Partners have selected a preclinical candidate in their cardiometabolic program.

Evotec received a €2.5 million (about $3.75 million) milestone payment from Boehringer Ingelheim as part of the companies’ ongoing multitarget drug discovery collaboration. The latest milestone relates to the selection of a compound for predevelopment studies in a cardiometabolic program.

Evotec has to date received seven milestone fees under this partnership. Its sixth was achieved in July and related to the identification and selection of a second compound to be advanced into preclinical development within an existing program.

The firms’ multiyear deal aims to jointly identify and develop preclinical candidates for various diseases. Boehringer-Ingelheim retains full ownership and global responsibility for clinical development, manufacturing, and commercialization of resulting compounds.

Evotec currently has ongoing drug discovery collaborations with a number of major pharma companies. These include Pfizer (analgesic VR1-blockers), Roche (CNS diseases), Novartis (undisclosed target), the CHDI (Huntington’s disease), and most recently (September 2009) with Biogen Idec.

Just last week Evotec announced extending an ongoing research collaboration with Ono Pharmaceutical to cover the discovery of small molecular weight compounds active against an ion channel target selected by Ono. At the start of October Evotec also announced achieving a milestone under its agreement with Cardioxyl Pharmaceuticals for the compound CXL-1020. The milestone related to progression of the drug into Phase I/IIa testing in heart failure patients.

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