Ochre Bio, a UK-based biotechnology firm, engaged in developing ribonucleic acid (RNA) therapeutics for undertreated chronic liver diseases, has forged a collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim.

The partnership aims to discover and develop novel regenerative treatments for chronic liver diseases (CLDs), including advanced metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH) cirrhosis. The partnership agreement has the potential to earn more than $1bn for Ochre Bio.

As part of the collaboration, Ochre Bio will leverage its proprietary discovery platform, which integrates machine learning with human big data, advanced imaging, deep genomic phenotyping, and in-house RNA chemistry.

Additionally, the company will utilise proprietary ex-vivo human-organ perfusion models. This approach is expected to facilitate the identification, characterisation, and validation of numerous novel regenerative targets for CLDs.

Boehringer Ingelheim`s objective is to develop new therapies that modulate innovative regenerative targets, aiming to bolster the liver`s inherent self-repair mechanisms to mitigate or reverse disease advancement.

Boehringer Ingelheim senior vice president and cardiometabolic diseases research global head Søren Tullin said: “Our partnership with Ochre Bio is driven by a shared goal to accelerate the development of new treatments for chronic liver diseases including MASH cirrhosis.

“Ochre Bio brings to the table unique and exciting capabilities in liver disease research.

“We believe their application of advanced genomics and machine learning coupled with human-centric translational models holds the potential to uncover novel regenerative pathways that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of those affected by chronic liver disease.”

As per the terms of the multi-year, multi-target partnership, Ochre Bio stands to gain up to $35m in initial and near-term research-driven milestone payments.

Additionally, the biotech firm may earn further milestones linked to clinical, regulatory, and commercial achievements, along with tiered royalties.

Ochre Bio co-founder and chief scientific officer Quin Wills said: “Chronic liver disease remains a global killer on the rise and represents a significant unmet medical need for patients.

“We are delighted to be working with the exceptional scientists at Boehringer Ingelheim, who share our belief that liver regeneration is an underexplored therapeutic goal in patients with liver failure.”

Earlier this year, Boehringer Ingelheim entered into a similar collaboration with Suzhou Ribo Life Science and Ribocure Pharmaceuticals to develop novel treatments for liver diseases.