In August 2019, Evotec and Lygature announced their cooperation in a new initiative for the development of novel antibacterial agents today: Gram-Negative Antibacterials NOW (“GNA NOW”). The new GNA NOW project, led by Evotec SE, managed by Lygature and funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), will work on the development of novel antibacterial agents to battle antimicrobial resistance in gram-negative bacteria. The multi-stakeholder consortium includes nine other partners from academia, industry and SMEs: Nosopharm, BIOASTER, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, North Bristol National Health Service Trust, University of Liverpool, Inserm, Erasmus Medical Center, Medical University of Vienna, and Fraunhofer IME.
Collectively, the GNA NOW members will progress three programmes in parallel with the goal of bringing one through completion of Phase I studies and one reaching Investigational New Drug (IND) stage and/or up to two programmes reaching clinical development candidate stage, by 2024.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
In June 2019, Evotec announced that the company has entered into a five-year partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to discover new treatment regimens that better address tuberculosis (“TB”), a severe global health burden and one of the leading causes of death due to infectious diseases worldwide. The current standard treatment regimen for TB consists of a minimum of 6 months of treatment with 4 drugs administered under direct observation, but treatment is much longer when TB is drug resistant.
Evotec will receive a grant of approximately $ 23.8 m for a period of up to 5 years from the foundation. The main objective of the grant is to generate standardised, high-quality pre-clinical data to support novel regimen selection and development. The regimen should be safer, shorter in duration and more efficacious than the current standard of care.
In March 2019, Evotec and The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (“GARDP”) announced the formation of a new strategic public-private partnership to tackle the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance. By joining forces, Evotec and GARDP will leverage their capabilities and networks to address drug-resistant bacterial infections. This includes bringing together GARDP’s clinical expertise and sustainable access commitment with Evotec’s leading drug discovery platform, expertise in medicinal chemistry and pharmacology, as well as its world-leading collection of bacterial pathogens. This strategic partnership focuses on accelerating the development of first-in-class antibiotic treatments for hard-to-treat bacterial infections by establishing a platform that spans the length of the drug development value chain as well as developing a joint pipeline.
In February 2019, Evotec and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (“HZI”) announced a collaboration with the goal to address a major global health threat by developing novel antibiotics that overcome drug-resistant bacterial pathogens. Research activities will initially be focused on the optimisation of cystobactamids, a family of natural antibacterial products with innovative chemical scaffolds that are active against the most dangerous Gram-negative pathogens on the WHO priority list.
Under the terms of the agreement, Evotec and HZI will collaborate for an initial term of 3 years. The collaboration will combine HZI’s unique collection and know-how of natural products as well as access to in vitro and in vivo models of bacterial infection with Evotec’s leading drug discovery platform, expertise in medicinal chemistry and pharmacology as well as world-leading collection of bacterial pathogens.