HAMBURG, Germany—Screening specialist Evotec OAI and pharma giant Roche announced an alliance to discovery and develop therapeutics targeting CNS disorders and other indications. The two companies have been working together for several years through service and in-licensing agreements, so partnering was a logical next step, according to Dr. John Kemp, Evotec executive vice president of R&D.
The field could be particularly lucrative for the two companies, according to a recent Frost & Sullivan report, which suggests that European expenditures on CNS-related drugs reached $22.9 billion in 2005 and is expected to reach approximately $31.3 billion by 2012.
As Frost analyst Sumanth Kambhammettu explained: "The expansion of the CNS market is expected to be based on neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis. Psychiatric disorders feature a high level of genericization and intense competition, resulting in a shift in focus to neurological disorders."
Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will jointly take products to the clinical stage, after which time Roche will have exclusive rights to develop drug candidates. Meanwhile, Evotec will be eligible for milestone payments that could exceed €100 million, as well as royalties on the sale of marketed products. If Roche does not exercise its opt-in rights, the rights will revert to Evotec, if desired, which will make adjusted payments to Roche.