Boehringer Ingelheim has signed a licence agreement with Evec, Inc., Japan, for one of its fully-human therapeutic antibody programmes. Based on the agreement, Boehringer Ingelheim will obtain worldwide exclusive development and commercialisation rights for the complete programme. 

In return, Evec expects to receive an upfront payment and milestone payments depending on development phases from Boehringer Ingelheim totalling up to EUR 55 million, as well as royalty payments associated with potential product sales. Further financial details have not been disclosed.

Prof. Kenzo Takada, Chairman of Evec said "We are excited to enter into this collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim, a world recognised player in the biotechnology arena. This agreement marks a significant milestone in the development of Evec. Evec is one of the first Japanese bio venture companies which has concluded a license agreement with a western multinational pharmaceutical company. We believe that this will encourage furthermore the research and development of Japanese bio venture companies."

Dr. Andreas Barner, Vice-Chairman of the Board Corporate Division Pharma Research, Development and Medicine at Boehringer Ingelheim said "We are impressed by Evec's technology of generating fully-human antibodies and are delighted to be one of the first western multinational pharmaceutical companies to enter into a license agreement with a Japanese bio venture company. As a research-driven pharmaceutical company, Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to discovering and developing products which represent high therapeutic value. This collaboration has the potential to answer the patients' and physicians' need for new treatments that are both safe and efficacious."

Evec is a bio venture company having its head office in Sapporo, Japan, established in 2003, spun off from Hokkaido University. Evec is specialised in development of a wide spectrum of human monoclonal antibodies in multiple therapeutic areas, such as cancer, inflammatory diseases and infectious diseases by an Epstein-Barr Virus Transformation Method.