Hamburg, Germany, 11 July 2016: Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN DE0005664809) announced today a collaboration with Antibiotic Research UK ("ANTRUK") to identify alternative means of treating infections that are resistant to currently available antibiotics. The research will focus on the discovery of Antibiotic Resistance Breakers, or "ARBs", to be used in conjunction with known antibiotics with the aim of reversing resistance and restoring clinical utility of such antibiotics. ANTRUK, the world's first charity tackling antimicrobial resistance, was established by a network of leading UK scientists and clinicians with the mission to educate the public about microbial resistance, promote the discovery and development of new antibiotic therapies, and support those currently living with antibiotic-resistant infections.
Evotec has established a world-class drug discovery platform that, through integration of facilities in the UK, Germany and France, enables state-of-the-art research to be conducted in collaboration with a large range of organisations including virtual foundations and charities such as Antibiotic Research UK. The collaboration will engage Evotec's anti-infectives site in Manchester, as well as its bio-safety level 2 high-throughput screening facility at Evotec's Toulouse site.
For over 50 years, the discovery of a new class of antibiotics has evaded the industry and the threat of antimicrobial resistance has ever increased. Recently, the former Goldman Sachs Chief and now UK Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Lord Jim O'Neill, released his final report, which was part of a two-year Antimicrobial Resistance Review. This report highlighted the enormous need for new business models to fund and incentivise the discovery of new therapies to treat drug-resistant infections.
Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, commented: "The combination of Evotec's science and infrastructures, alongside charities and foundations like ANTRUK, allows highly capital-efficient drug discovery processes. This is especially important for addressing the dramatic threat of multi-drug resistant bacterial infections where time is of essence to come up with new treatments."
Professor Colin Garner, Chief Executive at Antibiotic Research UK, added: "It is great to see our first research programme commencing so soon after the charity's formation in mid-2014, and we are grateful to our supporters who have funded this programme. Evotec's facilities and expertise make it an ideal partner for this first project and it is exciting to see some action finally being taken as no new classes of antibiotics, against Gram-negative bacteria, have been introduced for the past 30 years. It is vital that new treatments are found if we are to avoid a catastrophe in the future. I am really looking forward to seeing the results of the research, as this programme could potentially find new ways of extending the life of our existing antibiotics at a fraction of the cost and time compared to conventional drug development programmes."
No financial details about the collaboration were disclosed.