Evotec SE announced that the Company has entered into a comprehensive partnership with the recently established QUANTRO Therapeutics GmbH, a research-based biotech company based in Vienna, Austria, that strives to discover and develop novel therapeutics interfering with disease-causing transcriptional programmes in cancer and other diseases.
QUANTRO will combine and exploit innovative functional-genetic and transcriptomic technologies to generate an unprecedented drug discovery pipeline transforming the precision and scope of cell-based compound screens. By introducing “Transcriptional Fingerprinting” to drug discovery, QUANTRO intends to revamp the scope of pharmacologic interventions in a variety of cellular, target and disease contexts. A prime focus will be the discovery and development of drug candidates blocking the activity of oncogenic transcription factors, a class of particularly promising therapeutic targets that has so far been deemed “undruggable”.
Founded by Dr Stefan Ameres and Dr Johannes Zuber as a spin-off of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (“IMBA”) and the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (“IMP”), QUANTRO is headed by Chief Executive Officer Dr Dieter Nachtigall.
Evotec will provide hit identification services for QUANTRO’s proprietary anti-tumour projects. Furthermore, Evotec joins Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund GmbH (“BIVF”) in QUANTRO’s seed financing round. Both companies have acquired equal minority stakes in QUANTRO and will be represented on QUANTRO’s Supervisory Board by Dr Dirk Ullmann (Evotec) and Dr Sebastian Kreuz (BIVF), respectively.
Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, commented: “QUANTRO is a very promising academic spin-off company with great potential to lead the way in time-resolved RNA sequencing with a potentially ground-breaking technology to address ‘undruggable’ drug targets. Through our partnership and equity investment, we will further validate QUANTRO’s approach and hope to be able to open many new doors across a broad range of therapeutic modalities together in the future.”
Dr Dieter Nachtigall, Chief Executive Officer of QUANTRO, said: “QUANTRO Therapeutics has designed and set up a new discovery approach and technology platform based on world-leading scientific expertise by our founders and excellent support from our highly committed corporate venture partners. We are extremely motivated and ambitious to start operations in our facilities at the Vienna StartUp Labs and turn our vision of identifying and developing new anti-cancer agents with breakthrough potential into a reality.”
Dr Sebastian Kreuz, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, added: “The BIVF focuses on groundbreaking therapeutic approaches and technologies that have the potential to advance patient care in areas of high unmet medical need. We are looking forward to supporting QUANTRO and its dedicated founders to apply time-resolved RNA sequencing in an industrialised setting with the aim to unlock transcription factors as a highly promising target class for drug discovery in oncology and other disease areas.”
No financial details of the agreement were disclosed.