Collaboration is expected to lead to a pipeline of new drug candidates.
Evotec is teaming up with Harvard University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) for a program aimed at developing new diabetes treatments that trigger beta cell regeneration. The research program will initially aim to identify and exploit the physiological mechanisms and targets that regulate beta cell replication.
Evotec says the collaboration will exploit the three partners’ respective expertise and IP in beta cell biology and diabetes as well as cement its own drive to develop orally available small molecule therapeutics that trigger or support beta cell replication. “We are enthusiastic about exploring new mechanisms that have the potential to restore beta cell function and produce first-in-class therapeutics for the treatment of diabetes,” comments Cord Dohrmann, Ph.D., Evotec CEO. “We are convinced that it will lead to the development of a pipeline of exciting drug candidates in diabetes.”
In September 2010 Evotec completed its potentially €14 million acquisition of diabetes therapeutics specialist DeveloGen. The deal effectively handed Evotec Develogen’s existing partnership with Andromeda for development and commercialization of the Phase III-stage type 1 diabetes candidate DiaPep277, and an ongoing discovery alliance with Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) focused on small molecule type 2 diabetes therapies targeting insulin resistance.
The performance-based BI partnership will provide Evotec with ongoing research funding and potential milestone payments of up to €237 million (about $332 million at current exchange rates) relating to the lead compound, plus future sales royalties.
Andromeda was set up as a subsidiary of Clal Biotechnology Industries in 2007 to take on worldwide development and commercialization of DeveloGen’s DiaPep277 candidate. Evotec will receive key development and commercialization milestones plus royalties on the sale of DiaPep277 products by Andromeda’s distribution partner Teva.