Zhejiang Jingxin Pharmaceutical negotiated exclusive rights to Evotec’s Phase II-stage insomnia candidate EVT 201, for development and marketing in China. Evotec will receive what it calls a small up-front fee, plus commercial milestones and significant royalties.
Jingxin Pharma aims to start clinical trials with EVT 201 in China in 2011. The firm will shoulder all development costs. Evotec will have have the right to access and reference clinical data produced by Jingxin Pharma to support potential further development of EVT 201 in other territories.
EVT 201 is a GABAA receptor partial positive allosteric modulator. Evotec has previously carried out two Phase II trials with the drug. It says the results showed that treatment with EVT 201 significantly improves sleep onset and maintenance measures.
Despite the positive Phase II data, Evotec had put further development of EVT 201 on hold until it could find a partner to share the financial commitment. This has not been a speedy process, however, and in its 2009 annual report, Evotec called the failure to partner EVT 201 during 2008–2009 one of the "lowlights" of the year.
"Jingxin Pharma is an enthusiastic partner keen to develop EVT 201 for China as the major emerging pharmaceutical market," Werner Lanthaler, Ph.D., Evotec CEO, now remarks. "This deal allows, finally, the further progression of Evotec's insomnia program and therefore represents an important step in realizing the drug candidate's intrinsic value."