The Scleroderma Research Foundation (SRF) Announces Second Partnership for Conquest Trial Platform

  • Boehringer Ingelheim is second partner
  • Initial focus on Interstitial Lung Disease Secondary to Scleroderma
  • SRF will submit and hold the IND as the trial Sponsor
  • IND planned for late 2023

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Scleroderma Research Foundation (SRF), the nation’s largest non-profit funder of scleroderma research, today announced that Boehringer Ingelheim, a leading research-driven biopharmaceutical company, will contribute an experimental agent to CONQUEST, a highly innovative clinical trial platform created by the SRF. Boehringer Ingelheim is the second company to join CONQUEST; the platform’s inaugural partner, Sanofi, was announced in August of this year. The platform is specifically designed to efficiently advance promising treatments for scleroderma and to nominate agents that should progress from Phase 2b to Phase 3 clinical trials.

Luke Evnin, Ph.D., Chairman of the Scleroderma Research Foundation, commented, “Boehringer Ingelheim has a rich history of innovation in the Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) arena and is bringing their considerable experience and expertise to CONQUEST. The addition of a second deeply committed and highly sophisticated partner to CONQUEST is a strong validation of the platform’s promise and value. Finally, with two partners, CONQUEST is fully subscribed and fully funded, ensuring that the platform will be able to execute against the vision of building a global community tuned to rapid and efficient clinical development of promising novel therapeutic agents for the high unmet needs of our scleroderma patients.”

According to Ioannis Sapountzis, Global Head of Therapeutic Areas, Boehringer Ingelheim, “We are deeply committed to innovation in pulmonary fibrosis across a range of indications. We have chosen to partner with the SRF in scleroderma because we believe the benefits of highly innovative CONQUEST platform for all of the CONQUEST stakeholders – patients, clinical trial sites, and innovators – are dramatic and important.”

Using a model first created over a decade ago to accelerate oncology drug development, the SRF platform clinical trial is the first of its kind in rare autoimmune diseases. In its initial iteration, CONQUEST will focus on Interstitial Lung Disease secondary to Scleroderma (SSc-ILD). In the future, the CONQUEST platform will be expanded to address other manifestations of scleroderma. The ground-breaking effort, conceived and led by the SRF, will enroll patients across more than 130 centers in more than 22 countries. CONQUEST allows multiple therapies to be evaluated under a common trial infrastructure with a common control arm.

This efficiency is not available in traditional trials and are the features that underscore its “unique-ness.” By assembling a global network of high-performing centers that are dedicated to treating scleroderma, the SRF and its pharmaceutical partners expect to make enduring contributions to the scleroderma community by creating an ecosystem designed to enable success in new drug development. Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim are the inaugural partners for CONQUEST, which was first announced on August 1, 2023.

About Scleroderma
Scleroderma is a systemic autoimmune disease that affects approximately 100,000 patients in the US with high morbidity and mortality rates and for which there are limited treatment options. The disease presents multiple challenges for patients with a spectrum of symptoms that prominently include vascular disease and internal organ fibrosis.

About the Scleroderma Research Foundation
The Scleroderma Research Foundation (SRF), a 501(c)(3) organization, was established in 1987 with a mission to fund and facilitate the most promising, highest-quality research aimed at new treatments and, ultimately, a cure for scleroderma. Led by a Scientific Advisory Board comprised of some of the most highly regarded scientists in the nation, the SRF’s research program actively seeks out the leading scientific minds from disparate fields including autoimmunity, immunology, genetics, and fibrosis to join the scleroderma research community. In addition to its core research program, the SRF has also led the formation of two other large-scale projects aimed at accelerating scleroderma research: 

  • The CONQUER Registry, the first nationwide longitudinal registry for scleroderma patients, and
  • The GRASP Project, which examines scleroderma in the African American community.

The SRF is also dedicated to educating people living with scleroderma and their caregivers as they learn about how to best manage the challenges of the disease.

Media Contact:
Shari Annes
Annes Associates
Cell 650 888 0902

SOURCE Scleroderma Research Foundation