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Evotec and Debiopharm Group to Develop Cancer Treatment

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 8:47am

Evotec AG has announced a research collaboration and licensing deal with Debiopharm Group Lausanne, Switzerland. The objective of this collaboration is to identify and develop novel compounds having the potential to treat multiple forms of solid tumors and leukemias with defined genetic alterations. Discovery and pre-clinical development efforts will be driven by Evotec, whilst Debiopharm will manage clinical development. Evotec will receive R&D funding and high double-digit total payments triggered by clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones, plus royalties on sales of resulting commercial products.

This program is based on Evotec's drug discovery efforts to investigate genetically altered targets whose 'driver' role in several cancer types has been validated and on the shared objective of identifying novel therapeutic agents in a variety of cancers, including AML (Acute Myeloid Leukaemia), prostate cancer and glioblastoma. Evotec is in the unique position of being able to apply a broad range of highly sophisticated drug discovery tools including state-of-the-art mass spectrometry and structure-based drug design for rapid and efficient development of highly promising lead series. Debiopharm is experienced in taking to maturity promising early-stage biological or small molecule drug candidates from pre-clinical to clinical development phase I, II and III, including subsequent out-licensing to pharmaceutical partners for sales and marketing.

Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: "We are very excited about this innovative collaboration structure between Debiopharm and Evotec. It combines our proven discovery platform with Debiopharm's ability to advance projects through clinical development in a highly efficient manner while sharing risks and rewards of Evotec's Target X project. There is compelling science around the target and we are confident that we will be able to position highly competitive compounds in this field that hold great potential for difficult to treat cancers."

"This is a fine example of how drug discovery and development will be in the future: a mixture of complementarities looking to bring to a defined population of patients a drug that will change the outcome of disease", added Andres McAllister, Chief Scientific Officer, Debiopharm International SA.

"Through this collaboration with Evotec, Debiopharm is strengthening its position in early projects with a leader in the drug discovery field", said Thierry Mauvernay, Delegate of the Board of Debiopharm Group. "Furthermore, this R&D program targeting cancers with known genetic alterations is a whole part of our strategy for personalized medicines."

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