- ADDING ANOTHER DRUG DISCOVERY PROJECT TO THE PORTFOLIO TRIGGERS US$ 6 M PAYMENT TO EVOTEC
Hamburg, Germany, 08 October 2020:
Evotec SE (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) announced today that the Company has received a US$ 6 m payment from Bristol Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) following the decision to expand the portfolio by another drug discovery project.
Evotec and Bristol Myers Squibb (formerly “Celgene”) initiated the collaboration in 2016 to identify disease-modifying treatments for a broad range of neurodegenerative diseases. Currently approved drugs only offer short-term management of patients’ symptoms and there is a huge unmet medical need for therapies that slow down or reverse disease progression in the field of neurodegenerative diseases.
This collaboration pursues an innovative approach to the discovery and development of novel medicines by leveraging several of Evotec’s unique technology platforms in conjunction with the human iPSC-based platform, which is one of the largest and most sophisticated platforms in the industry. The partnership between Bristol Myers Squibb and Evotec has already found several access points into neurodegenerative diseases. Adding yet another approach with direct relevance to Alzheimer’s disease further complements the portfolio, which currently covers a range of incurable neurodegenerative conditions.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “We are thrilled to once again expand our strategic neuroscience partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb. Our joint portfolio continues to grow in breadth but more importantly also in depth with the majority of projects making significant progress. As target-based approaches continue to fail during clinical development we believe that the iPSC-based approaches will increasingly gain acceptance regarding their potential to deliver a new generation of more disease-relevant drug candidates in better defined patient populations.”
About Evotec and iPSC
Induced pluripotent stem cells (also known as iPS cells or iPSCs) are a type of pluripotent stem cell that can be generated directly from adult cells. The iPSC technology was pioneered by Shinya Yamanaka’s lab in Kyoto, Japan, who showed in 2006 that the introduction of four specific genes encoding transcription factors could convert adult cells into pluripotent stem cells. He was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize along with Sir John Gurdon “for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent”. Pluripotent stem cells hold great promise in the field of regenerative medicine. Because they can propagate indefinitely, as well as give rise to every other cell type in the body (such as neurons, heart, pancreatic and liver cells), they represent a single source of cells that could be used to replace those lost to damage or disease.
Evotec has built an industrialised iPSC infrastructure that represents one of the largest and most sophisticated iPSC platforms in the industry. Evotec’s iPSC platform has been developed over the last years with the goal to industrialise iPSC-based drug screening in terms of throughput, reproducibility and robustness to reach the highest industrial standards, and to use iPSC-based cells in cell therapy approaches via the Company’s proprietary EVOcells platform.
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.