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Mar 10, 2009

Roche to Support Clinical Trials with Evotec’s Depression Therapy in $300M Deal

  • Roche is paying $10 million for an option to buy back rights to Evotec’s NMDA antagonist program. Additionally, under an agreement worth over $300 million, Roche will fund a Phase II trial with one of these compounds in treatment-resistant depression.

    Evotec will be responsible for conducting the evaluation of EVT 101, which is also in Phase II studies for Alzheimer’s and pain. Also, Roche will support Evotec’s Phase I studies with EVT 103, a follow-up compound. EVT 101 was  discovered by Roche and developed from discovery stages onward by Evotec.

    Roche may exercise its buy-back option after the completion of the Phase II studies. If it does, Evotec will receive a $65 million lump-sum payment in exchange for returning assets related to the entire EVT 100 family to Roche. Evotec would be eligible for further development, sales performance, and scalable double-digit commercial fees.

    In the event that Roche decides not to exercise its buy-back option, Evotec will be granted exclusive, worldwide rights to these therapies in all indications.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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