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Photo: Oncoheroes Biosciences.

Oncoheroes Biosciences and Boehringer Ingelheim sign exclusive licensing agreement for Volasertib

Oncoheroes Biosciences –a Boston-based biotech company with its European headquarters at the Barcelona Science Park– and Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH (Boehringer Ingelheim) have signed a worldwide exclusive licensing contract for Volasertib. Under the terms of this agreement the global pharmaceutical group assigns the intellectual property of this anti-cancer compound to Oncoheroes, which is committed to further its development and commercialization for pediatric cancer indications.


Volasertib is an inhibitor of Polo-like-kinase 1 (PLK1), an enzyme known to be involved in cancer progression in a number of diseases. The compound was being developed by Boehringer for the treatment of a specific form of leukemia but clinical development activities were halted after a large Phase III study with adult patients failed to meet its primary endpoints.

Meanwhile, independent academic groups had generated strong data in support of further developing the drug for rhabdomyosarcoma and a few other pediatric cancer indications.

By signing this licensing agreement, Oncoheroes and Boehringer Ingelheim make it possible to continue the clinical development of volasertib to the benefit of younger cancer patients. The financial details of this deal are not disclosed. Oncoheroes has already established links with international pediatric oncology networks and is actively working to start clinical development activities as soon as possible.

Oncoheroes is a Boston-based biotech company exclusively focused on the development of innovative medicines to treat cancer in children and adolescents. The company was co-founded by Ricardo Garcia and Cesare Spadoni, two parents touched by childhood cancer and determined to change the outlook for these young patients.

“This is probably the first example of an investigational compound being specifically repurposed to investigate it as a treatment for a form of childhood cancer. We are committed to identify more such opportunities and also develop our own innovative treatments for children and adolescents with cancer”, jointly stated Ricardo Garcia and Dr Cesare Spadoni, Oncoheroes’ Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer, respectively.

Ricardo Garcia and Cesare Spadoni will be presenting Oncoheroes and answering audience questions during a launching webinar on October 15, 2019.

► For further information: Oncoheroes Biosciences website [+]