- FIRST TWO PROJECTS FROM THE UNIVERSITIES OF BIRMINGHAM AND EDINBURGH SELECTED
- beLAB1407 IS A TRANSLATIONAL BRIDGE COLLABORATION BETWEEN EVOTEC AND BRISTOL MYERS SQUIBB
Hamburg, Germany, 27 October 2021:
Evotec SE (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) today announced the first two projects to be developed within beLAB1407, a collaboration between Evotec and Bristol Myers Squibb to accelerate translational research from the UK's academic life science ecosystem. Only six months after signing the beLAB1407 collaboration agreement in May 2021, the first projects to be developed within this academic BRIDGE collaboration have now been identified.
Both projects offer innovative and promising new mechanisms to treat cancer. The first project is based on the findings of Dr Paul Badenhorst at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences. The project aims to develop novel small molecule inhibitors targeting an epigenetic reader associated with the survival of cancer cells.
The second project has its origins in the lab of Dr Ashish Dhir at the University of Edinburgh’s MRC Institute of Genetics and Cancer and focuses on the development of small molecules promoting interferon signaling, driving an inflammation-mediated anti-tumour response.
Both projects will now be validated and developed within beLAB1407, making use of Evotec’s integrated discovery and development platform. The goal of beLAB1407 is to develop academic projects to value inflection points that allow the formation of new jointly owned spin-off companies.
Dr Thomas Hanke, EVP & Head of Academic Partnerships at Evotec, commented: “We are delighted to announce the first funded projects at beLAB1407 and we are looking forward to accelerating the promising translational work of Drs Badenhorst and Dhir in the area of novel cancer treatments on Evotec’s integrated drug discovery & development infrastructure called the ‘Data-driven R&D Autobahn to Cures’ towards a hit identification and beyond. At the same time, we are pleased to receive additional promising applications from scientists working within the beLAB1407 member institutions in Birmingham, Nottingham, Edinburgh and Dundee, and are looking forward to expanding the scope of the project portfolio further.”
Dr Paul Badenhorst, Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, said: “The award of funding from the beLAB1407 BMS-Evotec Academic Collaboration marks a significant step in our ongoing research programmes to understand the roles of epigenetic readers in cancer, and to develop new strategies for therapeutic intervention in a diverse range of cancer types.”
Dr Ashish Dhir, Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Edinburgh’s MRC Institute of Genetics and Cancer, said: “I’m truly honoured to receive this funding from beLAB1407 that will drive our fundamental research towards drug development, an important leap towards the clinic. As an early career researcher, this is a fantastic endorsement of the research vision and exciting science in my lab.”
beLAB1407 is backed by Evotec in collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb. The total volume of US$ 20 m will allow for several more funding rounds. For more information on beLAB1407, visit www.belab1407.org.