Hamburg, Germany – 11 September 2014: Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) today announced that CHDI Foundation, Inc. (“CHDI”) has extended and restated its collaboration with Evotec through 2017. The collaboration—which aims to find new treatments for Huntington’s disease, an inherited neurodegenerative disorder—means that CHDI will fund up to 52 full-time scientists at Evotec over the next three years.
The collaboration initially began in 2006 and has expanded considerably over this period to fully leverage Evotec’s integrated neuroscience platform. The restated extension of this collaboration is a further validation of Evotec’s broad drug discovery expertise in the field of neuroscience and includes an expansion to utilise Evotec’s high-throughput screening and proteomics platforms. Evotec provides a full range of research activities and expertise in the neuroscience area to CHDI, including integrated biology and chemistry supported by compound and library management, target validation, stem cell research, high-content screening, computational chemistry, in vitro pharmacokinetics and protein production.
Dr Mario Polywka, Chief Operating Officer of Evotec, commented: “We are delighted to continue our collaboration with CHDI and the restated extension clearly illustrates that CHDI values our scientific work and dedication of the team. We look forward to continuing working closely with our colleagues at CHDI to rapidly discover novel drugs against Huntington’s disease targets.”
Dr Robert Pacifici, Chief Scientific Officer at CHDI, added: “Evotec represents one of our largest and longest standing relationships and continues to be an important strategic partner in our search for effective treatments for Huntington’s disease. Their integrated drug discovery capabilities are helping us to discover novel targets and to advance drug candidates towards the clinic and we look forward to continuing to work with Evotec over the coming years.”
About Huntington’s disease
Huntington’s disease is a familial disease caused by a mutation in the huntingtin gene. Each child of a parent with the mutation in the huntingtin gene has a 50-50 chance of inheriting the mutation. As a result of carrying the mutation, an individual’s brain cells fail and die leading to cognitive and physical impairments that, over the course of the disease, significantly impair the individual’s quality of life and ultimately cause death. Symptoms of Huntington’s disease, which generally develop in midlife and become progressively more debilitating as time passes, can also develop in infancy or old age. Once overt symptoms start, patients live for about 15 to 20 years. There is currently no way to delay the onset of symptoms or slow the progression of Huntington’s disease. It is estimated that the disorder affects about 30,000 people in the United States and at least 150,000 others have a 50% risk of developing Huntington’s disease at some point.
About Evotec AG
Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. We operate worldwide providing the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery solutions, covering all activities from target-to-clinic. The Company has established a unique position by assembling top-class scientific experts and integrating state-of-the-art technologies as well as substantial experience and expertise in key therapeutic areas including neuroscience, pain, metabolic diseases as well as oncology, inflammation and infectious diseases. Evotec has long-term discovery alliances with partners including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, CHDI, Genentech, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, MedImmune/AstraZeneca, Roche and UCB. In addition, the Company has existing development partnerships and product candidates both in clinical and pre-clinical development. These include partnerships with Boehringer Ingelheim and MedImmune in the field of diabetes, with Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the field of depression and with Roche in the field of Alzheimer’s disease. For additional information please go to www.evotec.com.
About CHDI Foundation, Inc.
CHDI Foundation, Inc. is a privately-funded nonprofit biomedical research organization that is exclusively dedicated to rapidly discovering and developing therapies that slow the progression of Huntington’s disease (HD). Our scientists work closely with a network of more than 600 researchers in academic and industrial laboratories around the world in the pursuit of these novel therapies, providing strategic scientific direction to ensure that our common goals remain in focus. This helps bridge the translational gap that often exists between academic and industrial research pursuits and that adds costly delays to therapy development. In its role as a collaborative enabler, CHDI seeks to bring the right partners together to identify and address critical scientific issues and move drug candidates to clinical evaluation as rapidly as possible. Our activities extend from exploratory biology to the identification and validation of therapeutic targets, and from drug discovery and development to clinical studies and trials. More information about CHDI can be found at www.chdifoundation.org.