Evotec joins NURTuRE consortium to mine unique kidney disease patient biobank


  • National Unified Renal Translational Research Enterprise ("NURTuRE") enables Evotec to perform drug discovery based on unique kidney disease patient cohorts
  • NURTuRE consists of UK-based academic institutions coordinated by Kidney Research UK and selected industry partners
  • NURTuRE is accessing thousands of kidney patient derived samples and data sets to characterise human pathology with detailed histological and molecular analysis 


Hamburg, Germany, 14 June 2017: Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) today announced that it has joined the NURTuRE consortium to drive kidney disease focused drug discovery based on patient derived-data. NURTuRE is uniquely positioned to collect clinical data at the UK Renal Registry and analyse samples of 14 kidney disease centres in the UK, constituting one of the largest kidney patient registries worldwide. 

The NURTuRE consortium will initially focus on chronic kidney disease ("CKD") and nephrotic syndrome ("NS") patients and will leverage established institutions such as the UK Renal Registry and Evotec's integrated kidney drug discovery platform. Alongside other consortium members, Evotec will access patient samples including kidney biopsies, blood, serum and urine for an in-depth histological and molecular analysis to identify and validate targets and biomarkers. 

Kidney disease has emerged as a global epidemic. Currently no treatment options that have the potential to slow down or stop CKD disease progression are available. Detailed understanding of patho-mechanisms based on well-characterised patient samples will allow the identification and exploration of novel genetic and metabolic components, which are key drivers of kidney diseases. This approach will lead to a new generation of drug candidates in the field of kidney diseases being developed based on human biology and pathophysiology. 

Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: "We are extremely proud to be an integral part of this unique consortium which establishes the world's largest registry of kidney disease patients with access to complete clinical records and a comprehensive set of tissue samples. This initiative will allow the identification and validation of novel approaches based on clinical data. This is a very important step for Evotec to expand its leadership in kidney disease drug discovery, but even more importantly for the kidney disease field in general including affected patients." 

"Kidney Research UK has led the collaboration to deliver NURTuRE, a vital resource for the renal research community", said Elaine Davies, Director of Research Operations at Kidney Research UK. "The anonymised data contained within the NURTuRE biobank has the potential to unlock answers to some of the biggest questions about CKD and NS. We are delighted to be working with Evotec and our other partners to accelerate new advances that will benefit kidney patients and their treatment and care." 


Chronic kidney disease ("CKD") is a progressive loss of function over several months to years, characterised by gradual replacement of normal kidney architecture (nephrons) with interstitial fibrosis. The progressive destruction of nephrons causes a decreased glomerular filtration rate, which very often leads to end-stage renal disease ("ESRD") requiring dialysis treatment or kidney transplantations. 

Nephrotic syndrome ("NS") is one of the most common glomerular diseases in children and adults with the central event being podocyte injury. Close to 70% of children with NS who respond to steroids are labelled as steroid sensitive nephrotic syndrome ("SSNS"), and the rest as steroid resistant nephrotic syndrome ("SRNS"). The burden of morbidity is enormous, both to patients with lifelong chronic disease, and the NHS, particularly managing dialysis and transplantation. 

ABOUT Kidney Research UK 

Kidney Research UK ("KRUK") is the kidney research charity committed to developing treatments, patient information and raising vital public awareness to help save lives. More information is available here: www.kidneyresearchuk.org. 


Developed in the first instance to collect and store biological samples from 3,000 patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and at least 800 patients with nephrotic syndrome (NS), the biobank will provide a strategic resource for fundamental and translational research. In addition to the samples of plasma, serum, urine, DNA and tissue that will be stored, the repository will also have the considerable advantage of containing associated linked clinical data, through the UK Renal Registry. 

Running over a five-year period, the samples will be obtained through 14 NHS Trusts, with patients followed up at specific intervals. From mid-2018, all researchers will be able to apply for access to samples stored in the biobank for future studies. 

The biobank is funded by AbbVie Inc, Evotec, UCB Celltech Biopharma and Kidney Research UK. Experts from the University of Bristol and the University of Nottingham form the core academic team overseeing all operational delivery. Biomarker analysis will take place at the University of Geneva and histopathological (tissue) analysis at the University of Birmingham. More information is available here: www.nurturebiobank.org 


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.