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HAMBURG, Germany, Aug. 07, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) and Sanofi today announced a strategic collaboration in the field of diabetes. The goal of this collaboration will be to develop a beta cell replacement therapy based on functional human beta cells derived from human stem cells. In addition, Sanofi and Evotec will also use human beta cells for high-throughput drug screening to identify beta cell active small molecules or biologics.
Both companies will make significant contributions to this collaboration in terms of expertise, platforms and resources. The collaboration will further enhance and complement Sanofi’s extensive diabetes portfolio and will extend Evotec’s metabolic disease and stem cell-based drug discovery programs.
The agreement between Evotec and Sanofi triggers an upfront payment of € 3 m, potential pre-clinical, clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones which could total over € 300 m as well as significant royalties and research payments.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “The use of human stem cells in drug discovery and development is on the rise and will increasingly shift the landscape from symptomatic treatments to disease-modifying therapies also in diabetes. We are very proud to partner with Sanofi, one of the leading diabetes companies in this exciting novel field of drug discovery and development.”
Philip Larsen, MD, PhD, Vice President, Global Head of Diabetes Research and Translational Science at Sanofi, added: “Combining Sanofi’s and Evotec’s beta cell and stem cell expertise in drug discovery and development will enable optimal exploitation of the potential of stem cell derived human beta cells for therapy and drug screening in diabetes. We are excited about the prospects of this collaboration as both companies provide highly complementary expertise to translate human stem cell technologies into highly innovative new products.”
About Beta Cells
Beta cells play a key role in the pathogenesis of diabetes, a condition which currently affects 387 million patients worldwide. Beta cells reside in clusters of hormone producing cells (“islets”) within the pancreas. They respond to elevated blood glucose levels (e.g. after a meal) by secreting the glucose lowering hormone insulin. In the type 1 form of diabetes (“T1D”), beta cells are destroyed by the patient’s own immune system. As a result, T1D patients have to follow a life-long regimen of carefully dosed insulin injections. In patients with type 2 diabetes (“T2D”), beta cells are functionally impaired and yet have to work in the presence of metabolic stress and increased work load due to an impaired tissue insulin response. T2D is progressive, and current therapeutic options cannot prevent the deterioration of beta cell function, eventually also creating a need for insulin injections. Insulin injections represent a significant burden to patients. They cannot fully mimic the normal control of blood glucose levels by normal beta cells, frequently resulting in debilitating acute and long-term complications. There is an enormous medical need for novel therapeutic options which can restore beta cell mass and thereby reduce or eliminate the need for insulin injections, or which can prevent or reverse the decline in beta cell function in type 2 diabetes.
About Evotec AG
Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academics, patient advocacy groups and venture capitalists. We operate worldwide providing the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery solutions, covering all activities from target-to-clinic. The Company has established a unique position by assembling top-class scientific experts and integrating state-of-the-art technologies as well as substantial experience and expertise in key therapeutic areas including neuroscience, pain, metabolic diseases as well as oncology, inflammation and infectious diseases. Evotec has long-term discovery alliances with partners including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, CHDI, Genentech, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, MedImmune/AstraZeneca, Roche and UCB. In addition, the Company has existing development partnerships and product candidates both in clinical and pre-clinical development. These include partnerships with Boehringer Ingelheim and MedImmune in the field of diabetes, with Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the field of depression and with Roche in the field of Alzheimer’s disease. For additional information please go to www.evotec.com.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS — Information set forth in this press release contains forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgement of Evotec as of the date of this press release. Such forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
CONTACT: For further information, please contact Gabriele Hansen VP, Corporate Communications & Investor Relations +49.(0)40.560 81-255 +49.(0)40.560 81-333 Fax firstname.lastname@example.org Evotec AG Manfred Eigen Campus Essener Bogen 7 22419 Hamburg (Germany)NEXT ARTICLE
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