Hamburg | Martinsried, Germany " The biopharmaceutical company MediGene AG (Nmarkt/Frankfurt: MDG) and Evotec OAI (Nmarkt/Frankfurt: EVT), a supplier of integrated high-value-added drug discovery services, have successfully completed the screening for new active compounds to treat cardiac diseases. The substances identified block the activities of a protein, which is involved in the onset of cardiac diseases. On the basis of these new active compounds, MediGene intends to develop novel and more effective drugs for the treatment of specific cardiac diseases. Many present-day therapies attack only the symptoms of these diseases. Aside from cancer, cardiovascular diseases are the number one killers in the industrialised countries.
Latest scientific results indicate that the newly identified substances suppress specifically and extremely effectively the activity of the disease-related protein. The suitability of these substances as drug candidates has been evaluated. The final conclusion about their applicability and efficacy can be drawn after extensive pre-clinical and clinical testing.
MediGene had identified the disease-related protein (target) utilising its proprietary Integrated Target Definition (ITD) technology, and successfully proved its significance for the onset of a certain cardiac disease, i.e. the so-called congestive heart failure. The substances identified were part of Evotec OAI's chemical substance library and were found by means of a jointly developed test assay using the EVOscreen® technology. Evotec OAI re-synthetisised selected compounds, characterised them using the so-called hit profiling and delivered them to MediGene.
MediGene retains all rights to the substances identified. Evotec OAI will receive a milestone payment for the successful conclusion of this stage of their cooperation.
"The development period of only one year has shown that specific screening for new drug candidates in a short time can be successful. The high quality of our ITD platform as well as Evotec OAI's technology are of fundamental significance for our success", Dr. Peter Heinrich, MediGene's CEO comments. "The newly identified substances will replenish our product pipeline in the field of cardiac diseases with new drug candidates". Another cardiac drug candidate of MediGene, Etomoxir for the treatment of congestive heart failure, is currently undergoing clinical phase 2 trials.
"We are delighted that, with the help of our great expertise in biology and chemistry, we have been able to identify several very promising drug candidates from our high-quality library for our partner MediGene", says Joern Aldag, Evotec OAI's CEO.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgement of Evotec OAI and MediGene as of the date of this release. These forward looking statements are no guarantees for future performance, and the forward-looking events discussed in this press release may not occur. Evotec OAI and MediGene disclaim any intent or obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements.
MediGene AG is a publicly quoted (Nemax50), internationally orientated biopharmaceutical company with headquarters in Martinsried, Germany and a wholly owned subsidiary MediGene, Inc in San Diego, USA. MediGene has the most extensive and most mature medicament pipeline in Germany and is one of the leading European biopharmaceutical companies. Besides five broad platform technologies, the company has 7 therapeutic products in clinical development. The core competence lies in the research and development of innovative and high-efficient approaches for the treatment of various, so far incurable cardiac and cancer diseases, and therefore on indications of high medical and economic interest.
Evotec OAI offers a comprehensive range of high-value added services and products required to increase the efficiency and at the same time reduce the risk in the identification of new drugs. By integrating proprietary state-of-the-art technologies and processes in biology, chemistry and screening, the Company has established a unique position for all the critical elements in the drug discovery and development process - from target to clinical development. Due to its extensive know how and experience Evotec OAI is the ideal partner for pharma and biotech companies world-wide. To date, Evotec OAI has completed over 1,200 projects with 150 companies, including all of the top 20 global pharmaceutical companies and major biotechs.
The Company employs nearly 600 people, primarily at its two main sites at Hamburg in Germany and Abingdon in the UK. Subsidiaries are located in Europe and North America. In 2001 Evotec OAI achieved revenues of EUR 63.2 million. Evotec OAI shares are listed on the Neuer Markt of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since November 1999 (NM: EVT).
For further information please contact:
Fax: ++49 - 89 - 85 65 29-20
Christine Bohner, Public Relations
Tel: ++49 - 89 - 85 65 29-16
Michael Nettersheim, Investor Relations
Tel: ++49 - 89 - 85 65 29-46
Evotec OAI AG
Fax: ++49-40-560 81-333
Dr Dirk Ehlers, CFO
Tel: ++49-40-560 81-241
Public Relations, Investor Relations
Tel: ++49-40-560 81-286