Boehringer Ingelheim to Develop Cytokines with Trutino

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Boehringer decides to partner with Trutino to enhance lives and curb cancer. Read this article to understand the details of the agreement and why they decided to enter the partnership.


Boehringer has partnered with Trutino after agreeing on terms with the Biosciences Company. The move was orchestrated to come up with three cytokine therapies. The agreement has Trutino presenting a platform that will yield effective and safer cytokines in discovering three oncology drugs for Ingelheim.

Leveraging the anti-cancer capabilities of cytokines have been thwarted by adverse events that happen when proteins are added on systemically. Trutino is known as one of the leading research outfits that look to unlock any therapeutic capabilities of cytokines. It aims to achieve this by targeting how proteins behave in the tumor microenvironment and hence evading dose-limiting toxicities.

Boehringer has assessed the potential in Trutino’s efforts in trying to solve the problem, and that is why they have decided to join hands with the preclinical-stage biotech. This agreement asks of Trutino to take up three cytokines to preclinical affirmation. From that point now, Boehringer will chip in and handle the matter for further developments.

The senior vice president at Boehringer Ingelheim, Jonathan Sedgwick, says that coming up with an innovative and robust cytokine therapeutic program to their cancer immunology portfolio shows how the company is determined to take on cancer. Thus such an initiative provides them with the opportunity to partner with an oncolytic virus, which is an existing cancer vaccine.

The ODC platforms from Trutino mask the activities of cytokines up to that point when they reach the tumor area and be fully activated. That curtails the systematic exposure of the cancerous cells, and therefore, there is a higher safety margin than other cytokine treatments. Trutino generates these new ODC molecules, thereby conducting the preclinical validation.

The CEO and founder of Trutino, Philip Kim, said that they were excited about partnering with Boehringer, which he termed as a figurehead in cancer immunology that addresses the medical needs of patients.

Boehringer is known to have an intense commitment to innovative scientific inventions, and it brings cancer therapies to the market. Trutino has been in business since 2018, but it kept a low profile in the initial two years. The Biotech gained access to Boehringer via the involvement during the BI Innovation Prize.

As mentioned earlier, Trutino looks to do away with the side effects of the exposure of cytokines to proteins by masking their activity. However, looking back at the initial stages of Trutino, there is no available data in the public that backs up that hypothesis.

Boehringer Involvement with Small Companies

The company has provided more than 200 startup businesses in life-sciences and mentoring different companies while giving them access to expertise from senior leaders in the company. Boehringer has even awarded several entrepreneurs with lab spaces for free under a program named “Golden Ticket.”

The company is determined to enhance and improve the lives of people by looking after their health. These programs enable Boehringer to confer their rich expertise to innovative entrepreneurs and businesses and also give guidance on any matter concerning science to realize big technological ideas.

This agreement looks to strengthen Boehringer’s immune-oncology portfolio. The portfolio brings together oncolytic viruses, cancer vaccines, T cell engagers, and myeloid targeting platforms. Such platforms aim at producing cold tumors that cannot be easily detected by the immune system.                                        

What are your thoughts on this partnership? Comment Below

High Drug Prices the New Standard

Drug prices has continued to climb to an absurd high price. It is imperative that information about these drugs be made public so that we broaden the awareness about them. Even though a good part of the population have the privilege to only need to pay for Tylenol, some people have to come out of pocket to what could buy a nice luxury car. Here are the information on the top 10 most expensive drugs in the world.

Myalept – $71,306

In 2020 Myalept still holds the number 1 spot for most expensive drug. Myalept continues to receive an increase in price by 9.9%, which brings the price up by almost $7000. This medicine is the only one of its kind, used to treat a rare disease for generalized lipodystrophy.

Ravicti – $55,341

Horizon Therapeutics manufactures Ravicti which is used to treat urea cycle disorders. This condition is genetic, of which is when there is a level of high ammonia in the bloodstream. This is one of the 2 medicines that this company manufactures that has an insane price tag.   

Mavenclad – $53,730

Mavenclad is a drug that is used to treat the relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. This is one of the newer drugs on the list this year. At this point a $0 copay card is only offered to some commercial insurance clients.

Actimmune – $52,777

It comes to no surprise that Actimmune is the 2nd drug manufactured by Horizon Therapeutics. Actimmune is used to treat osteoporosis and chronic granulomatous. The company does offer a program to patients to get the medicine at no cost.

The other drugs that made this list are:

Oxervate – $48,498

Takhzyro – $45,464

Daraprim – $45,000

Juxtapid – $44,714

Cinryze – $44,141

 Chenodal – $42,570

The total of all these drugs together come to a whopping $503,541. Enough to buy a mansion in some states. This is to bring awareness to the public and see what direction these drugs are going.

What are your thoughts on drug prices? Comment Below

A Protein that Prevents Tau Clearance Could Be The Key In Alzheimer’s

With the passage of time and the advent of drastic changes in the generic lifestyle of the common man, many aged individuals are coming under the trap of several diseases, with Alzheimer being the most common one. Biomedical science is continuously working towards new and effective ways of treating Alzheimer’s with gradual developments in the field of neurogenetics. Generally, in the bodies of old people, proteins undergo a cycle of malformation and degradation over a period of time. This is mainly dependent on genetics and mental lifestyle. These changes in protein structures lead to a class of diseases called proteinopathy. 

Recently, Morsani College of Medicine (University of South Florida) conducted a study and concluded that one of the causes of dementia is the gathering of tau tangles, which happens because of the secretion of a protein named as β-arrestin2. They disrupt the process of eradication of tau from the brain, which is a neurotoxin. Furthermore, studies also indicated that the component responsible for various dementias, neurotic disorders, and degradation of cognitive abilities could be strategically blocked towards frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) so that tau clearance can smoothly take place. This neurodegeneration can be prevented by blocking β-arrestin2 oligomers.

People in the age group 45-65 are prone to dementias such as Alzheimer’s and FTLD because of emaciation in the side/front areas of the brain. The former one is characterized by the accumulation of the protein – amyloid-beta (Aβ) or amyloid plaques. This results in neuron deaths, which worsens the condition of the patient. However, some studies also found that accumulation of tau is related to cognitive malfunction as well as ill effects of amyloid plaques. Apart from this, it was noticed that current medications for dealing with Aβ are inefficient for treatments.

Moreover, AD pathogenesis has a relationship with the GPCRs (G Protein-Coupled Receptors) according to the research conducted in the past few years. However, it is unclear how these GPCRs influence neurodegeneration and AD pathogenesis. Previous studies show that β-arrestin2 enhances the production rate of amyloid-beta. This drives researchers to work more on this domain because of direct correlation. β-arrestin2 is a very interesting protein because the monomers of β-arrestin2 help in receptor regulation, but when they are clogged, it results in oligomerization. As of now, scientists need to study more about the intricacies of β-arrestin2 oligomers.

The abnormal tau can also be reduced by a dose of Hsp90 inhibitors. The degradation is regulated as Hsp90 helps the formation of complexes that have a multi-component form. Some researchers also assert that genopathy is one of the few ways to treat neurodegeneration. This is generally done by introducing some molecule specific inhibitors such that tau tangles are cleared without any hindrance. Another effective treatment could be blocking oligomerization of β-arrestin2 so that FTLD-tau can also be prevented. 

The conclusion of the studies suggests that the key factor causing this neural problem is beta-arrestin 2, which is responsible for clots that form tau-tangles, leading to Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive dysfunction, and other related disorders.

Why Pharmaceutical companies are Leaving Antibiotics

The reality is that most pharmaceuticals and biotechnology companies are leaving this market. If a company decides to develop antibiotics they will lose. I’m not saying that startups aren’t trying to develop new antibiotic drugs. Companies that make antibiotics face bankruptcy.

Have you heard of Melinta Therapeutics or Achaogen? I’ll focus on Achaogen since Melinta Therapeutics filed for bankruptcy a week ago. Onto Achaogen, it was a biopharmaceutical company that filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. This wasn’t because they failed. They were able to make an effective drug for an “unmet medical need”. Where there are too few drugs in the antibiotic market (gram-negative infections).

Their scientists made an effective drug tackling multi-drug resistant(MDR) gram-negative infections. A significant breakthrough when you understand most antibiotics are gram-positive and not gram-negative.

Microbiology. Virus among blood cells in the artery background. 3d illustration

Drug Development

The fact is drug development is expensive and I mean expensive. It took $200 million to take their antibiotics from pre-clinical to commercial.The amount of money that they invested in their antibiotic is what led to their downfall. With the goal of making $500 million but after 4 months their drug broke a million dollars. Not being able to profit from their research forced them to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

What if I told you that most companies that develop antibiotics lose money? If you own or invest in that company would you continue to invest money knowing this? Probably not.

If you want to encourage pharmaceuticals to create antibiotics, there has to be a profit for drug development and better government incentives.

What are your thoughts on Pharma leaving the Antibiotic market? Comment Below

A Herpes Virus May Be the Cause of Multiple Sclerosis

Can a Herpes Variant be the clue to treating Multiple Sclerosis? With more than 8,700 MS patients and 7200 without MS used as a control group, researchers from Karolinska Institute have made a discovery that will push the science community a step closer in understanding what strain is contributing to the development of Multiple Sclerosis in some patients.

What is Multiple Sclerosis or MS? 

 Multiple Sclerosis often referred to as MS, is a chronic autoimmune disease where a patient undergoes an abnormal response from their immune system. The patient is deteriorating their myelin, slowly destroying their central nervous system and leading to the disruption of signaling. The messages sent from the central nervous system are altered, causing the patient to have unusual responses. As the disease consumes and breaks down their CNS, a patient starts to feel one of the many symptoms: dizziness, vertigo, tingling, numbness, weakness, and involuntary muscle movements.

Herpes and the road to Multiple Sclerosis: 

To this date, there is no known cause for Multiple Sclerosis. Although it is still uncertain what causes MS in a patient, theorized by scientists in this field that certain strains of Herpes may play an essential role in the development of this disease. The two strains that have been the focus are HHV-6A and HHV-6B. Still, no clear explanations have been able to say that one strain causes MS. Serological separation been the barrier in understanding what virus causes this disease because of the difficulty in using this technology. Separating the viruses from one another may no longer be a barrier for scientists; thanks to researchers in Sweden, we are closer to understanding what strain is the contributor to this disease.

Scientists from the Karolinska Institute may have allowed us to understand what strain of Herpes causes this disease finally. Dr. Anna Fogdell Hahn and her colleagues were able to successfully purify and separate these two strains from one another by targeting the antibodies. Published on Frontiers in Immunology, “Increased that a herpes strain may be the reason why some people develop multiple sclerosis,” outlines what they ended up discovering in their experiment, that HHV-6A may be the contributor to MS. This came from an extensive clinical study examining protein 1A and 1B. Antibodies created in response to these viruses affecting a patient’s immune system. Patients with HHV-6A were at risk of developing MS 55% more than the control group. As for patients affected with HHV-6B, it wasn’t significant enough to say that HHV-6B causes MS.

By analyzing the patient’s antibodies, researchers discovered that HHV6-A is most likely the contributor to MS.

Interesting enough, patients affected with Epstein-Barr Virus or EBV, another herpes virus, had a higher risk of developing MS. This finding gives us an insight that perhaps infections may be the reason why some patients are at higher risk of developing this disease.


Thanks to the research, we can potentially help develop the next novel treatment for patients who have Multiple Sclerosis. Where scientists and research target Herpes HHV-6A antibodies in preventing and stopping the further deterioration of the Central Nervous System.