Therapy Areas: Diabetes
Evotec, Bayer Team On Drug Discovery for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome with Novel Targets From Celmatix
14 January 2020 - - German drug discovery and development company Evotec SE (OTC: EVTCY) and German healthcare company Bayer AG (OTC: BAYZF) have expanded their partnership in women's health indications with a new five-year, multi-target collaboration with participation from Celmatix Inc. to develop multiple clinical candidates for the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome.

Under the terms of the agreement, both companies will contribute drug targets and a comprehensive set of high-quality technology platforms to jointly develop innovative treatment options.

The strategic alliance will also have access to targets from the recently formed partnership between Celmatix and Evotec. Celmatix is the world leader in big data-driven target discovery focused on fertility and women's health.

Bayer and Evotec will share responsibilities during the pre-clinical development of potential clinical candidates. Bayer will be responsible for any subsequent clinical development and commercialisation.

Evotec will receive EUR 6.5m upfront payment and EUR 10m research payments over five years, which it will share with Celmatix in exchange for novel target identification and prioritization as part of the recently announced strategic alliance between the companies.

Evotec and Celmatix might be eligible to receive pre-clinical, clinical and sales milestones of potentially over EUR 330 m as well as royalties up to low double-digit %ages of net sales.

In 2012, Bayer and Evotec entered their first strategic five-year, multi-target alliance. The collaboration was successfully completed resulting in three clinical and one pre-clinical drug candidate currently advancing through development for the treatment of endometriosis.

A second research alliance was initiated in 2016 to develop multiple clinical candidates for the treatment of kidney diseases.

PCOS is the most frequent endocrine disorder in women linked to metabolic dysfunction and the most frequent cause of female infertility. 83% of infertility or pregnancy complications may be caused by PCOS. It is estimated that PCOS occurs in 5-10% of women.

PCOS has a high unmet medical need due to limited treatment options. PCOS is characterised by high levels of androgens (male hormones such as testosterone) produced in the ovaries, adrenals and fat tissue leading to the typical skin signs of androgen access such as hair loss and acne.

Ovarian cysts give the syndrome its name and are associated with irregular menstrual cycle and the above described infertility. 80% of PCOS patients suffer from obesity and more than half are afflicted with insulin resistance, both driven by this endocrinological disorder.

While the underlying cause of PCOS is largely unknown, genomic studies underpin a strong genetic background.

In October 2019, Evotec and Celmatix, a precision medicine company with a proprietary multi-omics platform, announced a partnership to develop pre-clinical programmes in prevalent but underserved conditions affecting women's reproductive health, including PCOS, endometriosis, and infertility.

In this research collaboration, Evotec is responsible for medicinal chemistry, in vitro and in vivo pharmacology, in addition to its broad development capabilities and expertise, while Celmatix contributes novel drug target discovery, powered by its proprietary multi-omics Reproductive Atlas platform.

The partnership was expanded in December 2019 with Evotec participating in a funding round.

Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academics, patient advocacy groups and venture capitalists.

We operate worldwide and our more than 2,900 employees provide the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery and development solutions.

We cover all activities from target-to-clinic to meet the industry's need for innovation and efficiency in drug discovery and development (EVT Execute).

The company has established a unique position by assembling top-class scientific experts and integrating technologies as well as substantial experience and expertise in key therapeutic areas including neuronal diseases, diabetes and complications of diabetes, pain and inflammation, oncology, infectious diseases, respiratory diseases, fibrosis, rare diseases and women's health.

On this basis, Evotec has built a broad and deep pipeline of approx. 100 co-owned product opportunities at clinical, pre-clinical and discovery stages (EVT Innovate).

Evotec has established multiple long-term alliances with partners including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CHDI, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi, Takeda, UCB and others.

Celmatix is a data-driven, research-stage precision health company leveraging insights from its proprietary multi-omic discovery platform, Reproductive Atlas, to develop transformational therapeutics in previously under-studied areas of women's health.

With a lead program in ovarian senescence and additional programs in non-hormonal contraceptives and specialty indications such as endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome, Celmatix is developing the next generation of interventions in its field and supporting its partners in bringing innovation to a high-value market with large unmet need.