Evotec and APEIRON achieve first milestone in immuno-oncology alliance with Sanofi


Hamburg, Germany and Vienna, Austria, 08 January 2018: Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) and APEIRON Biologics AG, a company focused on cancer immunotherapy, announced today that the companies received the first milestone payment from Sanofi under a 3 party alliance signed in August 2015. The milestone payment of € 3 m will be split equally between the two biotech companies. The success payment was triggered when the partners successfully advanced an undisclosed, novel immuno-oncology small molecule into late-stage pre-clinical development. Under the alliance, the three companies work together to identify small molecule leads and targets for next-generation therapies in immuno-oncology, which may complement the pre-clinical and clinical profiles of leading checkpoint inhibitors.

Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “The Evotec and APEIRON teams are proud to have achieved our first milestone with Sanofi to discover and develop novel immuno-oncology small molecules therapies. It is a first-in-class approach with tremendous potential in combination with marketed checkpoint inhibitors but also as standalone therapy. The field of immuno-oncology will continue to evolve and at Evotec we will continue to invest in this area.”

Dr Hans Loibner, Chief Executive Officer of APEIRON Biologics, said: “We are delighted by the progress made in our collaboration with Evotec and Sanofi. Based on our scientific findings and the mode of action, we jointly agreed to accelerate the research and pre-clinical development of this very promising molecule. The successful achievement of this milestone further demonstrates our abilities to drive innovation in the field of immuno-oncology.”


The strategic collaboration was set up in 2015 to support the long-term pipeline building for Evotec, APEIRON Biologics and Sanofi and has a potential value of over € 200 m in milestone payments and significant royalties. The collaboration includes major research and development efforts to advance a first-in-class orally available small molecule approach based on a novel target to treat solid and hematopoietic cancers by enhancing the anti-tumor activity of human immune cells. All three companies are making significant contributions to this collaboration in terms of scientific expertise, technological platforms and resources. The collaboration will further enhance and complement Sanofi's extensive oncology portfolio and enables Evotec to address the drug discovery area of immuno-oncology. Furthermore, the agreement will substantially support APEIRON’s strategy of focusing on novel and innovative checkpoint inhibiting approaches. 


APEIRON is a private biotech company based in Vienna, Austria, engaged in innovative projects in immuno-oncology. Recently, the most advanced program, an immunotherapy to treat neuroblastoma, was granted marketing approval in the EU. The company is developing additional immunotherapies based either on targeted, tumour-specific approaches or on the stimulation of the immune system via novel and proprietary modes of action (unique checkpoint blockade mechanisms) to fight cancer by engaging the human body’s natural defense mechanisms. For additional information please go to www.apeiron-biologics.com and follow us on Twitter @apeironbio 

For further information please contact:

APEIRON Biologics AG

Peter Llewellyn-Davies, CFO/CBO

Email: investors@apeiron-biologics.com 


Investor Relations

LifeSci Advisors, LLC 

Chris Maggos

T +1 (646) 597 6989

Email: Chris@LifeSciAdvisors.com 

Media Relations international

MC Services AG

Dr. Claudia Gutjahr-Loeser

T +49 89 210 228 0

Email: apeiron@mc-services.eu 

Media Relations (Austria):

PR&D - Public Relations for Research & Education

T +43 1 505 70 44

Email: contact@prd.at 

Contact Evotec AG:

Gabriele Hansen, VP Corporate Communications & Investor Relations, Phone: +49.(0)40.56081-255, gabriele.hansen@evotec.com


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.