- EXPANSION OF SCREENING CAPACITIES AND SAFETY PHARMACOLOGY AT THE COMPANY'S HEADQUARTERS
- FOCUS ON COVID-19 DRUGS AND RESEARCH IN VIRAL DISEASES
- CITY OF HAMBURG SUPPORTS EXPANSION WITH € 4 M FROM THE EUROPEAN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND ("ERDF") UNDER THE REACT-EU PROGRAMME
Hamburg, Germany, 30 March 2022:
Evotec SE (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809; NASDAQ: EVO) announced today that there will be two new high-throughput screening (“HTS”) facilities at the Company’s headquarters in Hamburg, as well as additional equipment for investigating the safety and efficacy of new therapeutic candidates. The research focus is on COVID-19 therapeutics and other viral diseases.
The City of Hamburg supports the expansion with € 4 m from the European Regional Development Fund ("ERDF") under the REACT-EU (Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe) programme. The purpose of REACT-EU is crisis relief in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The IFB Hamburg (Hamburgische Investitions- und Förderbank) approved the grant to establish the research facility in early 2022.
Evotec will use the new facilities, for instance, to accelerate the research and development of therapeutics against COVID-19. The Company is working on this independently as well as in collaborations with international and regional partners. Moreover, the facilities will be used for projects of the global network initiative PRROTECT (Pandemic Preparedness and Rapid RespOnse TEChnology plaTform) that aims at the collaborative research and development of therapeutics against viruses with a high pandemic risk.
Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, commented: “We are very pleased to have been awarded this ERDF/REACT-EU grant by the City of Hamburg through the IFB Hamburg. The funding will strengthen Hamburg as a research site and contribute to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With our expanded HTS facilities and the additional equipment, we can enter into even more partnerships, especially with smaller companies, and thus support the research and development of new therapeutics even more efficiently.”
Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economic Affairs in Hamburg, said: “Evotec is an important biotech company. We are proud that Evotec is growing in Hamburg. The ERDF/REACT-EU funding now helps to accelerate research and development of drugs for the treatment of Covid-19 from our city.”
Christine Freitag, Head of EU Funding at IFB Hamburg, added: “With the expansion of Evotec’s research facilities, the European ERDF/REACT EU funding enables accelerated drug development to address the current pandemic situation, and helps us to be better prepared for possible future pandemics. In addition, new highly qualified jobs will be created in Hamburg thanks to the funding.”
About High-Throughput Screening
High-throughput screening (HTS) is a technology for the discovery of new therapeutics. Many substances are screened in the HTS system for their interaction with specific target structures. The interaction is intended to achieve a specific therapeutic effect. The automation of screening makes it possible to screen substance libraries with several million so-called “compounds” within a few days. The technology is based on the research of Evotec co-founder Prof. Dr Manfred Eigen and mimics evolution in nature, in which (almost) all possible combinations are tried out - and the successful compounds eventually prevail. "Evolutionary technology" also gave its name to Evotec, which launched the first high-throughput screening system miniaturised to microlitres in 2000.
To prepare for future pandemics, Evotec has initiated the global network initiative PRROTECT (pandemic Preparedness and Rapid RespOnse TEChnology plaTform). PRROTECT builds on Evotec's existing portfolio of antiviral therapeutics and leverages the Company's platform to further expand the existing multimodal viral threat pipeline while accelerating the timelines for discovery and development of neutralising antibodies and building a flexible manufacturing network to rapidly deliver such therapeutics in the event of a future pandemic.