Celgene/ neurodegenerative diseases
In December 2016, Evotec announced that Evotec and Celgene Corporation 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. Celgene 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, Celgene 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 2018, Evotec announced that Celgene decided to extend the collaboration to include additional cell lines, which resulted in a $ 6 m payment to Evotec.
In October 2018, Evotec announced that Celgene's decision to extend the collaboration with further cell lines resulted in another $ 6 m payment.
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.