The chemical sciences form the cornerstone of novelty and inventive step which provides intellectual property protection and ultimately high value for our partners. Full command of design, synthesis, analysis, characterisation coupled with deep understanding of the biological and non-efficacy elements of drug action are all essential for contemporary and efficient discovery of new, safe and efficacious drugs. 
We understand that each partner has different needs, internal capabilities, capacities and philosophies and therefore we take care to provide flexible, innovative and efficient chemistry solutions tailored to our clients requirements and goals.

The Evotec chemistry team has a track record of success across a wide range of compound types,  targets classes, routes of administration and diseases areas, and can support our partners’ programmes at any and all phases of the chemical value stream (hit creation, expansion, hit-to-lead, lead optimisation and development readiness).
The scientific quality and effectiveness of the all the chemistry work at Evotec is overseen by a leadership team with perhaps unparalleled levels of expertise, breadth of knowledge and delivery.
Taken together, we believe your project is in the most trustworthy and dependable hands at Evotec. 

The capabilities listed below can be accessed individually where required or brought together to form complete project solutions:
  • Cutting-edge molecular design
  • Rapid synthetic execution
  • Expert advice on overall project strategy
  • Developing strategy for and securing IP protection
  • Route development and scale-up chemistry
  • Preparative chromatography
  • Drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics
  • Solid state and formulation
  • Project management

Chemistry groups at Evotec are co-located with DMPK and computational chemistry, enabling rapid communication of the best combined experience and intellect on interdisciplinary drug-hunting problems and allowing rapid “design – make – test - analyse” cycle times when clients wish to access multiples activities to support their programmes.

Evotec track record

  • Over the last 15 years, Evotec chemists have supported >230 hit-to-lead and/or lead optimisation projects
  • Evotec scientists are named inventors on >350 client patents and have contributed to identification of >70 pre-clinical candidates
  • Our project teams have made major contributions to the identification of >30 compounds that have been approved for clinical trials

Synthesis, scale-up and synthetic route development

At the foundation of Evotec’s medicinal chemistry group is a talented and industry-experienced team of >200 synthetic organic chemists supporting medicinal chemistry-driven projects, focused library preparation, literature, building blocks, route developmentand scale-up synthesis.
With an excellent understanding of the drug discovery process and in particular how important cycle times are, our chemists work with the goal of delivering high quality compounds in a short timeframe.

The Evotec chemistry team:

  • More than 40% of our chemists are educated to PhD level
  • >35% of our chemists have >10 years experience at major pharmaceutical and biotech companies prior to joining Evotec
  • Excellent track record: contribution to >70 pre-clinical development candidates and >30 clinical candidates
  • Named inventors hundreds on >350 client patents and authors of >600 publications in peer reviewed journals
  • Our chemists use state-of-the-art equipment and technologies including flow chemistry, photo-redox, microwave reactors, parallel synthesis and automated purification systems etc.

Leveraging expertise in a wide range of compound classes and problem solving capabilities, our chemists provide quality molecular design, execute highly challenging syntheses and isolation procedures, with experience in the areas of:

  • Heterocyclic drug-like small molecules
  • Natural products
  • Steroids
  • Macrocycles
  • Nucleosides
  • Complex carbohydrates
  • Linear and cyclised peptides
  • Peptidomimetics

Moreover, Evotec has a strong experience in developing enantioselective synthetic methods and has also a full range of chiral separation technologies including SFC to deliver single enantiomers.

Scale-up chemistry

Evotec can supply large quantities of molecules of interest through a team of very experienced chemists originating from chemical development.

Our scale-up chemistry capabilities include:
  • Large scale synthesis of API, intermediates (100-200g)
  • Route scouting (new route of synthesis) for IND process
  • Optimisation of synthetic routes
  • Crystalline salt selections
  • Full technical package for smooth and rapid transfer to larger scales for GMP batches synthesis
  • Large-scale batch preparation of pre-clinical development candidate (PDC) ready for in-depth pharmacological characterisation and early toxicity studies with a well-defined crystalline form and optimised synthetic process ready for GMP transfer
This expert team has a solid track record of:
  • Contributions to late development synthesis of >20 pre-clinical and clinical candidates
  • Experience in pilot plant (3 years in industrial manufacture and 12 years in R&D)
  • Contribution to early development of >140 compounds for research programmes
  • Processes smoothly transferred to kilolab or pilot plant after early development studies
  • Success in delivering physical quality of API with rapid processing of crystallisation studies

Medicinal chemistry, DMPK and in silico design

At Evotec, we understand that all the critical characteristics of a molecule are fixed at the point of its conception: activity, selectivity, physical properties, disposition, half-life and even safety are all features determined by the specific molecular structure. Therefore, we put high value and intense focus on the highest quality molecular design.

Evotec has a strong core of experienced, pharma-trained, industry-seasoned and successful drug hunters who drive the molecular design process. Our teams in Abingdon, UK, Toulouse, France and Verona, Italy have co-located group of medicinal chemists, computational chemists, structural biologists and DMPK scientists that have made significant contributions to discovery projects throughout their careers:

  • >100 development candidates
  • Named inventors and authors on >860 patents and publications

Our scientists are drawn from a variety of backgrounds and have been successful in all major therapeutic areas, target classes and routes of administration and successfully prosecuted receptors, ion channel modulators, enzyme inhibitors and protein-protein interaction inhibitors, with several compounds progressing to pre-clinical development and beyond.
Our teams are fluent and expert in both protein structure-guided and ligand-based design, utilising internal knowledge and experience as well as a wealth of supporting computational models and are very experienced in control and optimisation of drug disposition (e.g. for optimal or restricted CNS exposure).

The focus of our medicinal chemistry teams is on high-quality design and crisp decision making. The process at Evotec is enabled by widespread availability of visualisation, analysis and design software tools.

Our medicinal chemists combine human creativity with knowledge, experience and all the available tools and information to enrich design ideas – the emphasis is always on making the right compounds with optimisation of biological activity and properties in parallel to make the path to candidate as short as possible. We firmly believe that the co-location and interaction of synthetic and medicinal chemistry, computational science, structural biology and DMPK enhances the quality of design, problem-solving, inventive step analysis and communication internally and with our partners.

We continually review our internal processes (analysis, compound management, registration, dispatch etc.) to ensure that our discovery teams are working in the most efficient manner possible with the implementation of lean processes wherever possible. We have implemented a company-wide electronic lab notebook system and internal LIMS system for compound submissions. In addition we have project specific databases and workflows to enable rapid data sharing within teams and with our clients.

Our focus is to ensure the shortest possible “design-make-test-analyse” cycle with typically one complete cycle per month. With this in place we can achieve:

  • Key project decision points in a shorter timeframe
  • Increased knowledge and experience due to more learning cycles per time unit
  • Better quality output/product
  • Less waste due to more informed decisions
  • Effective, efficient teams

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DMPK and ADME-Tox services In silico design


Evotec has a dedicated and expert team with years of pharma experience in the identification of appropriate solid forms and biopharmaceutical properties for further development. The team has completed more than 300 solid form screening processes during last 10 years.

A customised robotic screening platform has been created for salt, co-crystal and polymorph identification with flexible, modifiable screening conditions to optimise the properties of the API. When appropriate, the selection of guest molecules is supported by scientific approaches involving pKa differences, molecular diversity and more sophisticated models which deploy surface electronic density interaction and/or calculation of mixture enthalpy.

The newly identified API solid forms are then manually confirmed, at ten milligram scale, while developing a preliminary crystallisation process to pre-select the most promising new API Solid Forms for scale-up.

Finally, after larger upscale (hundred milligrams scale) undertaken in our process chemistry team, an in-depth Solid State / PhysChem analytical package is created for each pre-selected API forms.

This process has been efficiently and successfully applied to more than 150 pre-clinical candidates during the last decade and in each case a CMC risk assessment document has been authored to make a clear recommendation of the best suitable form for future progress human clinical trials.

Our platform can provide, the following information related to identified solid forms:
  • Solid-state profiling: crystalline nature, thermal behavior, hygroscopicity data, particle characterisation, spectroscopy
  • PhysChem profiling: pKa and dissociation equilibrium. LogP and Log D, solubility profiling in aqueous or in biorelevant media, accelerated physical and chemical stability, chemical stability
  • In-silico PhysChem profiling: XRPD indexation for crystalline purity and crystal structure determination, ab-initio prediction from structure of NMR, Raman, FTRIR spectra, LogP, Log DpH partition coefficient and screening of organic/organic or water/organic Liquid-Liquid extraction coefficient, ab-initio prediction of API solubility, UV coefficient response and chemical degradation pathway

Preparative Chromatography

In addition to supporting our internal and partnership projects with outstanding separation science, Evotec offers high quality preparative chromatography services, ranging from milligram to kilogram scale. The group has developed a set of complementary analytical and preparative HPLC and SFC separation techniques to provide:

  • Separation of chiral compounds at the preparative scale (intermediates or final compounds)
  • Purifications using high resolution techniques for peptides, vitamins, steroids, macrolides, amino-acid derivatives, proteins
  • Mass directed purification of chemical libraries
  • Impurities or natural products isolation for structural identification
  • Chiral analysis for asymmetric synthesis follow-up
  • Evaluation of chiral stability of final molecules or development candidates

The group has also developed unique oxidation models mimicking P450 monooxygenases for synthesis, purification and structural identification of metabolites or analogues of active compounds.

The capabilities

  • Analytical: HPLC, UPLC, UPLC/MS and SFC (Supercritical Fluid Chromatography)
  • Preparative chromatography small scale (mg to g): LC/UV/MS automated mass directed purification Waters Fraction Lynx   and LC/UV automated purification Labomatic
  • Preparative chromatography medium scale (g to tens of g): HPLC preparative chromatography and SFC preparative chromatography
  • Preparative Chromatography large scale (tens of g to kg): large-scale pilot Novasep HPLC prep chromatography, large-scale pilot Novasep SFC prep chromatography, fully automated 20 L rotary evaporator

With these high quality capabilities and exceptional level of expertise developed over more than 20 years, Evotec is a key provider of outsourced preparative chromatography services for pharmaceutical, fine chemical, cosmetic and academia sectors.

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