Evotec has entered into a collaboration with Celgene to identify new therapeutics in oncology with a focus on solid tumors.
Evotec, based in Hamburg, has received an upfront payment of $65M (€55M) from US-based Celgene, one of the largest biotechs worldwide. The funding will be used to identify potential new cancer treatments with a focus on solid tumors using Evotec’s screening platform. Celgene will have control over the worldwide licensing rights to all therapeutics resulting from the partnership. While the total amount of the funding provided by Celgene has not been disclosed, Evotec will be eligible for further milestone payments and tiered royalties on each licensed program.
Today’s news marks the second agreement the German biotech has entered with Celgene, after a previous €43M ($45M) deal focusing on Alzheimer’s achieved its first milestone in October of last year.
The company has been successful at signing deals with other big industry players as well, including Bayer, Merck, and Roche. Earlier this year, for example, the company received €60M ($71M) for taking over Sanofi’s infectious disease pipeline.
Evotec’s partnerships appear to be paying off as their drug candidates steadily advance in the pipeline. In a partnership with Roche started in 2011, the company delivered a candidate for Alzheimer’s that made it to Phase II. Furthermore, Evotec has obtained positive preclinical results for its beta cell diabetes treatment developed with Sanofi. It will be interesting to see whether their oncology partnership with Celgene will yield promising drug candidates.
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