HAMBURG, Germany, Jan. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Evotec AG EVT (TecDAX) today announced that it has expanded the scope of its collaboration with MedImmune, the global biologics arm of AstraZeneca, after hitting a key milestone. Evotec achieved a milestone payment of €0.5 m. The milestone triggers a commercial license granted to MedImmune and an extension of the diabetes and beta cell regeneration collaboration to the end of 2013.
This license and collaboration agreement in the diabetes therapeutic area was initiated in December 2010. Within the agreement MedImmune has exclusive access to a defined set of biologic targets that have the potential to prevent or reverse disease progression in diabetic patients. The size of the combined research team has expanded and Evotec will receive additional research payments to support in vitro and in vivo experiments.
As part of the original agreement, Evotec received an upfront payment of €5 m and could earn up to €254 m in further milestones and payments as well as royalties on product sales. The majority of milestone payments are due upon achievement of certain clinical as well as regulatory and commercial milestones. Further milestone payments may be achieved with the approval of additional indications and programs.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: "Together with our colleagues at MedImmune and AstraZeneca we have been highly productive in driving forward the development of EVT770 as well as additional molecules in the portfolio. We are proud that we have already achieved the second milestone in this collaboration and are very much looking forward to expanding our efforts and thereby laying the foundation for continued success."
Dr Cristina Rondinone, Vice President and Head of MedImmune's Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Center of Excellence, said: "We are excited to expand our collaboration with Evotec. Diabetes has reached epidemic levels and it is one of the biggest causes of mortality worldwide. Therefore, it is critical that we develop novel and highly effective therapies to slow down and ultimately stop the development of diabetes."
Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic incapacitating disease associated with severe life-long conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, kidney diseases, nerve damage and eye diseases, which require intensive monitoring and control. Diabetes is caused by relative or complete decrease in insulin production and secretion by pancreatic beta cells. Furthermore, diabetes can be caused by the reduced effectiveness of secreted insulin in consequence of the gradual loss of insulin sensitivity of target cells which is called insulin resistance. At present, there is no cure for diabetes and only symptomatic treatment options are available. The most common diabetes types are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Currently, about 90-95% of diabetes patients worldwide have type 2 diabetes. According to the International Diabetes Foundation, there are 371 million people worldwide who are diagnosed with diabetes (2011: 366 million) and about 187 million who are at risk of costly and debilitating diabetes complications who have not yet been diagnosed. It is estimated that about 4.8 million people will have died from diabetes at the end of 2012 (2011: 4.0 million). Concerning the diabetes market volume, approx. $471 bn were spent on the treatment of diabetes in 2012 (2011: $465 bn).
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. 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 and inflammation. Evotec has long-term discovery alliances with partners including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, CHDI, Genentech, Medimmune/Astra Zeneca, Novartis, Ono Pharmaceutical and Roche. In addition, the Company has existing development partnerships and product candidates both in clinical and preclinical development. These include a strategic alliance with Roche for the development of subtype-selective NMDA receptor antagonists for use in treatment-resistant depression as well as other partnerships with Boehringer Ingelheim, MedImmune and with Andromeda (Teva) in the field of diabetes. 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 report. 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.
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