Boehringer Ingelheim and Bangalore, India-based biotechnology company Connexios Life Sciences entered an exclusive global research collaboration for AMPK agonists for the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes.

As part of the agreement, Boehringer Ingelheim obtained global rights to CNX-012, Connexios’ program on AMPK activators. The program includes CNX-570 and other compounds in early preclinical development. Boehringer Ingelheim will be responsible for all further development and commercialization of the candidates from the AMPK program.

“CNX-012 is one of our flagship programs which leverages our Network Biology approach and platform,” said Suri Venkatachalam, CEO and founder of Connexios. “We strongly believe that the collaboration will yield best-in-class activators of this exciting but challenging target and ultimately result in better therapies for patients of type 2 diabetes who also suffer from the burden of several other cardiometabolic co-morbidities.”

According to the company, CNX-012 and CNX-570 directly activate specific isoforms of the protein, designed and selected to bring about a robust impact on the cellular energetics and redox balance across key cell types and tissues. Connexios said it has shown beneficial outcomes from target modulation across the liver, muscle, adipose, and other relevant tissues in preclinical studies across several animal models of disease.

Last month, Boehringer Ingelheim announced an ambitious agenda for itself over the next two years, planning more than 10 new launches of drugs in eight disease indications by 2016. Diabetes was among the indications, which also include COPD, asthma, lung cancer, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, leukaemia, and the treatment and prevention of deep venous thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism.

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