AstraZeneca to partner with Evotec in kidney disease

Initial focus of the alliance will be exploring compounds and targets with novel mechanisms that have disease-modifying potential for the treatment of chronic kidney disease

Lloyd Dunlap
HAMBURG, Germany—Evotec AG and AstraZeneca have signed an agreement to take joint action to combat kidney diseases. Initial focus of the alliance will be exploring compounds and targets with novel mechanisms that have disease-modifying potential for the treatment of chronic kidney disease.
 
Under the terms of this license and collaboration agreement, AstraZeneca will receive access to a selected series of molecules identified in a screening effort, which is part of Evotec's systematic kidney disease initiative. This particular program has been designed to explore a key mechanism in the field of chronic kidney disease. AstraZeneca will provide industrial scope and scale as well as pharmaceutical development expertise and marketing capabilities.
 
The agreement between the two companies triggers an undisclosed upfront payment to Evotec as well as preclinical, clinical and regulatory milestones. Evotec is also eligible for additional milestone and royalty payments related to commercialization. Evotec will receive research funding for work that will be conducted in collaboration with AstraZeneca. Specific financial details were not disclosed.
 
Dr. Cord Dohrmann, chief scientific officer of Evotec, commented: “Exploring novel mechanisms and novel targets in the field of kidney disease is a logical next step for Evotec. We are very excited about AstraZeneca joining one of our programs. AstraZeneca is a great partner sharing not only our vision but making valuable contributions in an integrated discovery and development process.”
 
“Cardiovascular and metabolic diseases (CVMD) represents one of the three core areas for AstraZeneca. Within CVMD, we are committing significant efforts on research and development of potential new treatments for diabetic nephropathy and end-stage, as well as chronic, kidney disease,” added Dr. Marcus Schindler, head of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases at AstraZeneca. “Our goal is to identify and develop effective therapies to halt or slow down the decline of renal function for patients suffering from kidney diseases. This new collaboration complements our research efforts in the renal disease space. Evotec has built a leading drug discovery platform in the field of kidney diseases and is well-positioned to work with us to generate highly innovative drug candidates so that we can accelerate the delivery of new medicines to patients.”
 
Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. In 2004, for example, Evotec entered into a multiyear, multitarget drug discovery alliance with Boehringer Ingelheim to jointly identify and develop preclinical development candidates for the treatment of various disease areas including CNS, inflammation, cardiometabolic and respiratory diseases. In 2009, the collaboration was extended for an additional four years and the scope expanded to include oncology targets. Under the terms of the agreement, Boehringer Ingelheim has full ownership and global responsibility for clinical development, manufacturing and commercialization of the compounds identified. The company recently announced that its research alliance with Boehringer Ingelheim had reached a milestone triggering revenues of €4 million to Evotec. The milestone was for the transition of an oncology molecule into preclinical development. Dr. Mario Polywka, chief operating officer of Evotec, noted that “This is the twentieth milestone achieved as part of our alliance with Boehringer Ingelheim and represents a second oncology compound transitioning into preclinical development.”
 
Evotec also has long-term discovery alliances with Bayer, CHDI, Genentech, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Ono Pharmaceutical and MedImmune, which is the worldwide biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca.
 

Lloyd Dunlap

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