Evotec announces Research Agreement on Fragment- Based Drug Discovery with Cubist Pharmaceuticals


Hamburg, Germany/ Oxford, UK - Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT; NASDAQ: EVTC), a leading provider in the discovery and development of novel small molecule drugs, today announced that it has entered into a research agreement with Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBST), a leading acute care biopharmaceutical company located in Lexington, Mass., USA.

Cubist will use Evotec's proprietary fragment screening technology, EVOlutionTM to complement discovery research efforts in two of its antibacterials programs.  EVOlutionTM combines biochemical, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) screening technologies for the screening of low molecular weight compounds and fragments. By the combination of the orthogonal screening technologies, Evotec's fragment screening platform is capable of screening a more diverse set of biological targets than other fragment screening approaches, as well as being able to screen the fragments in a high-throughput mode. The benefit of this is the ability to identify active fragments for numerous classes of biological targets in a short space of time.

In combination with fragment screening technology, Evotec will use its expertise in structural biology and protein crystallography in order to determine the 3-dimensional structure of the fragments bound to the targets of interest.  To this end, Evotec will use its internal crystallography platform and will access the state-of-the-art synchrotron technology of the Diamond Light Source, its partner for protein crystallography.  By providing this technology in combination with its fragment screening, Evotec will supply high quality results to Cubist to enable the structure-driven identification of drug candidates for their priority antibacterial targets. 

Dr Mark Ashton, Evotec's EVP, Business Development commented: "We are pleased to be working with Cubist and look forward to identifying interesting fragments for their targets and to supporting them in their quest for new treatments for antibacterial diseases." 

No financial details are disclosed. 

About fragment-based drug discovery

Fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) is a new paradigm in drug discovery that utilizes very small molecules - fragments of more complex molecules - to generate efficient starting points for drug discovery. This approach thus provides the opportunity to effectively manage the molecular weight and overall complexity of drug candidates, a recognised success factor in drug development.

About NMR and SPR screening technologies

NMR and SPR screening technologies are used to study the interaction of small molecules, such as drug candidates, with their targets. 

About Diamond Light Source

Diamond generates extremely intense pin-point beams of synchrotron light of exceptional quality ranging from x-rays, ultra-violet and infrared. For example Diamond's x-rays are around 100 billion times brighter than a standard hospital X-ray machine or 10 billion times brighter than the sun. For more information about Diamond, see www.diamond.ac.uk

Forward-Looking Statements

Information set forth in this press release contains forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about our expectations and assumptions concerning regulatory, clinical and business strategies, the progress of our clinical development programs and timing of the results of our clinical trials, strategic collaborations and management's plans, objectives and strategies. These 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. In particular, the risks and uncertainties include, among other things: risks that the Company may be unable to reduce its cash burn through recent restructuring and cost containment measures; risks that product candidates may fail in the clinic or may not be successfully marketed or manufactured; risks relating to our ability to advance the development of product candidates currently in the pipeline or in clinical trials; our inability to further identify, develop and achieve commercial success for new products and technologies; the risk that competing products may be more successful; our inability to interest potential partners in our technologies and products; our inability to achieve commercial success for our products and technologies; our inability to protect our intellectual property and the cost of enforcing or defending our intellectual property rights; our failure to comply with regulations relating to our products and product candidates, including FDA requirements; the risk that the FDA may interpret the results of our studies differently than we have; the risk that clinical trials may not result in marketable products; the risk that we may be unable to successfully secure regulatory approval of and market our drug candidates; and risks of new, changing and competitive technologies and regulations in the U.S. and internationally.

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