringer Ingelheim. He added, “This new technology may enable us to unravel the neurological circuits responsible for metabolic disorders down to individual neurons which could lead to the identification of new targets and subsequently new treatments in line with our corporate vision of improving patients’ lives.”

“We are excited to extend our partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim and utilize Circuit’s technological capabilities to advance drug discovery in yet another therapeutic area. The success of our first collaboration is founded in Boehringer Ingelheim’s unique partnering approach and its outstanding internal drug discovery capabilities. Together we aspire to establish a foundation for the development of transformational drugs to impact patients’ lives,” said Fred Moll, Chairman of Circuit Therapeutics.

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