Therapeutic Areas

Oncology & Immuno-Oncology

Evotec combines its substantial expertise in both oncology and immuno-oncology. Combining this expertise to pioneer breakthrough treatments. We work in partnership with industry leaders and leveraging cutting edge technologies to advance the fight against cancer, through a state-of-the-art integrated drug discovery platform covering all aspects from target identification to IND.

Evotec Campus Curie in Toulouse, France


Leveraging our extensive expertise in oncology, we strive to tailor our capabilities to perfectly align with the specific needs of our partners. Our knowledge spans a wide range of crucial areas in cancer research, including cancer genomics, non-genomic drivers, epigenetics, DNA repair, tumor cell death, microenvironment, metabolism, and metastasis . By comprehensively covering all the hallmarks of cancer, we ensure a comprehensive approach.

Our team of oncology experts delves deeply into scientific understanding to craft personalized drug discovery programs that range from target validation to preclinical development candidates. Through the utilization of assays and readouts that enhance the likelihood of therapeutic success, we maximize the potential for effective treatments. Empowered by data analytics focused on cancer, we assist our partners in identifying patient segments and generate proposals with assay cascades relevant to the disease.

We aim to improve the prediction of drug efficacy and to optimize timelines by, developing systems biology modeling fueled by pharmacology data. By leveraging Evotec's expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning in the fields of chemistry and biologicals, we aim to improve the prediction of drug efficacy and optimize timelines. Our prowess in oncology drug discovery is evident through our position as the preferred partner for leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Furthermore, we contribute to early clinical trials in oncology with the design of biomarker strategies, further showcasing our commitment to advancing breakthrough treatments.


Evotec possesses extensive expertise in the field of Immuno-Oncology, encompassing a diverse range of therapeutic modalities and targets. Collaborating with Exscientia and Kazia Therapeutics, Evotec has successfully advanced two small molecules developed within the Immuno-Oncology space to clinical trials. By combining the proficiency of experienced Senior Immunologists with state-of-the-art technology platforms, Evotec has seamlessly integrated novel immunological approaches into their drug discovery programs. One such approach is the employment of the Immunological Synapse, a cutting-edge technique that enables the monitoring of interactions between immune cells and tumor cells at the individual cell level.

To enhance the predictability of preclinical studies on cancer immuno-therapeutics, Evotec has established customized humanized mouse models. Additionally, they have developed a series of translational assays to support immuno-monitoring strategies and facilitate clinical trials in this domain. Notably, Evotec has a distinct advantage in Immuno-Oncology through their unique capability of utilizing fresh human samples obtained from cancer patients, including blood samples and tumor resections. This access, established in collaboration with clinicians and pathologists, has played a crucial role in setting up translational phenotypical and functional assays. Consequently, it has bridged the gap between in vitro and in vivo models in the realm of drug discovery.

Meet Our Experts

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Francisco Cruzalegui

SVP Oncology

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Latest update: October 2023


After receiving his PhD in Cell Biology from the Baylor College of Medicine, Francisco Cruzalegui began his career in biology at Servier and later at AstaZeneca before joining Evotec in 2020 as SVP Oncology.

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Michael Esquerré

VP Immuno-Oncology

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Latest update: April 2024


Michael Esquerré is the Vice President leading Immuno-Oncology activities at Evotec. He has spent the past 15-years working in Cancer Immunotherapy within the industry. With a team of 42 immunologists, he is deeply involved in supporting various drug discovery projects within the Immuno-Oncology space. Their work encompasses different therapeutic modalities, including small molecules, biologics (such as antibodies and immune cell engagers), oligonucleotide therapeutics, cancer vaccines, and the Evotec internal off-the-shelf iPSC-based cell therapy portfolio in Oncology: EVOcells Oncology. Their focus is on understanding and characterizing the impact of drugs on the immune system, using tailored assays with primary immune cells isolated from healthy donors, and validating their findings with patient samples in a translational approach. Michael finds Evotec a compelling place to work due to its growth opportunities, emphasis on innovation, and diverse business models that allow him to engage in both internal research projects and collaborations with Biotech and big Pharma companies. The unique collaboration with clinicians  at the IUCT-Oncopole further enhances the impact of their work in the field of cancer research.

Interests & Experience

Michael's experience at Evotec is enriched by the incredible know-how and passion of the scientific teams. Having worked on numerous targets and modalities, the company offers a broad technology platform and seamless collaboration across borders. Privately, he cherishes spending time with his family, exploring new places through travel, and indulging in mountain biking to connect with nature. He has diverse interests, from embracing new technologies, Sci-Fi movies, and video games to playing the guitar, delving into interior design, and being an aquarist. For optimal thinking, Michael prefers a calm and quiet environment, often working from home to gain perspective and focus on topics. Creatively, he thrives on brainstorming with colleagues and attending large scientific events like AACR, where the international audience sparks new scientific ideas, projects, and collaborations

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