Bristol Myers Squibb/ neurodegenerative diseases
In December 2016, Evotec announced that Evotec and Celgene (now a Bristol Myers Squibb company) have entered into a strategic drug discovery and development collaboration to identify disease-modifying therapeutics for a broad range of neurodegenerative diseases. Initial disease areas of focus will include Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and multiple other neurodegenerative disorders.
Evotec has built an industrialised iPSC infrastructure that represents one of the largest and most sophisticated iPSC platforms in the industry. Evotec's iPSC platform has been developed over the last five years with the goal to industrialise iPSC-based drug screening in terms of throughput, reproducibility and robustness to reach the highest industrial standards. This effort was enabled by a research collaboration and licence agreement with Harvard University involving world-leading scientists at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. In particular, a collaboration termed CureMotorNeuron that was initiated in 2013 with the laboratories of Professors Kevin Eggan, PhD, and Lee Rubin, PhD, resulted in significant contributions to the platform. Additional aspects of the platform were built up through Evotec's more than 10-year collaboration with the CHDI Foundation in the field of Huntington's disease.
Under the terms of the agreement, Evotec received an upfront payment of $ 45 m. Bristol Myers Squibb holds exclusive options to in-license worldwide rights to Evotec programmes developed from the company's compound library. Evotec may be eligible to receive up to $ 250 m in milestones as well as up to low double-digit royalties on in-licensed programmes. As part of the collaboration, Bristol Myers Squibb may also elect to screen compounds from its proprietary CELMoD(R) library using Evotec's iPSC platform to evaluate activity in models of neurodegenerative diseases. The initial term of the collaboration is five years.
In October 2017, Evotec announced that this strategic alliance has reached a first milestone triggering revenues of $ 5.0 m to Evotec. The milestone is due to the successful completion of a screening campaign using Evotec's induced pluripotent stem cell ("iPSC")-based screening platform.
In May and again in October 2018, Evotec announced that Bristol Myers Squibb decided to extend the collaboration to include additional cell lines, which each resulted in a $ 6 m payment to Evotec.
Following the advancement of a programme into the lead optimisation stage, Evotec announced in January 2019 that this scientific achievement had resulted in a payment of $ 14 m, which Evotec received before year-end 2018.
After receiving a $ 9 m payment for including further cell lines in June 2019, Evotec announced in January 2020 that the partnership had once again been expanded with additional cell lines against a $ 6 m payment from Bristol Myers Squibb.
In October 2020, Evotec announced that the Company had received a $ 6 m milestone payment from Bristol Myers Squibb, following the decision to expand the portfolio by another drug discovery project with direct relevance to Alzheimer's disease.
In September 2021, Evotec announced that Bristol Myers Squibb has exercised its option to enter into an exclusive global license for EVT8683, a small molecule targeting a key cellular stress response that holds great promise in various neurodegenerative indications.