Evotec OAI Announces Medicinal Chemistry Agreement with British Biotech

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Hamburg, Germany | Abingdon, UK - Evotec OAI AG, Hamburg, Germany (Neuer Markt: EVT), a partner for integrated high-value-added drug discovery to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, announced today that it has signed a medicinal chemistry optimisation programme agreement with British Biotech plc (LSE: BBG, Nasdaq: BBIOY), a research and development stage biopharmaceutical company.
The agreement centres on British Biotech's antibiotic metalloenzyme inhibitor (MEI) research programme, which is focused in particular on inhibitors of peptide deformylase (PDF). Last month British Biotech started a Phase I study of its lead PDF inhibitor, BB-83698, the first-ever clinical evaluation of this potential new class of anti-infective drugs. British Biotech is co-developing BB-83698 and other PDF inhibitors with the US company GeneSoft Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Under the terms of the Evotec OAI/British Biotech collaboration, a team of Evotec OAI chemists will design and synthesise additional PDF inhibitors which British Biotech will then use in screening in its search for novel anti-infective drug candidates.
Targeting bacterial metalloenzymes represents a novel approach to the treatment of infectious disease since certain of these enzymes, including PDF, have been found to be essential for bacterial survival. In research and pre-clinical studies, British Biotech's PDF inhibitors have shown high potency against bacteria that cause pneumonia and other serious infections, including strains resistant to current antibiotics.
Evotec OAI will apply its lead optimisation and medicinal chemistry techniques to help optimise the drug-like and ADME/T properties of the substances identified in screening. In addition to fees for services, Evotec OAI may receive future milestone payments if discovery projects meet defined goals and products are commercialised.
"We are pleased to be working with British Biotech and to support them in bringing new antibiotics to patients. Through our powerful technologies and expertise in medicinal and computational chemistry we are looking forward to adding value to British Biotech's antibiotic programme by increasing the speed and efficiency as well as lowering the attrition rates in the search of new drugs," said Joern Aldag, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec OAI.
"Evotec OAI's expertise in the optimisation of drug candidates, the integration of their medicinal chemistry skills and high-speed compound synthesis and their state of the art computational chemistry technologies give us confidence that Evotec is an ideal partner for us in the search of novel anti-infective drugs," said Tim Edwards, acting Chief Executive Officer of British Biotech.
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).

About British Biotech
British Biotech is a research and development stage pharmaceuticals company aiming to develop and commercialise specialist drugs for serious illnesses, principally cancer. It currently has four products in patient trials, supplemented by focused drug discovery research programmes.