Evotec AG announced that it has licensed to Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. a portfolio of small molecules and biologics designed to trigger the regeneration of insulin-producing beta cells.
Under the terms of this license and collaboration agreement, Janssen will receive exclusive access to a series of candidates designed to trigger the regeneration of insulin-producing beta cells. The small molecules and biologics were identified by scientists in the Harvard University laboratory of Douglas Melton, and further analyzed in collaboration with scientists from Evotec, as part of the CureBeta research and development program.
The agreement between Evotec and Janssen triggers an upfront payment of US $8 million. Upon achievement of certain pre-clinical, clinical, regulatory and commercial goals, Janssen would make future milestone payments, of up to a total of about US $200 million to US $300 million per product. In addition, Janssen will pay royalties on future sales of any products that result from this collaboration. The upfront, milestone and royalty payments will be shared by Evotec and Harvard according to pre-agreed terms. Evotec will receive additional research support for discovery and early development work that will be conducted in collaboration with Janssen.
The CureBeta initiative was established by Harvard, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and Evotec in 2011 to leverage the assets and expertise in industry and academia to identify and develop disease-state modifying therapeutic targets. To that end, Evotec’s Dr. Cord Dohrmann and Harvard University Professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator Doug Melton, recognized leaders in the field of beta cell research, began a unique international collaboration. During the initial period of the collaboration, Evotec, HHMI, and Harvard established new standards in beta cell regeneration in terms of assays and tools as well as novel high potential targets.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals will provide industrial scope and scale as well as pharmaceutical development expertise and marketing capabilities.
Dr. Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “Our collaboration with Doug Melton’s laboratory has been extremely successful on multiple levels. We have not only achieved our scientific goals of creating a superior beta cell drug discovery platform and generating a deep pipeline of novel and exciting targets, but we have also established a new model of collaboration between academia and industry that has proven highly efficient and effective in accelerating innovative scientific development. Janssen Pharmaceuticals perfectly complements this effort, bringing in world-leading pharmaceutical development expertise as well as the necessary resources to execute on our mission to produce first-in-class therapeutics designed to restore beta cell mass and function.”
“Our collaboration with Evotec supports our mission of accelerating scientific research from the lab to the clinic,” said Isaac T. Kohlberg, Harvard’s chief technology development officer and head of its Office of Technology Development. “As the funding and licensing landscape has evolved in the pharmaceutical industry, we have evolved to identify new development strategies for our research assets. This alliance with Janssen Pharmaceuticals represents an important step towards a real solution for the treatment of diabetes.”
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) comments from Dr. Richard Insel, Chief Scientific Officer: “We are delighted to see Evotec, Dr. Doug Melton, and Janssen launch this collaborative partnership and commitment to develop innovative regenerative medicine therapies for diabetes. JDRF has been actively supporting research in the field of beta cell regenerative therapies, including other collaborative partnering programs with Evotec and Janssen Pharmaceuticals. JDRF looks forward to supporting the CureBeta initiative.”
Date: July 10, 2012
Source: Evotec AG
Filed Under: Drug Discovery