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EIT Health-supported Ochre Bio signs $1BN+ deal with Boehringer Ingelheim

7th May 2024

Oxford-based Ochre Bio has closed a deal to the value of $1bn+ with European drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim. Ochre Bio is a biotechnology company developing RNA therapies for chronic liver diseases. In this latest deal, the EIT Health-supported start-up will investigate potential treatments that aim to harness the liver’s capacity to self-repair, in collaboration with EIT Health Austria Core Partner Boehringer Ingelheim.

In 2019, chronic liver disease was the cause of over 297,000 deaths in Europe, accounting for 3% of all deaths in the region. Liver stress is at the heart of several cardiometabolic diseases, and can increase risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes. Due to a shortage of therapy options for patients, many resort to a liver transplant. Ochre Bio, co-founded by Jack O’Meara and Quin Wills in 2019, is working to develop a pipeline of RNA therapies for liver disease patients.

In 2020, Ochre Bio joined EIT Health’s Gold Track accelerator programme. High-potential European start-ups avail of 1:1 coaching from subject matter experts, including global investors and decision makers at multinational pharma and device companies. Together they deep dive into growth planning for scaling into new markets, and setting strategic financial milestones. Powered by economic operator Advise Connect Inspire (ACI), Gold Track’s accelerator model has led to companies raising over €500M, securing 24 partnerships and achieving three exits.

In 2021, Ochre Bio completed seed funding to the value of $9.6M, followed by Series A funding to the value of $30M in 2022. EIT Health contributed €500K of the total Series A amount via its Gold Track accelerator programme.

EIT Health is proud to have supported exceptional businesses like Ochre Bio to overcome their start-up challenges and access the support and advice needed for such outstanding success. Our wide range of Partners and the extraordinary range of health innovation expertise they represent makes this possible and we look forward to many more such successes to come,” said Graham Armitage, Managing Director at EIT Health Ireland-UK.EIT Health supported and invested in Ochre Bio, a UK company with an Irish co-founder, during the uncertain times following Brexit, so it is especially pleasing for EIT Health Ireland-UK that the Ochre Bio team should announce this deal in the year that the UK returns to Horizon Europe.

“Chronic liver disease is now the third leading cause of premature death in much of the developed world. We are excited to work with the R&D leaders at Boehringer Ingelheim to advance medicines for this important and under-treated disease,” said Jack O’Meara, Co-Founder and CEO at Ochre Bio. “Participating on EIT Health’s Gold Track programme gave us direct access to industry leaders who could advise and open doors for us. The people involved in Gold Track are top drawer and we have remained in touch with many of them until today.”

If you are part of a health innovation start-up and would like to accelerate your business in Europe, check out EIT Health’s Programmes to discover current opportunities open for applications.

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Find out more