RetinAI, Boehringer Ingelheim team up with shared vision to use AI to develop treatments for patients with geographic atrophy

According to the companies, Boehringer Ingelheim will use RetinAI’s tools to develop treatments for GA, applying the company’s artificial intelligence tools to its imaging data in a search for novel biomarkers and predictors of disease progression.

an image of numbers and coding forming the shape of a human head. (Image Credit: AdobeStock/knowhowfootage)

This integration of advanced digital technologies and AI could help accelerate the development of urgently needed novel treatments (Image Credit: AdobeStock/knowhowfootage)

RetinAI Medical AG today took the wraps off a new partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim, with the companies focusing on improving patient outcomes in geographic atrophy (GA) by combining RetinAI’s Discovery platform and AI tools with Boehringer Ingelheim’s research in retinal diseases.

GA is a progressive, advanced form of age-related macular degeneration and a leading cause of complete loss of sight, estimated to affect around 5 million people worldwide.1 The number of people affected by GA increases exponentially with age. As the population ages, the prevalence of the disease is expected to rise.1,2 The loss of vision is traumatic and permanently impacts many aspects of life.

According to a news release, Boehringer Ingelheim will use RetinAI’s tools to develop treatments for GA, applying the company’s artificial intelligence tools to its imaging data in a search for novel biomarkers and predictors of disease progression.

RetinAI’s AI tools for identifying novel biomarkers will be tested for the analysis of Boehringer Ingelheim’s imaging datasets from clinical studies and real-world evidence to identify additional, novel biomarkers and predictors of disease progression.

This integration of advanced digital technologies and AI could help accelerate the development of urgently needed novel treatments and enable earlier and more precise diagnosis contributing to Boehringer Ingelheim’s vision of preventing vision loss and blindness caused by retinal diseases.

Carolos Ciller, PhD, CEO of RetinAI, noted in the news release the company was pleased to be kicking off this collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim, a leader in the development of treatments and application of digital technologies in retinal diseases.

“Our Discovery platform and novel AI tools in GA accelerate research and provide robust disease insights,” Ciller said in the news release. “We are confident that this collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim can pave the way to novel treatments that are better tailored to a patient’s disease to transform the lives of people living with retinal diseases.”

The companies hope to gain traction in a GA market that is quickly becoming a crowded field.

Apellis Pharmaceuticals won FDA approval for the first GA drug in February, and Iveric Bio, could win approval for its drug later this year.

Late last year, RetinAI kicked off its Discovery CORE with AI for retinal fluid and layer segmentation. Discovery CORE and its AI models have been designed to accelerate data analysis and help clinical and academic researchers collaborate more efficiently in real-time with their peers on medical and imaging datasets.

Boehringer Ingelheim reported recently in the next seven years it expects about 20 regulatory approvals in human pharma. Throughout the current year, Boehringer Ingelheim expects to present additional data from its pipeline.

“The acceleration of our broad pipeline demonstrates our commitment to transform the treatment of cardiovascular-renal diseases, inflammation, and respiratory diseases, as well as mental health, oncology and retinal diseases,” Hubertus von Baumbach, chairman of the Board of Managing Directors, said in a recent statement.

References:
1 Wong WL, Su X, Li X, et al. Global prevalence of age-related macular degeneration and disease burden projection for 2020 and 2040: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Glob Health. 2014;2(2):e106–e116. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(13)70145-1
2 Rudnicka AR, Jarrar Z, Wormald R, Cook DG, Fletcher A, Owen CG. Age and gender variations in age-related macular degeneration prevalence in populations of European ancestry: a meta-analysis. Ophthalmology. 2012;119(3):571–580. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2011.09.027
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