Evotec AG today announced that it has signed within the “NEU²-Consortium” framework and partially funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium fuer Bildung und Forschung -BMBF), an agreement with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to develop pre-clinical candidates for an undisclosed neurological disease. Evotec will provide drug discovery expertise covering in vitro biology, medicinal chemistry and in vitro and in vivo pharmacology. 

As part of the collaboration, Evotec will apply their integrated drug discovery expertise and technologies to identify interesting small molecules for the selected target. The molecules will be further optimised and progressed through lead optimization to a pre-clinical candidate.

Dr Mario Polywka, COO of Evotec commented: “We are proud to be part of the NEU² consortium and we are extremely pleased that Merck KGaA selected Evotec to collaborate on this interesting Drug Discovery Program which is a further recognition of our CNS disease expertise.

The NEU² consortium, including, amongst others, Merck KGaA, Evotec AG, European ScreeningPort GmbH, Bionamics GmbH, and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf was successful in the nationwide “BioPharma” strategy competition of The Federal Ministry of Education and Research(Bundesministerium fuer Bildung und Forschung – BMBF). The “BioPharma” strategy competition aims to promote innovative partnerships between academic institutions, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in order to strengthen the pharmaceutical value chain in Germany. The NEU² consortium
focuses on the development of novel therapies against neurological diseases with a specific focus on multiple sclerosis. The NEU² consortium is coordinated by Bionamics GmbH (Bionamics), an independent project management company and founder of NEU².

Evotec is a leader in the discovery and development of novel small molecule drugs with operational sites in Europe and Asia. The Company has built substantial drug discovery expertise and an industrialised platform that can drive new innovative small molecule compounds into the clinic. In addition, Evotec has built a deep internal knowledge base in the treatment of diseases related to neuroscience, pain, oncology, inflammation and metabolic diseases. Leveraging these skills and expertise the Company intends to develop best-inclass differentiated therapeutics and deliver superior science-driven discovery alliances with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Evotec has long-term discovery alliances with partners including Boehringer Ingelheim, CHDI, Genentech, Novartis, Ono Pharmaceutical and Roche. Evotec has product candidates in clinical development and a series of preclinical compounds and development partnerships, including for example a strategic alliance with Roche for the EVT 100 compound family, subtype selective NMDA receptor antagonists for use in treatment-resistant depression and an alliance in the field of diabetes with Andromeda (Teva).
For additional information please go to www.evotec.com.