Hamburg, Germany - 24 September 2014: Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) announced today that it has entered into three novel research projects for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis ("MS") supported by research funds from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research ("BMBF").
The respective scientific approaches stem from the Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum ("DRFZ"; an institute of the Leibniz Association; Prof. A. Hamann) and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf ("UKE"; Prof. M. Friese; Dr J. Herkel) comprising cytokine regulation, neuroprotection and tolerance induction.
Evotec will utilise its drug discovery platform, its project management capabilities and its market presence to identify drug candidates in these novel approaches to tackle MS and to commercialise those later on. Current MS treatments mostly constitute disease-modifying approaches while more specific or well-differentiated alternative treatment modes are eagerly looked for by the industry. The three projects have a term of between 1.5 and 3 years and comprise a total budget of about EUR 5 m.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: "These novel approaches to fight MS, the disease with the highest socioeconomic impact worldwide, perfectly fit to our EVT Innovate strategy to approach disease-modifying innovation and to identify first-in-class molecules eagerly sought for by the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. We are proud to partner with these leading German research institutions and groups to translate their exceptional disease know-how into drug candidates and furthermore into novel products."
ABOUT MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
Multiple sclerosis ("MS") is an inflammatory and neurodegenerative disease in which the insulating covers of nerve cells (myelin sheath) in the brain and spinal cord are damaged. This damage disrupts the ability of parts of the nervous system to communicate, resulting in a wide range of signs and symptoms, including physical, mental, and sometimes psychiatric problems. MS takes several forms, with new symptoms either occurring in isolated attacks (relapsing forms) or building up over time (progressive forms). Between attacks, symptoms may disappear completely; however, permanent neurological problems often occur, especially as the disease advances. MS is usually diagnosed based on the presenting signs and symptoms and the results of supporting medical tests. There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis. Treatments attempt to improve function after an attack and prevent new attacks. Medications used to treat MS while modestly effective can have adverse effects and be poorly tolerated. Life expectancy is on average 5 to 10 years lower than that of an unaffected population.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
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.