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Boehringer Ingelheim, BiomX Embark on New Inflammatory Bowel Disease Biomarker Discovery Project

NEW YORK – BiomX said Tuesday that it has inked a new collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim to identify biomarkers for inflammatory bowel disease.

Under the agreement, BiomX will use its XMarker microbiome-based discovery platform with the goal of identifying signatures associated with an IBD-associated pathogenic bacterium. The hope is that this could help identify patients who would benefit from potential microbiome-targeted therapies.

"Inflammatory bowel disease is a heterogenous … condition that remains extremely difficult to treat," BiomX CEO Jonathan Solomon said in a statement. "Through this collaboration, we may be able to develop effective biomarkers that can be used to segment patient groups within IBD, which could help determine the most appropriate course of therapy," he added.

More specifically, the companies hope to be able to distinguish a subgroup of patients with IBD "that may specifically benefit from blunting the recognition of the pathogenic microbiome," Boehringer Ingelheim's Carine Boustany added.

Based in Ness Ziona, Israel, BiomX developed the metagenomic XMarker platform to identify predictive microbial genomic signatures in support of phage therapy development.

The deal with Boehringer Ingelheim follows a similar partnership announced in September 2020.

Terms include research payments to BiomX and the option for Boehringer Ingelheim to negotiate an exclusive right to any biomarkers discovered. BiomX otherwise retains rights to the biomarkers as companion diagnostics for its own phage therapy development.