Hamburg, Germany - 18 November 2009: Evotec (Frankfurt Stock Ex-change: EVT, TecDAX), a leading provider in the discovery and development of novel small molecule drugs, today announced that it has been granted up to € 2.5 m in research funds from the BMBF, within the Neu2 consortium, to advance research and development activities on the target Serine Racemase for potential use in neuroprotection. Evotec will use its drug discovery platform and expertise in progressing this program towards the clinic, particularly making use of its high quality compound library and proprietary fragment-based drug discovery platform.
The Neu2 consortium, including Evotec, MerckSerono, the European ScreeningPort GmbH, Bionamics GmbH, and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf amongst others were successful against stiff competition in this nationwide competition. The goal of the competition is to strengthen the German pharmaceutical industry and to bring innovation to market. The winning consortium, within which Evotec plays an important role, focuses on developing therapeutics aimed at Multiple Sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Dr Klaus Maleck, Chief Financial Officer of Evotec comments: "Evotec is pleased to work on identifying new drugs against neurodegenerative diseases within this consortium. At the same time, this grant represents a valuable alternative to financing our research without jeopardizing our patent position. The work has the potential to make major improvements to the quality of life of the patient and can have considerable, non-dilutive impact on our investment case."
BMBF comments: "The strategic competition "BioPharma" was initiated in 2007 because the translation from basic research, which is on a very high level in Germany, to product development and economic realisation does not work properly. Many expensive scientific findings will never be used in drug development because scientists push their work on a level ready for publication whereas pharmaceutical companies only start their developments on the level of leads or validated targets at least. Therefore BMBF does not support single projects in the frame of BioPharma, but consortia that cover the complete adding value process, from molecule to product. The Neu2 consortium is one of the three winners of this competition who convinced the review board with a strategic concept, a plausible management, an integrated financing concept, and adequate partners."
Neurodegenerative diseases are a strongly growing disease class, of which Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer disease are among the best known examples. MS is one of the most widespread neurological disease in young adults estimated to affect approx. 2.5 million people worldwide while Alz-heimer is predominately a disease of the older population with a prevalence of 4 % at the age of >65 years. The diseases are characterized by progres-sive central nervous system impairments and can be visualised by the oc-currence of widespread neurodegenerative processes in the brain. The symptoms, onset and progression of these diseases are heterogeneous and their treatment is limited to using disease modifying drugs (DMDs) aiming towards improving the patient's quality of life.