Evotec Announces Initiation of Phase I Clinical Trial of VR1 Antagonist under Partnership with Pfizer Inc.

Hamburg, Germany - Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT; NASDAQ: EVTC) announced today that dose escalation studies for a Phase I clinical trial of a small molecule VR1 (vanilloid receptor 1) antagonist is being progressed by Pfizer Inc. under the collaboration with Evotec. The Phase I study is a randomised, double-blind and placebo-controlled single ascending dose study in healthy volunteers to evaluate the compound's safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetic profile after oral administration. 
The VR1 receptor is one of the best characterized members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) family of ion channel proteins. Ion channels mediate and influence cell signalling and are attractive targets for drug discovery. Antagonists of VR1, which prevent the activation of nerve cell signalling, are predicted to be useful in the treatment of pain, urinary incontinence and other diseases and disorders.
Michael G. Kelly, Ph.D., President, Renovis, Inc., Evotec's US subsidiary, commented: "We are extremely pleased that Pfizer has now initiated clinical Phase I with a VR1 antagonist resulting from our collaboration. Safe and effective antagonists of this receptor have the potential to improve treatment in multiple large indication areas where patients are poorly served by existing therapies. At the same time, this demonstrates the progress and productivity of our joint research effort."
In May 2005, Pfizer entered into this worldwide collaboration and license agreement with Renovis, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Evotec, to research, develop and commercialize small molecules that target the VR1 receptor. Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies combined their VR1 research and development programs. Pfizer has exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize products that result from the collaboration. Additionally, Evotec is eligible to receive development and commercialisation milestones of greater than $170 million as well as double-digit royalties upon commercialisation of a product resulting from the collaboration.
Contact: Anne Hennecke, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, Evotec AG, Phone: +49-40-56081-286, anne.hennecke@evotec.com
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