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Evotec expands its proprietary patient database into liver disease with unique access to QUOD biobank

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Evotec SE ((Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, OTC:EVOTF) today announced a partnership agreement with the University of Oxford regarding access to biospecimens from the biobank Quality in Organ Donation (“QUOD”), an initiative of The Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences (“NDS”) at the University of Oxford in close collaboration with the National Health Service Blood and Transplant (“NHSBT”) organisation in the UK.

The QUOD biobank is a joint programme by a consortium of UK academic transplant centres and NHSBT. The biobank is funded by NHSBT and the Medical Research Council and provides blood, urine and tissue samples from heart, lung, liver and kidney from consented organ donors for researchers with anonymised integrated medical records. The samples have been collected over several years with QUOD's primary goal to identify biomarkers, explain mechanisms of injury and repair, and improve organ utilisation and transplantation. 

Under the terms of the partnership, Evotec will investigate at first samples from 1,000 donors of the QUOD biobank using a comprehensive multi-omics analysis (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics). This data will complement Evotec's existing patient database, generating a greater understanding of disease mechanisms across indications, i.e. cardio-vascular, kidney, and liver diseases. Investigation of diseased versus healthy human biomaterial using a multi-omics approach combined with clinical data will provide extensive knowledge, indispensable for advancement of organ transplantation, drug discovery as well as clinical and biomarker research.  

Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “We are proud to enter this collaboration with the QUOD programme, which expands our strategic partnership with the University of Oxford beyond LAB282, our first-of-its-kind academic BRIDGE partnership. Comprehensive molecular profiling of patient samples will re-define health and disease according to dysregulated molecular disease mechanisms. This will open new doors for intervention and corresponding patient stratification.”

Professor Rutger Ploeg, Co-ordinating Principal Investigator and Director of the QUOD programme at Oxford University, is delighted: “Robust and sustainable partnerships with high-tech industrial partners such as Evotec will enhance knowledge, help identify better diagnostic tests as well as allow to develop targeted intervention. Increased insight will improve the quality of donor organs and may reduce progression of chronic disease which should benefit our patients.”

No financial terms of the agreement were disclosed.

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

Oxford University has been placed number one in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the fourth year running, and at the heart of this success is our ground-breaking research and innovation. Oxford is world-famous for research excellence and home to some of the most talented people from across the globe. Our work helps the lives of millions, solving real-world problems through a huge network of partnerships and collaborations. The breadth and interdisciplinary nature of our research sparks imaginative and inventive insights and solutions. Through its research commercialisation arm, Oxford University Innovation, Oxford is the highest university patent filer in the UK and is ranked first in the UK for university spinouts, having created more than 170 new companies since 1988. Over a third of these companies have been created in the past three years. www.ox.ac.uk

ABOUT THE NUFFIELD DEPARTMENT OF SURGICAL SCIENCES

The Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences (NDS) at the University of Oxford hosts a multidisciplinary team of senior clinical academic surgeons, senior scientists, junior clinicians and scientists in training. We comprise of major surgical specialties, including transplantation, gastro-intestinal, vascular, paediatric, plastic, ear, nose and throat (ENT), neurosurgery, and urology. The research environment in NDS includes a long-established immunology, tolerance and transplantation biology group. It also has well-established groups in bone cancer biology, islet-cell isolation and transplantation, alongside cardiovascular, interventional radiology and functional neurosurgical groups, high intensity focused ultrasound and urological oncology. There are over 200 staff in the department who work together to lead discovery, innovation and education in surgical sciences. www.nds.ox.ac.uk

ABOUT QUALITY IN ORGAN DONATION

The Quality in Organ Donation (QUOD) programme builds on a national consortium formed of clinicians and scientists from intensive care and transplant units across the United Kingdom working together with dedicated operational staff from NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) and its directorate Organ Donation & Transplantation to facilitate research and increase the number of organs available for transplantation. It was established in 2012 and rolled out UK-wide in 2014 and has since then accumulated samples and clinical data from more than 5000 deceased donors including blood, urine and tissue biopsies in its QUOD biobank hosted by the University of Oxford. The integration of biological samples and clinical data of both donors and recipients provides a unique opportunity to research pathways of injury and repair in donor organs and identifying biomarkers. The QUOD team helps to create a searchable library to include genome, proteome and pathology atlases of organs to predict outcomes of transplantation as well as providing data and samples for hypothesis driven work. This will allow us to turn to organs from older and higher risk donors to increase organ utilisation without compromising outcomes. The QUOD infrastructure also aims to be a platform for service development and interventional clinical trials in the donor or organ to improve survival in transplantation. www.quod.org.uk

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 press release. 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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