Hamburg, Germany - 10 March 2016: Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) today announced the achievement of a key pre-clinical milestone in the ongoing alliance with its research partner Padlock Therapeutics, Inc. ("Padlock"). The programme focuses on developing inhibitors of protein-arginine deiminases ("PADs"), first-in-class compounds for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and lupus. The milestone triggers a significant milestone payment to Evotec.
The collaboration, now in its third year, could potentially extend through March 2017. As part of the collaboration, Evotec provides a full range of research activities and expertise to Padlock including in vitro biology, high-throughput screening, structural biology, medicinal and computational chemistry and DMPK. Evotec and Padlock plan to progress multiple programmes through hit-to-lead and lead optimisation with the goal of achieving multiple development candidates. Under the terms of the initial agreement, Evotec was awarded the opportunity to earn success payments and an equity grant in addition to research payments totaling over $ 13 m.
Dr Michael Gilman, Chief Executive Officer, Padlock Therapeutics, commented: "We are excited about the swift progress we've made with our colleagues at Evotec. We have dramatically accelerated our understanding of the PAD enzyme family and created significant proprietary chemical equity around PAD inhibitors with the potential to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people with destructive autoimmune diseases."
Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, added: "We are delighted about the great achievements in this programme so far and how Venture Capital-financed virtual start-up companies like Padlock take advantage of Evotec's technological platform. We believe the combination of partnerships with asset-centric start-up companies and our industrial infrastructure creates tremendous value and will ensure that the therapeutic programmes advance with increasing capital efficiency to discover molecules for clinical testing."