Evotec achieves important milestone in TargetAD collaboration with Janssen in Alzheimer's disease


Hamburg, Germany - 12 January 2016: Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) today announced the achievement of an important milestone in its TargetAD collaboration with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Janssen") for the transition of a project into further drug discovery process. This milestone was reached in 2015 which will be recognised in the financial year 2015. 

The agreement between Evotec and Janssen for this collaboration became effective on October 31, 2013. Johnson & Johnson Innovation, LLC facilitates the collaboration. Under the terms of the agreement, Janssen and Evotec continue to collaborate to develop new drugs for Alzheimer's disease. Janssen has the right to internalise selected targets and therapeutic candidates and progress them into pre-clinical and clinical development. Janssen funds target drug discovery research via a combination of defined research payments and progress-related milestones. 

Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: "Despite the significant challenges in identifying and prosecuting novel targets in the field of Alzheimer's disease, our collaboration with Janssen continues to thrive as documented by this milestone. On the basis of an ever improving platform and an excellent team that is seamlessly integrated across both companies, we are confident that further progress will follow in 2016."


The TargetAD database is a customised system providing unique information on the link between molecular and cellular changes in brain tissue with AD progression. This database was set up in a multi-year research programme, applying histological, cellular and in vivo target validation procedures. The database provides a strong platform for systematic and comprehensive target identification and validation as well as compound discovery programmes. 


Alzheimer's disease ("AD") is an irreversible, progressive brain disease and the main cause for dementia. It slowly destroys brain cells and nerves and thus disrupts the transmission in the brain, particularly those responsible for storing memories. In the course of AD, the brain shrinks as gaps develop in the temporal lobe and hippocampus, which are responsible for storing and retrieving new information. Beside degeneration of neurons, typical pathological hallmarks for AD are beta amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles composed by Tau protein in the brain. The cause and progression of AD however are still not completely understood. Like other chronic conditions, scientists believe that AD doesn't have one predominant cause, but is rather a complex result of various factors. At the moment, there is no cure available for AD and most other causes for dementia. Current treatments only tackle the symptoms of the disease. According to Alzheimer's Disease International, there were 47 million people diagnosed with dementia in 2015 worldwide. It is estimated that this number is going to increase to more than 130 million people in 2050. Approximately 10 million new cases of dementia are diagnosed each year. Concerning the dementia market volume, $ 818 bn are yearly spent as of today on the treatment of dementia and it will become a trillion dollar disease by 2018. All in all, these costs equal about 1% of the world's GDP (average of GDP from countries worldwide). 


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.