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Evotec And APEIRON Biologics Build Pain Alliance

HAMBURG, Germany, Oct. 27, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Evotec AG (Frankfurt:EVT) (TecDAX) today announced that it has entered into a collaboration with Apeiron Biologics AG, to initially identify small molecule modulators of DREAM (Downstream Regulatory Element Antagonistic Modulator), a novel target involved in perception of various pain mechanisms. Further projects will be evaluated to potentially expand this cooperation in due course.

Evotec will apply, in a first instance, its expertise in cellular assay development with opportunities for the project to rapidly move into hit identification and beyond.

Dr Hans Loibner, Chief Executive Officer at Apeiron Biologics, commented: "Combining our two companies' skills is an excellent way to move forward with this innovative and promising project. We have worked with Evotec in the past and continue to be impressed by the quality of the work performed there."

Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer at Evotec, stated: "Apeiron is certainly one of the most exciting young biotech companies in Europe. We are happy that through the optimal use of R&D outsourcing Evotec can add value here."

No financial details are disclosed.

ABOUT EVOTEC AG

Evotec is a leader in the discovery and development of novel small molecule drugs with operational sites in Europe and Asia. The Company has built substantial drug discovery expertise and an industrialised 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, oncology, inflammation and metabolic diseases. 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, Genentech, 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 and an alliance in the field of diabetes with Andromeda (Teva). For additional information please go to www.evotec.com.

ABOUT APEIRON BIOLOGICS AG

Apeiron is a privately financed Biotech company and develops biological drugs applying state-of-the-art technologies and completely novel approaches. Recombinant human Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 has been generated to treat Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and a variety of other diseases with an imbalanced Renin Angiotensin System. The project was developed until end Phase I and out-licensed to GlaxoSmithKline in early 2010. Further projects focus on the exploration of approaches to interfere with DREAM, an important pain regulator, and Cbl-b, a key target protein for improving immune reactivity against cancer. Currently, building on the existing set of innovative in-house projects, Apeiron intents to broaden its product portfolio and by in-licensing innovative immunological/biological approaches to treat various cancers and other conditions. For additional information please go to www.apeiron-biologics.com .

ABOUT DREAM

Downstream Regulatory Element Antagonistic Modulator (DREAM) is a key molecule for pain regulation: By binding on the respective DNA-promoter region, DREAM inhibits the synthesis of the endogenous opioid precursor prodynorphin and therefore may represent a new target for the treatment of pain. As shown by DREAM knock-out mice, loss of DREAM broadly reduces pain, ranging from acute chemical, heat, or mechanical to internal, inflammatory, and chronic neuropathic pain.

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