- Oxford University and Evotec's drug discovery partnership launched last November to accelerate drugs to market begins making awards
Hamburg, Germany, 21 February 2017: Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) is pleased to announce that LAB282, the £ 13 m (over EUR 15 m) drug discovery partnership with Oxford University, has made its first wave of awards, backing projects targeting cardiovascular diseases and infectious diseases.
Launched last year in November as a partnership between Oxford University, Evotec, Oxford University Innovation Ltd and Oxford Sciences Innovation plc, LAB282 aids the rapid translation of research outputs into new drug discovery and development programmes. It draws on expertise provided by Evotec and combines it with pre-clinical proof-of-concept grant funding to accelerate projects into a position where they can be commercialised and scaled up efficiently and effectively.
Out of a pool of high-quality project proposals across various therapeutic areas and encompassing different therapeutic modalities, two projects were chosen. The two grant winners will be conducting further research into:
- "Drugs from bugs" - A project developing evasins, a potential treatment for cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases derived from the saliva of ticks;
- DarTG - A potential new target for the development of antibiotics that could shut down tuberculosis and several other pathogens.
Evotec will exclusively contribute its drug discovery expertise and platforms to the selected projects and together with Oxford University and its academic researchers develop them further with the aim to have a pre-clinical proof of concept for new drugs.
The next round of grants awards is due in June 2017.
Dr Thomas Hanke, LAB282 Expert-in-Residence and Head of Academic Partnerships at Evotec, commented: "I am excited and very pleased we were able to select two outstanding and truly translational projects from a panel of high-quality applications for the first round of LAB282 awards. My cordial congratulations go to Prof. Bhattacharya and Dr Ahel and their teams for their excellent work. I am very much looking forward to closely collaborating with the Oxford University and Evotec teams in accelerating bona fide drug discovery from the awarded projects."
Shoumo Bhattacharya, British Heart Foundation Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at Oxford University and lead academic on the evasins project, said: "The LAB282 funding, which brings Evotec's world-class expertise in the development of peptide therapeutics and in inflammation to the evasin project, will help the development of new therapeutics - 'drugs from bugs' - that can treat orphan autoimmune diseases such as myocarditis."
Carolyn Porter, Deputy Head of Technology Transfer, Oxford University Innovation, added: "The LAB282 partnership was established to accelerate drug discovery at Oxford University. This funding will enable the evasin project to enter the clinic more rapidly for the benefit of patients with cardiovascular autoimmune disorders for which there is no cure. Through validation of DarTG role in bacterial growth and function, our second funded project could uncover a new strategy for development of antibiotics."