Evotec: Unusual alliance pays off
10.07.2012 - Evotec has announced a license and collaboration agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals on a portfolio of small molecules and biologics.
The subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson targets a novel academic-biotech collaboration called CureBeta built around a portfolio of diabetes treatments in regenerative medicine put together in the lab of Harvard scientist Douglas Melton. The pharma pays a modest upfront of US$8m for the rights but promised to pay US$300m in milestones per programme. J&J receives the global exclusive rights to the programmes, which involve insulin-producing beta cells. Harvard and Evotec agreed to share profits. In the first stage of the collaboration, Harvard, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Germanbiotech Evotec worked on new assays and tools for regenerating beta cells. With the help of J&J's research expertise, the partners hope to make all stages until approval. The appearance of a big pharma completes the alliance that comprised only academic researchers and a biotech company. "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," said Dr. Cord Dohrmann, the CSO at Evotec. Elmar Kraus, analyst at DZ Bank said: "Evotec promised and delivered a research and development alliance with one of the big players inthe field in the already huge and growing indication of diabetes. With this, the CureBeta initiative, established in 2011 with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) at Harvard has already paid off." Evotec shares rose 18% at the German Stock Exchange in Frankfurt.