The German life sciences investor, Ellersbrook, is putting millions into Evotec‘s drug discovery program. Together the two join a biotech industry hunt for a therapy against a metabolic liver disease (NASH) that affects 30% of adults worldwide.
Ellersbrook is a life science focused investment firm owned by Herbert Stadler, a renowned biotech entrepreneur.
It is now looking to accelerate certain metabolic projects under Evotec’s program through an incubator period, which will then form the basis of either an independently financed spin-off company or a strategic pharma partnership.
The two will jointly invest €5M over a 3 year period into a well-defined Cure X/Target X program (TargetNASH). Specifically, the program looks for novel mechanisms and targets to help tackle Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH).
This kind of business model is quite new for Evotec, whereby Ellersbrook (a VC) will invest into virtual biotech companies at a pre-seed stage. As Cord Dohrmann (Evotec’s CSO) explained, this is probably the most capital-efficient way to progress early-stage projects with a certain degree of flexibility.