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GEN News Highlights : Feb 28, 2007

Evotec and Interprotein to Develop IL-6 Inhibitors to Treat Inflammatory Diseases

Companies will work together to fully optimize the compounds identified by Interprotein.

Evotec and Interprotein signed a collaboration agreement on Interprotein's Interleukin 6 (IL-6) inhibitors program for the development of orally active drugs treating inflammatory diseases.

Based on in silico drug design, Interprotein discovered a number of hit molecules. On the basis of these structures, Evotec will use its expertise in medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry, and profiling to fully optimize the compounds and to develop potent inhibitors for IL-6.

"We are excited about the collaboration with Evotec. Ongoing anti-IL-6 antibody clinical trials provide evidence that the inhibition of IL-6 is significantly effective in inflammatory diseases. We believe that orally available drugs have the potential to supersede antibody therapy, and, furthermore, we hope that this program will prove that small-molecule compounds may have the potential to inhibit such protein-protein interactions," Masato Hosoda, president and CEO of Interprotein, said.