Evotec OAI and U3 Pharma Sign Screening and Drug Discovery Collaboration

Hamburg and Martinsried, Germany | Abingdon, UK - Evotec OAI AG (Neuer Markt: EVT), a partner for integrated high-value-added drug discovery to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, announced today the signing of a collaborative agreement with U3 Pharma AG, an emerging company developing innovative therapeutics for hyperproliferative diseases. Under the terms of the agreement, U3 Pharma will provide Evotec OAI with novel cell assays based on proprietary signaling pathways. Evotec OAI will perform assay miniaturisation and ultra-high-throughput screening using its proprietary EVOscreen® technology and its corporate chemical library to identify novel drug candidates based on U3 Pharma's signal transduction targets. U3 Pharma will own the rights to any drug candidates emerging from this collaboration. Based on successful identification of such candidates, U3 Pharma may then use Evotec OAI's expertise to optimise the structures identified. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"In view of its technology platform, we felt that Evotec OAI offered the most appropriate assay development and screening services for this particular signaling pathway," stated Dr. Mike Rothe, Chief Scientific Officer at U3 Pharma. "Evotec OAI also has the added benefit of a comprehensive integrated service offering that will supplement our internal efforts to accelerate validated drug discovery."
U3 Pharma is developing a product pipeline based on key elements of signal transduction pathways that play an integral role in cellular communication. The collaboration will focus on  novel molecular mechanisms that have been found by U3 Pharma scientists to connect intracellular signaling components, giving rise to multiple points for therapeutic intervention in proliferative disorders such as cancer.
"U3 Pharma is a promising young biotech company. Evotec OAI is pleased that its integrated drug discovery platform was chosen to complement U3 Pharma's drug discovery efforts," said Joern Aldag, President and Chief Executive Officer of Evotec OAI. "We are confident that the combination of efforts by these two pioneering companies will result in a very productive partnership."
About Evotec OAI AG
Evotec OAI offers a comprehensive range of high-value added services and products required to increase the efficiency and at the same time reduce the risk in the identification of new drugs. By integrating proprietary state-of-the-art technologies and processes in biology, chemistry and screening, the Company has established a unique position for all the critical elements in the drug discovery and development process - from target to clinical development. Due to its extensive know how and experience Evotec OAI is the ideal partner for pharma and biotech companies world-wide. To date, Evotec OAI has completed over 1,200 projects with 150 companies, including all of the top 20 global pharmaceutical companies and major biotechs.
The Company employs nearly 600 people, primarily at its two main sites at Hamburg in Germany and Abingdon in the UK. Subsidiaries are located in Europe and North America. In 2001 Evotec OAI achieved revenues of EUR 63.2 million. Evotec OAI shares are listed on the Neuer Markt of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since November 1999 (NM: EVT). For additional information, please visit our website at www.evotecoai.com.

About U3 Pharma
U3 Pharma AG is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the creation of novel therapeutic products that specifically target key components of cellular signal transduction systems that are involved in major important human diseases such as cancer. The company has licensed a portfolio of drug targets from the Max Planck Society that are being used to develop small molecules and therapeutic antibodies. In addition, U3 Pharma has created a second generation functional genomics platform, TASC, which mimics the progression of a tumor cell as it progresses towards its fully malignant cancerous state. U3 Pharma is privately held and based in Martinsried, Munich, Germany. Current investors include Alta Partners of San Francisco, Medicis Ventures of Munich, and BioM AG of Munich. For additional information, please visit our website at www.u3pharma.com.