- Combination of leading innovative chemistry efforts with cutting-edge anti-infective drug discovery platform
Hamburg, Germany, 09 December 2016: Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) today announced a strategic alliance with Forge Therapeutics, Inc. ("Forge") to advance its novel Gram-negative antibiotic programme targeting 'LpxC' for the treatment of bacterial infections including those caused by drug resistant 'superbugs'. LpxC has been recognised as an attractive antibacterial target for more than the past 15 years; however, a lack of suitable chemical starting points has hampered its progress. Forge has been applying its proprietary metal-binding pharmacophores ("MBP") library and processes and has been able to identify potent drugable inhibitors of LpxC.
The alliance will be focused on lead optimisation of these inhibitors with the goal of identifying a development candidate in the next couple of years Evotec will, through a team of more than 10 scientists, contribute cutting-edge biochemistry, microbiology, medicinal chemistry, structural biology, computational chemistry, ADME/PK/analytical, and programme management.
"Antibacterials that act via novel mechanisms of action are desperately needed to address untreatable infections that arise from drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria", said Zachary A. Zimmerman, Ph.D., CEO of Forge Therapeutics. "Our LpxC inhibitors have proven to be stable, potent in vitro, and have shown preliminary efficacy in vivo. We are thrilled to partner with Evotec during lead optimisation as they provide significant pre-clinical expertise and added horsepower to rapidly advance our novel antibiotic to address this growing unmet global issue."
"The antibiotic field has been suffering from an innovation void over the last 30 years and requires significant intellectual and financial stimulus to address the issues of resistance", said Dr Mario Polywka, Chief Operating Officer of Evotec. "Importantly, Forge's novel LpxC programme coupled with Evotec's unrivalled drug discovery platform and expertise offers significant promise in addressing this issue. We look forward to working with our new partners at Forge."