- FIRST PROGRAMME ADVANCED INTO LEAD OPTIMISATION
- CELGENE DESIGNATES PROGRAMME AND TRIGGERS PAYMENT OF $ 14.0 M TO EVOTEC
Hamburg, Germany, 08 January 2019:
Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) announced today that its strategic alliance with Celgene Corporation (“Celgene”) has reached another important scientific achievement, resulting in Celgene designating a programme and triggering a payment of $ 14.0 m to Evotec. The payment was received by year-end 2018. This scientific achievement was the advancement of a programme into the lead optimisation stage developed from Evotec’s compound library using its induced pluripotent stem cell (“iPSC”)-based screening platform. This programme can be further optimised and progressed towards IND-ready status.
Evotec and Celgene initiated the collaboration in December 2016 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 in the field of neurodegenerative diseases. The collaboration pursues an innovative approach to the discovery and development of novel medicines by leveraging Evotec’s unique human iPSC technology platform, which is one of the largest and most sophisticated platforms in the industry.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, said: “We are very proud of the success achieved in our collaboration with Celgene, which we believe validates our iPSC approach and is a testament to a highly productive collaboration. I would like to congratulate the teams from both companies on the excellent progress and wish them continued success moving forward.”
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.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
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.