Chinook Therapeutics Inc. and Evotec SE have formed a strategic collaboration focused on the discovery and development of novel precision medicine therapies for patients with various forms of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Based on Evotec’s proprietary comprehensive molecular datasets from thousands of patients across chronic kidney diseases of multiple underlying etiologies, Chinook and Evotec will jointly identify, characterize, and validate novel mechanisms and discover precision medicines for polycystic kidney disease, lupus nephritis, IgA nephropathy and other primary glomerular diseases. The collaboration will also involve further characterization of pathways and patient stratification strategies for programs currently in Chinook’s clinical and preclinical pipeline.
“We are excited to embark on this strategic collaboration with Evotec, the leading drug discovery alliance and development partner in nephrology,” said Andrew King, head of the Renal Discovery and Translational Medicine business at Chinook. “Gaining access to the NURTuRE cohort study and other proprietary patient biobanks, along with Evotec’s multi-omics integration platform, will enable us to define the molecular drivers of kidney diseases, identify novel targets for drug development in selected patient sub-populations and continue to build the foundation for our precision medicine approach.”
“With a focus on comprehensive molecular disease classification, combined with prospective clinical outcomes, Chinook has the opportunity to potentially deliver targeted therapies to the right patient populations,” he added.
King’s reference to NURTuRE is to the National Unified Renal Translational Research Enterprise (NURTuRE), which is the first biobank for chronic kidney diseases and nephrotic syndrome (NS), covering England, Scotland, and Wales. Biological samples, including plasma, serum, urine, DNA, and kidney biopsies from 3,600 patients overall are being collected and stored under strict standards for academic and industrial research globally.
According to Chinook and Evotec, NURTuRE also has the advantage of containing anonymized linked clinical data through the UK Renal Registry, which will enable the development of new prognostic and predictive biomarkers. This could allow the two companies to identify patients who will benefit from better, earlier diagnosis and individualized new treatments, resulting in improved health outcomes.
The collaboration also leverages Evotec’s proprietary PanOmics platform, which combines enhanced throughput proteomics, high throughput transcriptomics and cell imaging with PanHunter, Evotec’s unique data analysis platform.
“We are glad to enter into a discovery and development partnership with Chinook Therapeutics, a company specializing in overcoming kidney diseases. CKD is a collective term for a variety of diseases that cause a gradual loss of kidney function. The diversity in the underlying causes makes this area especially favorable for data-driven and systematically personalized approaches,” said Cord Dohrmann, chief scientific officer of Evotec. “By leveraging our complementary platforms, Evotec and Chinook have the best possible starting position to tackle particular rare forms of CKD with the goal to develop disease-modifying therapeutics for underserved patient populations.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Chinook and Evotec will share drug discovery and preclinical development responsibilities. Chinook will be responsible for clinical development and commercialization of product candidates developed under the collaboration. Evotec will receive an undisclosed upfront payment, research funding, progress-dependent milestone payments and tiered royalties on net sales for targets identified through the collaboration.