Evotec SE announced the formation of Breakpoint Therapeutics GmbH, a spin-off company focusing on the development of Evotec’s DNA damage response (“DDR”) portfolio, comprising discovery-stage assets and drug targets that promise broad therapeutic application in a variety of cancers. Breakpoint Therapeutics’ mission is to develop first and best-in-class oncology drugs that interfere with DNA repair and replication stress pathways to facilitate the cure of therapy-resistant cancers.
Breakpoint Therapeutics will initially focus on advancing multiple drug discovery programmes initiated at Evotec that address high unmet medical needs of different patient groups. The goal of the spin-off company is to accelerate early projects through discovery and pre-clinical development and expect to deliver the first IND-ready drug in 2022.
The early stage funding amounting to € 30 m will be covered by a renowned international investor consortium led by Medicxi, a life sciences-focused investment firm, Taiho Ventures, LLC (“Taiho”), the venture capital arm of Taiho Pharmaceutical, and Evotec. Evotec will hold below 50% of the company and consolidate at equity accordingly.
The company will conduct its research activities using Evotec’s fully established, validated and industrialised platforms. This highly virtual set up of Breakpoint Therapeutics achieves maximal flexibility in accessing required resource to drive projects forward at highest scientific standards and best capital efficiency.
Dr Daniel Speidel, Managing Director of Breakpoint Therapeutics, said: “We are delighted that the support of Medicxi, Taiho Ventures and Evotec has enabled us to form Breakpoint Therapeutics. Drugs that modulate DNA damage responses hold great promise for many cancer patients that don’t respond to currently existing treatments and are indeed among the most exciting new approaches to improve the success of cancer therapy. Given that so many people still die of cancer, it is absolutely vital that we turn relevant scientific concepts into new effective drugs. This is what Breakpoint Therapeutics is all about.”
Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, said: “The formation of Breakpoint Therapeutics with a core team of Evotec scientists fits well within our strategy of creating upside with an optimal risk-reward profile through participation in companies operating in selected fields of high strategic medical relevance. Creating and advancing highly capital efficient virtual biotech initiatives is one of the key advantages with the outstanding platform of Evotec.”
Dr Jon Edwards, Partner at Medicxi, said: “This is a unique opportunity to leverage the longstanding Evotec R&D platform for the rapid advancement of our DNA damage response (DDR) programmes. We're thrilled to be supporting this expert team of scientific entrepreneurs and working alongside Taiho and Evotec, both leading industry players. This is a ground-breaking field and we're confident that our capital efficient, asset-centric approach will enable Breakpoint Therapeutics to rapidly develop differentiated medicines for the global patient population.”
Sakae Asanuma, President of Taiho, said: “We are extremely excited to co-found Breakpoint Therapeutics, as a leading company of DNA damage response (DDR), together with sophisticated partners like Medicxi Ventures as well as Evotec SE. DDR is one of the most promising fields in oncology with higher interest following the current success of PARP inhibitors and we strongly believe Breakpoint’s DDR targeting programmes have the potential to deliver therapeutically impactful treatment options for a variety of cancer patients.”