Pharma partnerships

 

Evotec is committed to delivering solutions for some of the largest and most pressing global medical needs. With EVT Innovate, the Company brings forward the most promising scientific ideas to make a difference in key medical areas. In its research initiatives, Evotec is progressing its pre-clinical assets to potential entry points for drug discovery alliances and partners those to pharmaceutical companies for upfront payments, on-going research fees and significant milestones and royalties. Through this strategy, Evotec is building a pipeline without bearing the extensive financial risk normally involved in such projects.

Anti-infectives

Bayer - Haplogen/ TargetPicV

In November 2012, Evotec and Haplogen GmbH signed a collaboration agreement to discover and develop small molecules against viral infectious diseases. Under the agreement, Haplogen and Evotec co-develop drugs against a human protein that is essential for pathogenic viruses to infect their host cell. This protein was discovered by Haplogen's powerful proprietary technology to identify host factors for infectious human pathogens. Evotec further develop Haplogen's lead compounds and apply its drug discovery platform to find additional small molecule inhibitors. Terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

In August 2018, Haplogen entered into a multi-year drug discovery and development collaboration with Bayer AG to identify new therapeutics with applications in pulmonary diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (“COPD”). Evotec and Haplogen’s target-based approach will be broadened under the terms of the new Haplogen collaboration with Bayer.

As part of the new Haplogen collaboration, Bayer receives an exclusive license to worldwide rights to programmes developed within the collaboration between Haplogen and Evotec. Evotec will participate in undisclosed upfront as well as potential milestone and royalty-based payments from Haplogen.

Diabetes and diabetic complications

Novo Nordisk - Kidney disease

In August 2020, Evotec and Novo Nordisk announced a strategic collaboration on the discovery and development of innovative therapeutics for patients with chronic kidney disease.

Evotec and Novo Nordisk will jointly identify and develop novel targets based on comprehensive medical and molecular data sets of thousands of chronic kidney disease patients. The collaboration intends to pursue the most relevant human disease biology in a therapeutic modality-agnostic approach to develop first-in-class therapeutics for patients suffering from CKD.

Under the terms of the agreement, Evotec and Novo Nordisk will share responsibilities during drug discovery and pre-clinical development. Novo Nordisk will be responsible for the clinical development and commercialisation of the products. Evotec will receive an undisclosed upfront payment, research funding and milestone potential of more than € 150 m per product as well as tiered royalties on net sales.

QRbeta Therapeutics/ TargetBCD

In August 2015, Evotec and Sanofi entered into a strategic collaboration in the field of diabetes to develop a beta cell replacement therapy based on functional human beta cells derived from human stem cells. Both companies have made significant contributions to this collaboration in terms of expertise, platforms and resources. 

In April 2017, Evotec  reached an important milestone, triggering a payment of € 3 m to Evotec, for achieving pre-clinical proof-of-concept. 

In June 2018, Evotec reached a second € 3 m-milestone after meeting pre-agreed critical success criteria for a potential manufacturing process for generation of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived beta cells, including the demonstration of upscaling potential and suitability of the cell product for encapsulated beta cell function in diabetes models.

In December 2019, Evotec announced the achievement of a third milestone, resulting in a payment of € 3 m to Evotec. This milestone was triggered after Evotec met pre-agreed critical criteria within the beta cell replacement therapy programme.

In April 2020, Evotec announced that the Company would receive the global development and commercialisation rights to the programme back from Sanofi. Evotec will continue the development of the beta cell programme on its own within its EVT Innovate initiative “QRbeta Therapeutics” while in parallel exploring the best strategic options for further long-term development and commercialisation.

You can find more information about QRbeta Therapeutics here.

Bayer/ CureNephron

In September 2016, Evotec announced that Evotec and Bayer have entered into a five-year, multi-target research partnership. The goal is the development of multiple clinical candidates for the treatment of kidney diseases such as chronic kidney disease in diabetes patients. Both companies will contribute novel drug targets and a comprehensive set of high-quality technology platforms to jointly develop innovative treatment options for these severe conditions. The partners will share responsibilities during pre-clinical development of potential clinical candidates.

Under the terms of the agreement, Bayer received exclusive access to selected candidates as well as to Evotec’s CureNephron target pipeline. Bayer will be responsible for any subsequent clinical development and commercialisation. Evotec will receive a minimum of € 14 m over the contract period including research payments and an undisclosed licence fee. In addition, Evotec is eligible to receive pre-clinical, clinical and sales milestones of potentially over € 300 m as well as tiered royalties of up to low double-digit percentage of net sales. 

Inflammation and Immunology

Galapagos/ Fibrosis

In February 2019, Evotec and Galapagos announced a global collaboration focused on a novel target for fibrosis and other indications.

The collaboration concerns a small molecule programme, currently in pre-clinical development for the treatment of fibrotic diseases of the liver and other organs. The target has been identified and validated using Evotec’s proprietary platforms for fibrotic diseases and NASH. Evotec utilised its in-house assay development and drug screening capabilities to identify small molecule modulators against the target, which remains undisclosed.

In exchange for global commercialisation rights to Galapagos, Evotec receives an upfront payment and is eligible for potential milestone and royalty payments. Galapagos will be responsible for all further development of the programme. Furthermore, Galapagos will have access to specific screening formats at Evotec to support the final pre-clinical development.

Pfizer/ Fibrosis

In September 2015 Evotec announced that it has signed an agreement on a four-year research collaboration with Pfizer Inc. in the field of tissue fibrosis.

Under the terms of this licence and collaboration agreement, scientists at Evotec and Pfizer explore potential novel mechanisms as targeted anti-fibrotics in multi-organ fibrosis. Evotec contribute its drug discovery platform whereas Pfizer provide key technologies and industrial scope as well as pharmaceutical development and marketing expertise.

Financial terms of the collaboration include an upfront payment and potential milestone payments from Pfizer based on the achievement of specific development and sales milestones.

CONBA Pharmaceutical/ EVT401

In May 2012, Evotec and CONBA Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. announced the grant of a development and marketing licence on EVT401, a selective, small molecule P2X7 antagonist, for human indications with exception of ophthalmological, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (“COPD”) and endometriosis in China.

Evotec received a small upfront payment and is eligible for development and commercial milestone payments in excess of € 60 m and tiered double-digit royalties on net sales. The agreement grants CONBA exclusive rights to develop and commercialise the compound for the Chinese market. Evotec will have the right to reference clinical data produced by CONBA Pharmaceutical to support potential further development of EVT401 in other territories.

P2X7 receptor antagonism may provide a novel approach for the treatment of inflammatory conditions. Evotec has completed the first Phase I, single dose study of EVT 401 in 2010. CONBA will initiate further clinical trials with EVT401 in China in inflammatory diseases. In July 2013, CONBA received green light from the Chinese government to continue their studies on the EVT401 programme.

Neuroscience

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 $ 14.0 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.

JingXin/ EVT201

In October 2010, Evotec and Zhejiang JingXin Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd (“JingXin”) entered into a licence and collaboration agreement for EVT201 (a GABAA Receptor Partial Positive Allosteric Modulator), a novel potential treatment for insomnia. The agreement granted JingXin exclusive rights to develop and market the drug candidate in China. In return, Evotec received a small upfront payment, together with commercial milestones and significant royalties.
In April 2013, JingXin received approval from the Chinese Center of Drug Evaluation to commence clinical trials with EVT201 and is currently running Phase II clinical trials according to plan.
Evotec had previously concluded two Phase II studies, providing positive safety and efficacy results. All development costs are borne by JingXin and Evotec will have the right to reference clinical data produced by JingXin to support potential further development of EVT201 in other territories.

In Q2 2020, JingXin initiated Phase III clinical trials with EVT201 in China.

Oncology

Bristol-Myers Squibb/ Solid tumours

In May 2018, Evotec announced that Evotec and Celgene (now a Bristol-Myers Squibb company) have entered into a long-term strategic drug discovery and development partnership to identify new therapeutics in oncology.
Evotec has built one of the industry’s broadest and most innovative pre-clinical discovery and development platforms. This includes in particular an industry-leading phenotypic screening platform with unique compound libraries and associated target deconvolution capabilities. The collaboration intends to leverage these capabilities with an initial focus on solid tumours. 
Bristol-Myers Squibb receives exclusive opt-in rights to license worldwide rights to all programmes developed within this collaboration. Under the terms of the agreement, Evotec will receive an upfront payment of $ 65 m and may be eligible to receive significant milestone payments as well as tiered royalties on each licensed programme.

Apeiron-Sanofi/ TargetImmuniT

In January 2013, Evotec and Apeiron Biologics entered into a research collaboration with the objective of developing immunomodulatory lead compounds for the treatment of cancer. Apeiron Biologics contributed in vitro and in vivo pharmacology expertise to this collaboration while Evotec was responsible for medicinal chemistry as well as chemical proteomics. The collaboration was based on the successful outcome of a phenotypic high-throughput screen previously commissioned by Apeiron Biologics to Evotec.
In August 2015, Evotec and Apeiron announced a strategic collaboration with Sanofi to develop novel small molecule-based cancer immunotherapies. This collaboration includes major research and development efforts to advance a first-in-class small molecule approach to treat solid and haematopoietic cancers by enhancing the anti-tumour activity of human lymphocytes. Based on Evotec's technological expertise and Apeiron Biologics' immunological know-how, the collaboration also focuses on the identification of novel small molecule hits and their targets for next-generation therapies in immuno-oncology which are expected to complement the current offerings of checkpoint inhibitors.
The agreement triggered two years of substantial research payments for Evotec and Apeiron Biologics with the opportunity to receive pre-clinical, clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones which could total over EUR 200 m as well as royalties upon commercialisation.

In Janury 2018, Evotec and Apeiron announced that the companies received the first milestone payment from Sanofi. The milestone payment of € 3 m was split equally between the two biotech companies.

Women`s health

Bayer - Endometriosis and chronic cough

In October 2012, Evotec and Bayer Pharma AG entered into a five-year, multi-target collaboration with the goal of developing three clinical candidates for the treatment of endometriosis. Both parties contribute innovative drug targets and high-quality technology infrastructures and share the responsibility for early research and pre-clinical characterisation of potential clinical candidates in the disease area of endometriosis.

Bayer will be responsible for any subsequent clinical development and commercialisation. Evotec will receive € 12 m as an upfront payment. In total Evotec may receive pre-clinical, clinical and sales milestones of potentially up to approximately € 580 m plus potential royalties of up to low double-digit percent of net sales.

The alliance has already generated multiple pre-clinical development candidates and the first programme progressed into Phase I clinical trials in August 2016. Three more Phase I studies were started in July 2017, in April 2018, and in January 2020.

Phase II development in chronic cough

In July 2018, Evotec announced that a compound developed under the multi-target alliance with Bayer in the field of endometriosis was advanced into Phase II testing for treatment of chronic cough (BAY1817080). In February 2019, Bayer advanced another promising small molecule into Phase II clinical development for the treatment of persistent chronic cough. 

In July 2019, positive Phase II results were published for BAY1817080.

White Paper

To promote complementary inter-company cooperation for future research collaborations, Evotec and Bayer have published a white paper on their successful alliance.

About Endometriosis

Endometriosis affects an estimated 176 million women worldwide or 10% of women of reproductive age. It is caused by the abnormal growth of tissue similar to that which lines the uterus (endometrial tissue) in locations outside of the uterine cavity, where it causes ectopic lesion growth and debilitating pain. Endometrial growth is commonly found on the ovaries and pelvic peritoneum, potentially involving other organs of the pelvic cavity as e.g. bladder, bowel, and the rectovaginal space. There is no known cure for endometriosis and most available drug treatments have certain limitations. Endometriosis is a highly complex and heterogeneous disease and there is still a high unmet medical need for innovative therapies which address the individual needs of affected women. The disease can greatly impact a woman‘s social, professional and personal life, and women with endometriosis often experience a higher incidence of depression and emotional distress due to the uncertainty of diagnosis, unpredictability of symptoms and living a normal life.

Bayer - Celmatix/ polycystic ovary syndrome

In January 2020, Evotec and Bayer announced the expansion of their partnership in women’s health indications with a new five-year, multi-target collaboration to develop multiple clinical candidates for the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (“PCOS”).

Under the terms of the agreement, both companies will contribute drug targets and a comprehensive set of high-quality technology platforms to jointly develop innovative treatment options. The strategic alliance will also have access to targets from the recently formed partnership between Celmatix and Evotec. Celmatix is the world leader in big data-driven target discovery focused on fertility and women’s health.

Bayer and Evotec will share responsibilities during the pre-clinical development of potential clinical candidates. Bayer will be responsible for any subsequent clinical development and commercialisation. Evotec will receive € 6.5 m upfront payment and € 10 m research payments over five years. In addition, Evotec might be eligible to receive pre-clinical, clinical and sales milestones of potentially over € 330 m as well as royalties up to low double-digit percentages of net sales.

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