HAMBURG, Germany, Nov. 18, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Evotec (Frankfurt:EVT) (TecDAX), a leading provider in the discovery and development of novel small molecule drugs, today announced that it has been granted up to EUR 2.5 m in research funds from the BMBF, within the Neu2 consortium, to advance research and development activities on the target Serine Racemase for potential use in neuroprotection. Evotec will use its drug discovery platform and expertise in progressing this program towards the clinic, particularly making use of its high quality compound library and proprietary fragment-based drug discovery platform.
The Neu2 consortium, including Evotec, MerckSerono, the European ScreeningPort GmbH, Bionamics GmbH, and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf amongst others were successful against stiff competition in this nationwide competition. The goal of the competition is to strengthen the German pharmaceutical industry and to bring innovation to market. The winning consortium, within which Evotec plays an important role, focuses on developing therapeutics aimed at Multiple Sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Dr. Klaus Maleck, Chief Financial Officer of Evotec comments: "Evotec is pleased to work on identifying new drugs against neurodegenerative diseases within this consortium. At the same time, this grant represents a valuable alternative to financing our research without jeopardizing our patent position. The work has the potential to make major improvements to the quality of life of the patient and can have considerable, non-dilutive impact on our investment case."
BMBF comments: "The strategic competition "BioPharma" was initiated in 2007 because the translation from basic research, which is on a very high level in Germany, to product development and economic realisation does not work properly. Many expensive scientific findings will never be used in drug development because scientists push their work on a level ready for publication whereas pharmaceutical companies only start their developments on the level of leads or validated targets at least. Therefore BMBF does not support single projects in the frame of BioPharma, but consortia that cover the complete adding value process, from molecule to product. The Neu2 consortium is one of the three winners of this competition who convinced the review board with a strategic concept, a plausible management, an integrated financing concept, and adequate partners."
Neurodegenerative diseases are a strongly growing disease class, of which Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer's disease are among the best known examples. MS is one of the most widespread neurological disease in young adults estimated to affect approx. 2.5 million people worldwide while Alzheimer's is predominately a disease of the older population with a prevalence of 4 % at the age of >65 years. The diseases are characterized by progressive central nervous system impairments and can be visualised by the occurrence of widespread neurodegenerative processes in the brain. The symptoms, onset and progression of these diseases are heterogeneous and their treatment is limited to using disease modifying drugs (DMDs) aiming towards improving the patient's quality of life.
Evotec is a leader in the discovery and development of novel small molecule drugs. The Company has built substantial drug discovery expertise and an industrialized platform that can drive new innovative small molecule compounds into the clinic. In addition, Evotec has built a deep internal knowledge base in the treatment of diseases related to neuroscience, pain, and inflammation. Leveraging these skills and expertise the Company intends to develop best-in-class differentiated therapeutics and deliver superior science-driven discovery alliances with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Evotec has long-term discovery alliances with partners including Boehringer Ingelheim, CHDI, Novartis, Ono Pharmaceutical and Roche. Evotec has product candidates in clinical development and a series of preclinical compounds and development partnerships, including for example a strategic alliance with Roche for the EVT 100 compound family, subtype selective NMDA receptor antagonists for use in treatment-resistant depression. For additional information please go to www.evotec.com.
Information set forth in this report contains forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about our ability to achieve a cash flow positive fourth quarter in 2009 and to deliver on our liquidity guidance, our expectation that our funds will be sufficient to finance our planned activities through to sustainability, our expectation that our reentry into the German technology index TecDAX will increase liquidity for our shareholders and that our voluntary delisting from NASDAQ and de-registration with the SEC will streamline our activities and focus the liquidity of Evotec's stock on one trading platform, our expectations and assumptions concerning regulatory, clinical and business strategies, the progress of our clinical development programs and timing of the commencement and results of our clinical trials, strategic collaborations and management's plans, objectives and strategies. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. In particular, the risks and uncertainties include, among other things: risks that the Company may be unable to reduce its cash burn through recent restructuring and cost containment measures and may not recognize the results of such measures within the expected timeframe; risks that product candidates may fail in the clinic or may not be successfully marketed or manufactured; the risk that we will not achieve the anticipated benefits of our collaborations, partnerships and acquisitions in the timeframes expected, or at all; the risk that we will not achieve the anticipated benefits of our voluntary delisting from NASDAQ and de-registration with the SEC; risks relating to our ability to advance the development of product candidates currently in the pipeline or in clinical trials; our inability to further identify, develop and achieve commercial success for new products and technologies; the risk that competing products may be more successful; our inability to interest potential partners in our technologies and products; our inability to achieve commercial success for our products and technologies; our inability to protect our intellectual property and the cost of enforcing or defending our intellectual property rights; our failure to comply with regulations relating to our products and product candidates, including FDA requirements; the risk that the FDA may interpret the results of our studies differently than we have; the risk that clinical trials may not result in marketable products; the risk that we may be unable to successfully secure regulatory approval of and market our drug candidates; and risks of new, changing and competitive technologies and regulations in the U.S. and internationally.
The list of risks above is not exhaustive. Our most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other documents filed with, or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission, contain additional factors that could impact our businesses and financial performance. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
Evotec AG Dr. Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer +49.(0)40.56081-242