Evotec SE announced that its collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb has been expanded to include a new cell type, triggering a payment of $ 9.0 m to Evotec.
The collaboration was initiated in December 2016 with the goal of identifying disease-modifying treatments for a broad range of neurodegenerative diseases. Currently approved drugs only offer short-term management of the patients’ symptoms and there is tremendous unmet medical need for therapeutic options that slow down or reverse disease progression. The collaboration pursues an innovative approach to the discovery and development of novel medicines by leveraging Evotec’s iPSC platform using patient-derived disease models, which is one of the largest and most sophisticated platforms in the industry.
Since 2016, the companies have expanded the collaboration several times. The latest expansion will enable the companies to investigate the root causes of many neurodegenerative diseases in a cell type specific fashion using cells directly derived from patients. In addition, molecular disease signatures will be used to define detailed molecular disease phenotypes using Evotec’s leading panomics platform, EVOpanOmics & EVOpanHunter.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “We are delighted that our important collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb will now investigate and target mechanisms driving neurodegeneration more comprehensively through the addition of a new cell type. Through our human iPSC-based approach we believe we have the potential to improve clinical outcomes of neurodegeneration programmes. iPSC technology enables us to directly work on human neurons to explore new drug candidates in the pre-clinical setting.”