Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) and Weill Cornell Medicine are pooling their respective expertise in respiratory diseases, drug discovery, and development to identify new approaches for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The 3-year partnership will combine BI’s capabilities in respiratory disease drug discovery and development, with the knowledge and expertise of Weill Cornell Medicine’s Department of Genetic Medicine in chronic airway diseases and evaluating new approaches to airway repair.

“Our continuous search for molecular drivers of chronic obstructive airway diseases has revealed novel repair mechanisms that warrant further investigation of their potential as therapeutic approaches,” commented Dr. Ronald G. Crystal, chairman of genetic medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and lead investigator in the new collaboration. “We will look to further expand our knowledge about progressive airway destruction in close collaboration with BI and focus on promising therapeutic concepts with the potential to slow down or halt progressive airway damage in patients with COPD.”  

The work with Dr. Crystal’s team will ultimately aim to translate new discoveries into COPD drug development programs at BI. “The new collaboration is an excellent example of our unique partnering approach and our focus on early innovation, underscoring our ambition to develop the next generation of medical treatments for patients with COPD,” added Dr. Clive R. Wood, senior corporate vp for discovery research at the Germany-based drugs firm. 

BI and Weill Cornell have previously worked together in the field of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The research collaboration, signed in 2015, represented one of a series of academic collaborations initiated by BI in the field of IBD.

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