China’s Conba Pharmaceutical negotiated a license to develop and commercialize Evotec's early clinical-stage anti-inflammatory candidate EVT 401 in China. The deal covers all indications except ophthalmological, COPD, and endometriosis. Evotec will receive a small up-front fee plus potential milestones of over €60 million and double-digit royalties on net sales. The firm will in addition have access to clinical data generated by Conba to support development of EVT 401 in other markets.
EVT 401 is small molecule antagonist of the P2X7 receptor, an ATP-gated ion channel expressed on immune system cells. It is thought to play a key role in regulating the release of proinflammatory cytokines, Evotec notes. The candidate has completed an initial Phase I study in healthy volunteers, which demonstrated the ability of EVT 401 to block ATP-stimulated IL-1β release.
“We are very pleased to partner with Conba, a leading Chinese pharmaceutical company, to tap into the Chinese market for inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis,” comments Wener Lanthaler, Ph.D., Evotec’s CEO. “This partnership will also increase the value of the P2X7 program worldwide.”