Evotec and Helmholtz Centre joining platforms and forces for novel antibiotics

21-Feb-2019 - Germany

Evotec AG and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (“HZI”) announced a collaboration with the goal to address a major global health threat by developing novel antibiotics that overcome drug-resistant bacterial pathogens. Research activities will initially be focused on the optimisation of cystobactamids, a family of natural antibacterial products with innovative chemical scaffolds that are active against the most dangerous Gram-negative pathogens on the WHO priority list.

Under the terms of the agreement, Evotec and HZI will collaborate for an initial term of 3 years. The collaboration will combine HZI’s unique collection and know-how of natural products as well as access to in vitro and in vivo models of bacterial infection with Evotec’s leading drug discovery platform, expertise in medicinal chemistry and pharmacology as well as world-leading collection of bacterial pathogens.

Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “Combining the platforms of one of Europe’s leading and most prestigious academic anti-infectives research institutions with one of the industry’s largest and most comprehensive antibacterial drug discovery platforms is a great opportunity to advance the fight against antimicrobial resistance. Applying proven platforms in combination with the latest technologies and world-leading expertise is the most effective way to address one of most challenging health care threats for society. We are extremely proud that HZI chose Evotec as their partner.”

Prof. Dirk Heinz, Scientific Director of HZI, said: “Translating insights from infectious diseases research into medical applications as quickly as possible is a crucial part of HZI’s mission. Strategic cooperation with clinical and industry partners is vital to delivering on this translational mission by further developing innovative drug candidates such as cystobactamids as a potential tool against dangerous Gram-negative hospital germs. With Evotec we have found a strong and long-term oriented partner whose profile complements HZI’s own expertise in antibiotics research extremely well. We are looking forward to develop our drug candidates together with Evotec.”

No financial details of this collaboration were disclosed.

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