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HAMBURG, Germany, Oct. 1, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Evotec AG (Frankfurt:EVT) (TecDAX) today announced that Evotec and Bayer Pharma AG have entered into a five-year, multi-target collaboration with the goal of developing three clinical candidates for the treatment of endometriosis. Both parties will contribute innovative drug targets and high quality technology infrastructures and will share the responsibility for early research and pre-clinical characterisation of potential clinical candidates in the disease area of endometriosis.
Bayer will be responsible for any subsequent clinical development and commercialisation. Evotec will receive EUR 12 million as an upfront payment. Evotec may also receive additional pre-clinical, clinical and sales milestones of potentially up to approximately Euro 580 million, plus potential royalties of up to low double digit percent of net sales, depending on which party brought the compound to the collaboration and the successful development and approval of potential drug candidates.
Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, commented: "Women with endometriosis may experience excruciating and chronic pain. Because endometriosis affects women in childbearing age, there is an incredible need for new, non-surgical treatments that will preserve fertility and alleviate pain. Evotec brings into this collaboration potential drug candidates and its extensive know-how in the area of chronic pain. We look forward to joining forces with Bayer in what we believe is a very promising and comprehensive effort to tackle this significant issue in women's health."
"Endometriosis is a disease with insufficient treatment options today for women who suffer from this painful condition. It is one of Bayer's strategic research indications and our new collaboration with Evotec will perfectly complement our activities in this field of high unmet medical need,"
said Prof Andreas Busch, Member of the Bayer HealthCare Executive Committee and Head of Global Drug Discovery. "We look forward to working with Evotec's team on the development of novel drug candidates."
Endometriosis affects an estimated 176 million women worldwide or 10% of women of reproductive age. It is caused by the abnormal growth of tissue similar to that which lines the uterus (endometrial tissue) in locations outside of the uterine cavity, where it causes ectopic lesion growth and debilitating pain. Endometrial growth is commonly found on the ovaries and pelvic peritoneum, potentially involving other organs of the pelvic cavity as e.g. bladder, bowel, and the rectovaginal space.