- THE PROGRAMME DESIGNATION IS BASED ON AN ANTISENSE-BASED APPROACH WHICH TRIGGERS A US$ 16 M PAYMENT TO EVOTEC BY BRISTOL MYERS SQUIBB
- EVOTEC SOURCES LNAPLUS™ ANTISENSE TECHNOLOGY THROUGH A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP WITH SECARNA PHARMACEUTICALS
Hamburg, Germany, 08 April 2022:
Evotec SE (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809, NASDAQ: EVO) announced today that the Company has reached another programme designation within its neuroscience collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) triggering a payment of US$ 16 m to Evotec.
The programme further adds to a fast-growing pipeline in neurodegeneration that also includes EVT8683, which entered clinical development end of 2021. In contrast to previously nominated programmes, which are small molecule based, the newly designated project utilises an antisense-based approach. Evotec is eligible to receive tiered royalties of up to low double-digit percentages of sales of any commercial products resulting from the collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb. Additionally, Evotec can earn up to US$ 250 m in development and sales milestones within the collaboration.
Antisense oligonucleotides (“ASOs”) are precisely engineered chemical structures that specifically bind to a targeted RNA to interfere with gene expression. By specifically inhibiting the production of disease-driving proteins in the cells of interest, ASOs can provide new pathways to tackle targets that are difficult to regulate or were previously deemed “undruggable”. The programme leverages ASOs originating from the LNAplus™ ASO discovery and development platform established and validated by Secarna Pharmaceuticals with whom Evotec entered a strategic partnership in August 2020.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, said: “Our neuroscience collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb was initiated in December 2016. It has also generated a first clinical stage programme with EVT8683 as well as an exciting pre-clinical stage pipeline. We are delighted to further expand this pipeline with yet another high-potential programme.”
The neuroscience collaboration between Evotec and Bristol Myers Squibb aims to identify disease-modifying treatments for a broad range of neurodegenerative diseases. Currently approved drugs only offer short-term management of the patients’ symptoms and there is a huge unmet medical need for therapeutic modalities that slow down or reverse disease progression. The programme leverages Secarna’s LNAplus™ platform in combination with Evotec’s industrialised iPSC platform using patient-derived disease models, which is one of the largest and most sophisticated platforms in the industry.