Evotec, Jain Foundation expand collaboration

Companies will continue their work on therapies for muscular dystrophies

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HAMBURG, Germany—Evotec AG and the Jain Foundation, aBellevue, Wash.-based not-for-profit working on therapies for musculardystrophies caused by dysferlin deficiency, have announced the extension andexpansion of their research collaboration, which is making use of Evotec'sassay development and screening capabilities to support the Jain Foundation'songoing efforts to unravel and cure dysferlinopathy. Financial details were notdisclosed. 
"We are excited to be moving toward screening compoundlibraries with Evotec," Dr. Plavi Mittal, president and CEO of the JainFoundation, said in a press release. "This is an important step towardaccomplishing our mission of finding a therapy for Limb-girdle musculardystrophy type 2B Miyoshi Myopathy (LGMD2B/MM)."
The two companies established their research project in2012, aiming to develop a cell-based high-throughput screening assay usingdysferlin deficient cells. The goal is to develop a simple test that candetermine the wellbeing of a muscle cell in the absence of dysferlin, in orderto identify compounds that can improve the wellbeing of dysferlin deficientmuscle cells. Dysferlin is a protein made from the dysferlin gene that, whenmutated or absent, results in Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy type 2B and MiyoshiMyopathy.
"We look forward to our continued collaboration with theJain Foundation on this project. This collaboration highlights both theincreasing role that foundations play in delivering solutions for unmet medicalneeds and also how Evotec's broad and comprehensive discovery platform can beleveraged in support of these goals in a highly efficient and effectivemanner," Dr. Mario Polywka, chief operating officer of Evotec, commented in astatement regarding the extension.
Muscular dystrophy encompasses a group of diseases that allresult in muscle weakness. All of these diseases present with abnormalities ofthe muscle cells, and are caused by genetic mutations. Limb-girdle musculardystrophy refers to the fact that the first muscles to show symptoms are thosearound the shoulders and the hips. Miyoshi Myopathy is a form of musculardystrophy first described in medical literature in Japan in 1967.
Evotec announced another collaboration a little more than amonth ago, on July 9. the company announced the establishment of a researchcollaboration with Dow AgroSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of The DowChemical Company, to make use of Evotec's advanced chemical proteomics servicesto support compounds currently being developed at Dow AgroSciences. Under thecollaboration, Evotec will perform quantitative chemical proteomics services totranslate Dow's phenotypic screening results. Specifically, Evotec will bringto bear its Cellular Target Profiling technology, which it notes on its website"reveals the molecular targets of small-molecule compounds with unknownmode-of-action on a proteome-wide basis and facilitates successful targetdeconvolution and off-target analysis early in the discovery and developmentprocess."
SOURCE: Evotec press release

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