HAMBURG, Germany and BOSTON, April 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Evotec AG (Frankfurt:EVT) (TecDAX) (ISIN:DE0005664809) today announced a research collaboration aimed at discovering and commercialising novel cancer treatments based on epigenetic drug mechanisms.
The goal of the collaboration is to validate emerging epigenetic targets for oncology indications and to demonstrate the drugability of the selected target families. Evotec, Dana-Farber and Dana-Farber's Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science will invest in enabling technologies, experimental target validation and the generation of chemical matter by leveraging existing expertise and platforms. The collaboration will be fuelled by substantial scientific contributions from the three organisations aligned on the objective to develop therapies that address unmet medical needs for cancer patients.
Epigenetics is a rapidly evolving high potential field of pharmaceutical research, calling for close relationships between academia and biotechnology innovators. By combining the complimentary capabilities of Dana-Farber, the Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science and Evotec this collaboration is uniquely positioned to succeed."We are very proud to have entered into this collaboration with Dana-Farber and the Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science, which perfectly matches our innovation strategy as described in Evotec's Action Plan 2016", said Dr Werner Lanthaler, CEO of Evotec. "We are enthusiastic about exploring novel targets that have the potential to produce first-in-class therapeutics for the treatment of cancer." Dr Jessie English, Head of Research at the Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science, added: "This pioneering partnership provides a unique opportunity to combine Evotec's drug discovery capabilities with Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's expertise in oncology disease biology to accelerate the development of new medicines for patients." Further details and commercial terms of the cooperation are not disclosed. ABOUT DANA-FARBER CANCER INSTITUTE Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ( www.dana-farber.org ) is a principal teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School and is among the leading cancer research and care centers in the United States. It is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC), designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute. It provides adult cancer care with Brigham and Women's Hospital as Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center and it provides pediatric care with Boston Children's Hospital as Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center. Dana-Farber is the top ranked cancer center in New England, according to U.S. News & World Report, and one of the largest recipients among independent hospitals of National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health grant funding. Follow Dana-Farber on Facebook: www.facebook.com/danafarbercancerinstitute and on Twitter: @danafarber. ABOUT EVOTEC AG Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. We operate worldwide providing the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery solutions, covering all activities from target-to-clinic. The Company has established a unique position by assembling top-class scientific experts and integrating state-of-the-art technologies as well as substantial experience and expertise in key therapeutic areas including neuroscience, pain, metabolic diseases as well as oncology and inflammation. Evotec has long-term discovery alliances with partners including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, CHDI, Genentech, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, MedImmune/AstraZeneca and Ono Pharmaceutical. In addition, the Company has existing development partnerships and product candidates both in clinical and pre-clinical development. These include partnerships with Boehringer Ingelheim, MedImmune and Andromeda (Teva) in the field of diabetes, with Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the field of depression and with Roche in the field of Alzheimer's disease. For additional information please go to www.evotec.com . ABOUT EPIGENETICS In biology, and specifically genetics, epigenetics is the study of changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype, caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence – hence the name epi- (Greek: επί- over, above, outer) -genetics, some of which are heritable. It refers to functionally relevant modifications to the genome that do not involve a change in the nucleotide sequence. Examples of such modifications are DNA methylation and histone modification, both of which serve to regulate gene expression without altering the underlying DNA sequence. (Source:Wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics)