Hamburg, Germany, 29 June 2016: Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) announced today that the investment company Ellersbrook GmbH & Co. KG, ("Ellersbrook"), Germany, will invest into Evotec's internal TargetNASH programme. Ellersbrook is a life science focused investment firm owned by Dr Herbert Stadler, a renowned biotech entrepreneur.
This agreement marks a logical extension of Evotec's EVT Innovate business segment which is based on proprietary drug discovery programmes in first-in-class approaches which are designed to form the basis of strategic Pharma partnerships or spin-out companies. Ellersbrook and Evotec jointly commit more than EUR 5 m in funding for an initial period of up to three years. In this joint investment, Evotec is contributing a well-defined Cure X/Target X programme (TargetNASH) and designs and executes the business plan in cooperation with Ellersbrook. The goal is to accelerate TargetNASH projects during an incubator period to tangible value points which will form the basis of either an independently financed spin-off company or a strategic Pharma partnership.
TargetNASH is a highly systematic approach to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) identifying novel mechanisms and targets with the potential to lead to disease-modifying therapies. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common chronic liver disease in the world affecting up to 30% of the adult population and represents the major cause for NASH. There is currently no approved pharmacological therapy on the market. TargetNASH pursues a portfolio of highly innovative targets with the goal to target different stages of the disease.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: "We are proud to count one of Europe's most successful biotech entrepreneurs as one of our partners. We are pursuing a new model where venture capital can invest into virtual biotech companies at a pre-seed stage. The model is probably the most capital-efficient way to progress early-stage projects to significant value inflection points with the flexibility to subsequently enter into strategic Pharma partnership or create independently financed spin-off companies."
Dr Herbert Stadler, owner of Ellersbrook GmbH & Co. KG, added: "Evotec is the gold standard in pre-clinical stage drug discovery and provides very exciting options for investments on a highly capital-efficient basis. I am looking forward to working with an impressive team of scientists in such an exciting field."