Boehringer Ingelheim and Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology & Applied Ecology IME announced a newly formed collaboration that aims to provide novel, microbial-based natural products for development of next-generation animal health products fighting parasitic diseases.
The research project will capitalize on a well-characterized microbial strain collection from Fraunhofer in major parts isolated from invertebrate-associated environments, the announcement said.
“Enhancing the well-being of animals and humans whose lives are so deeply interconnected is a priority for us at Boehringer Ingelheim. We strive to provide naturally derived and environmentally sustainable parasiticides to make a positive difference in animals’ lives through groundbreaking innovation,” said Paul Selzer, head of molecular discovery at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health.
“Fraunhofer is an experienced organization, well known to be able to successfully identify new lead structures by using organisms as biological resource. Within this new partnership, we will integrate the Fraunhofer Natural Product Discovery Platform into our parasiticides innovation program. This exciting project is the first of our new strategic collaborations, which we are actively expanding,” Selzer said.
According to the announcement, this collaboration is one of many efforts within Boehringer Ingelheim’s commitment to contribute to a more sustainable future for people and the planet.
“Having previously focused on projects in human pharma and crop protection, we are now eager for our technologies to enter the veterinary sector. Bringing together the expertise within both Fraunhofer and Boehringer Ingelheim, we will leverage the discovery of new natural-product chemistries as starting points to develop naturally derived animal health solutions,” Fraunhofer IME department head natural products Till Schäberle said. “We appreciate the trust that Boehringer Ingelheim puts in our ideas on how to approach biodiversity, since the usage of bioresources has to be necessarily facilitated by advancing existing and developing new technologies. We believe that our state-of-the-art Natural Product Discovery Platform, and especially our analytical capabilities, will promote the efficient discovery of new bioactive lead structures.”
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Fraunhofer IME, with more than 530 employees at its six sites in Germany, conducts research in the field of applied life sciences from a molecular level to entire ecosystems in the areas of pharmacy, medicine, chemistry and agriculture as well as environmental and consumer protection. Its mission is the development and use of novel technologies for diagnosis and therapy of human and animal diseases as well as the protection of crop plants and food sources.
Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health is the second-largest animal health business in the world, with net sales of 4 billion euros in 2019 and a presence in more than 150 countries.