Celgene, Evotec in $295-Million Pact for Neurodegenerative DiseasesBy
Celgene has formed a collaboration with Evotec, a Hamburg, Germany-based drug-discovery company, to identify disease-modifying therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases. The collaboration will initially focus on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple other neurodegenerative disorders.
Under the agreement, Evotec will receive an upfront payment of $45 million. Celgene holds exclusive options to in-license worldwide rights to Evotec programs developed from the company’s compound library. Evotec may be eligible to receive up to $250 million in milestones as well as up to low double-digit royalties on in-licensed programs. As part of the collaboration, Celgene may also elect to screen compounds from its CELMoD(R) library using Evotec’s induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) platform to evaluate activity in models of neurodegenerative diseases. The initial term of the collaboration is five years.
Evotec’s iPSC platform has been developed over the last five years with the goal to industrialize iPSC-based drug screening in terms of throughput, reproducibility, and robustness. The iPSC platform is based on the genetic re-programming of specialized adult cells to assume an embryonic stem cell-like state that can allow the cells to be developed into any type of cell in the body, which has implications for treating diseases, according to researchers.