Evotec SE: Accelerating drug discovery with screening technologies of the future through ERDF/REACT-EU grant




Hamburg, Germany, 24 May 2023:
Evotec SE (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, ISIN: DE0005664809; NASDAQ: EVO) today announced that new high-throughput screening (“HTS”) facilities at the Company’s headquarters in Hamburg, as well as additional equipment for investigating the safety and efficacy of new therapeutic candidates have been put into operation. Hamburg’s Senator for Economic Affairs, Dr Melanie Leonhard, visited Evotec's Manfred Eigen Campus to see how the expanded HTS facilities in combination with technologies of the future will be used to accelerate drug discovery. 

The City of Hamburg supported the expansion with € 4 m from the European Regional Development Fund ("ERDF") under the REACT-EU (Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe) programme. The purpose of REACT-EU is crisis relief in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant was approved by IFB Hamburg (Hamburgische Investitions- und Förderbank) in early 2022.

Evotec uses the new facilities, for instance, to accelerate the research and development of therapeutics against viral diseases like COVID-19 among others. The Company is working on this independently as well as in collaborations with international and regional partners. Moreover, the facilities will be used for projects of the global network initiative PRROTECT (Pandemic Preparedness and Rapid RespOnse TEChnology plaTform) that aims at the collaborative research and development of therapeutics against viruses with a high pandemic risk. 

At Evotec’s Headquarters in Hamburg, a new lab building is currently under construction. The 12,000-square-metre building will be used primarily for laboratories for innovative research using human induced pluripotent stem cells (“iPSCs”). These versatile cells provide opportunities for drug screenings in human cellular models. The expansion is expected to be completed in 2024.

Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, commented: “We were honoured to have been selected by the City of Hamburg and the IFB Hamburg for funding from the ERDF/REACT-EU programme. The expansion of our HTS facilities in Hamburg, which are operational and in use since earlier in 2023, together with our existing ones at Evotec’s second HTS site in Toulouse, allow us to expand our own research as well as cater to even more partners to strengthens Hamburg as an economic and research hub.”

Dr Melanie Leonhard, Senator for Economic Affairs in Hamburg, said: “Not so long ago, we experienced how Covid-19 confronted us globally with huge problems - today, research is being done here on solutions for this and comparable problems of the future. I am deeply impressed by the innovative power with which the Hamburg-based company Evotec is driving research and development at world level. The life sciences sector plays an important role for the economy in the metropolitan region: numerous world market leaders, but also small and medium-sized companies from medical technology, biotech and pharmaceuticals contribute to global health care from here.”

Ralf Sommer, Chief Executive Officer at IFB Hamburg, added: "With the expansion of Evotec's research facilities, the European ERDF/REACT-EU funds will help us to be better prepared for possible future pandemics by accelerating drug development. In addition, thanks to the funding, Hamburg will be further expanded as an innovation location and new highly qualified jobs will be created in the Hanseatic city."


About High-Throughput Screening

High-throughput screening (HTS) is a technology for the discovery of new therapeutics. Many substances are screened in the HTS system for their interaction with specific target structures. The interaction is intended to achieve a specific therapeutic effect. The automation of screening makes it possible to screen substance libraries with several million so-called “compounds” within a few days. The technology is based on the research of Evotec co-founder Prof. Dr Manfred Eigen and mimics evolution in nature, in which (almost) all possible combinations are tried out - and the successful compounds eventually prevail. "Evolutionary technology" also gave its name to Evotec, which launched the first high-throughput screening system miniaturised to microlitres in 2000.



To prepare for future pandemics, Evotec has initiated the global network initiative PRROTECT (pandemic Preparedness and Rapid RespOnse TEChnology plaTform). PRROTECT builds on Evotec's existing portfolio of antiviral therapeutics and leverages the Company's platform to further expand the existing multimodal viral threat pipeline while accelerating the timelines for discovery and development of neutralising antibodies and building a flexible manufacturing network to rapidly deliver such therapeutics in the event of a future pandemic.


This announcement contains forward-looking statements concerning future events, including the proposed offering and listing of Evotec’s securities. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “potential,” “should,” “target,” “would” and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements include comments regarding Evotec’s expectations for revenues, Group EBITDA and unpartnered R&D expenses. These forward-looking statements are based on the information available to, and the expectations and assumptions deemed reasonable by Evotec at the time these statements were made. No assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct. These statements involve known and unknown risks and are based upon a number of assumptions and estimates, which are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond the control of Evotec. Evotec expressly disclaims any obligations or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in Evotec’s expectations with respect thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any statement is based.