Pharma Focus Asia

Evotec and Bayer Announce New Alliance Focusing on Drug Discovery for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome With Novel Targets From Celmatix

Friday, January 10, 2020

Evotec SE and Bayer AG today announced the expansion of their partnership in women’s health indications with a new five-year, multi-target collaboration with participation from Celmatix Inc. to develop multiple clinical candidates for the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (“PCOS”).

Under the terms of the agreement, both companies will contribute drug targets and a comprehensive set of high-quality technology platforms to jointly develop innovative treatment options. The strategic alliance will also have access to targets from the recently formed partnership between Celmatix and Evotec. Celmatix is the world leader in big data-driven target discovery focused on fertility and women’s health.

“Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common, underdiagnosed and undertreated disease among women, with several serious co-morbidities. The currently available treatment options are also limited and insufficient,” said Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec. “Our long-term partnership with Bayer and the progression of multiple clinical candidates has been very successful and we look forward to continuing the relationship to deliver novel therapies for the benefit of patients with PCOS.”

“There is a high unmet medical need for women worldwide suffering from PCOS. This new research alliance will perfectly complement Bayer's research activities in the area of women’s health,” said Dr. Joerg Moeller, Member of the Executive Committee of Bayer AG’s Pharmaceuticals Division and Head of Research and Development. “We look forward to joining our forces with Evotec in PCOS to develop new treatment options for women living with this often devastating condition.”

“For far too long, women with PCOS have not had access to drugs that were specifically developed to treat this condition and have had to rely on drugs prescribed off label,” said Dr. Piraye Yurttas Beim, Founder and CEO of Celmatix. “Working closely with Bayer and Evotec allows us to leverage our decade-long investment into understanding the molecular underpinnings of this complicated syndrome to help enable completely novel therapeutics for these women and generations of women to come.”

Bayer and Evotec will share responsibilities during the pre-clinical development of potential clinical candidates. Bayer will be responsible for any subsequent clinical development and commercialization. Evotec will receive € 6.5 m upfront payment and € 10 m research payments over five years, which it will share with Celmatix in exchange for novel target identification and prioritization as part of the recently announced strategic alliance between the companies. Evotec and Celmatix might be eligible to receive pre-clinical, clinical and sales milestones of potentially over € 330 m as well as royalties up to low double-digit percentages of net sales.

In 2012, Bayer and Evotec entered their first strategic five-year, multi-target alliance. The collaboration was successfully completed resulting in three clinical and one pre-clinical drug candidate currently advancing through development for the treatment of endometriosis. A second research alliance was initiated in 2016 to develop multiple clinical candidates for the treatment of kidney diseases.

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