- ADDING ANOTHER DRUG DISCOVERY PROJECT TO THE PORTFOLIO TRIGGERS PAYMENT TO EVOTEC
Hamburg, Germany, 05 January 2021:
Evotec SE (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) announced today that the Company has received a US$ 6 m payment from Bristol Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) within the companies’ iPSC-based neuroscience partnership. The payment follows Bristol Myers Squibb’s decision to add another drug discovery project to the partnership’s portfolio.
Evotec and Bristol Myers Squibb (the successor in interest to Celgene) initiated the collaboration in 2016 to identify disease-modifying treatments for a broad range of neurodegenerative diseases. Currently approved drugs only offer short-term management of patients’ symptoms and there is a huge unmet medical need for therapies that slow down or reverse disease progression in the field of neurodegenerative diseases.
This collaboration pursues an innovative approach to the discovery and development of novel medicines by leveraging several of Evotec’s unique technology platforms in conjunction with the human iPSC-based platform, which is one of the largest and most sophisticated platforms in the industry. The partnership between Bristol Myers Squibb and Evotec has already found several access points into neurodegenerative diseases and has to-date delivered a broad portfolio targeting key disease mechanisms in neurodegeneration.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “We are very excited about this most recent expansion of our joint project portfolio which further validates our iPSC-based approach within our strategic neuroscience partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb. Our partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb is driven by the firm belief that iPSC-based approaches will deliver more disease-relevant drug candidates which will have a better chance to deliver safe and effective drugs than traditional approaches.”
The milestone was achieved before the end of 2020.
About Evotec and iPSC
Induced pluripotent stem cells (also known as iPS cells or iPSCs) are a type of pluripotent stem cell that can be generated directly from adult cells. The iPSC technology was pioneered by Shinya Yamanaka’s lab in Kyoto, Japan, who showed in 2006 that the introduction of four specific genes encoding transcription factors could convert adult cells into pluripotent stem cells. He was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize along with Sir John Gurdon “for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent”. Pluripotent stem cells hold great promise in the field of regenerative medicine. Because they can propagate indefinitely, as well as give rise to every other cell type in the body (such as neurons, heart, pancreatic and liver cells), they represent a single source of cells that could be used to replace those lost to damage or disease.
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 years with the goal to industrialise iPSC-based drug screening in terms of throughput, reproducibility and robustness to reach the highest industrial standards, and to use iPSC-based cells in cell therapy approaches via the Company’s proprietary EVOcells platform.
Information set forth in this press release contains forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgement of Evotec as of the date of this press release. Such forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.