About the Evotec-Sanofi-Alliance in Diabetes (“TargetBCD”)
In August 2015, Evotec and Sanofi announced a research alliance to develop a beta cell replacement therapy based on functional human beta cells derived from human stem cells for diabetes. Both companies have made significant contributions to this collaboration in terms of expertise, platforms and resources. The collaboration, which is a key value-driving relationship under the Company’s EVT Innovate business segment, extends Evotec's metabolic disease and stem cell-based drug discovery programmes. To date, Evotec has received € 12 m in upfront and milestone payments from Sanofi, as well as substantial research funding.
Diabetes mellitus (“diabetes”) is a chronic incapacitating disease associated with severe lifelong conditions which require intensive monitoring and control, such as cardiovascular diseases, kidney diseases, nerve damage and eye diseases. At present, there is no cure for diabetes and only symptomatic treatment options are available. According to the International Diabetes Federation, approximately 425 million people worldwide suffered from diabetes in 2017 (2015: 415 million). The disease is a major burden to the global healthcare systems with $ 727 bn being spent on the treatment of diabetes in 2017 (2015: $ 673 bn).
About Beta Cells
Beta cells play a key role in the pathogenesis of diabetes. Beta cells reside in clusters of hormone producing cells (“islets”) within the pancreas. They respond to elevated blood glucose levels (e.g. after a meal) by secreting the glucose lowering hormone insulin. In the type 1 form of diabetes (“T1D”), beta cells are destroyed by the patient’s own immune system. As a result, T1D patients have to follow a life-long regimen of carefully-dosed insulin injections. In patients with type 2 diabetes (“T2D”), beta cells are functionally impaired and yet have to work in the presence of metabolic stress and increased work load due to an impaired tissue insulin response. T2D is progressive, and current therapeutic options cannot prevent the deterioration of beta cell function, eventually also creating a need for insulin injections. Despite the fact that insulin treatments are important and widely used for people with diabetes, they cannot fully mimic the normal control of blood glucose levels by normal beta cells necessary to avoid acute and long-term complications of diabetes. There is a critical medical need for novel therapeutic options which can restore beta cell mass and, thereby, reduce or eliminate the need for insulin injections. Furthermore, beta cell replacement therapy also has the potential to prevent or reverse the decline in beta cell function in type 2 diabetes.
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.