HAMBURG, Germany, Sept. 23, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Evotec AG (Frankfurt:EVT) (TecDAX) today announced that it has entered into a collaboration with Almirall S.A. (BMAD:ALM), to identify small molecule modulators of an ion channel target, selected by Almirall, involved in respiratory diseases.

Evotec will apply its in-depth electrophysiology and ion channel pharmacology expertise, as well as its state-of-the-art screening platform, for the identification and validation of novel modulators of the selected ion channel.

Dr Jorge Beleta, Director Discovery Strategy and Alliances of Almirall, commented: "We are impressed not only by Evotec's ion channel drug discovery platform but more importantly by their track record of success and scientific understanding of this challenging class of targets.  We believe that the Evotec technology and scientists will provide Almirall with the best chances of finding novel, high quality hits, ready for optimisation."

Dr Mario Polywka, COO of Evotec stated: "We are proud to have been selected by Almirall for this important project. We have invested significantly in our ion channel and electrophysiology platform and scientists in recent years, and this programme is further validation of the value we can bring to our partners.  We look forward to collaborating with and supporting Almirall in their quest to find novel treatments to address respiratory diseases."

Evotec has a unique assay development and screening platform, built around proprietary and the latest commercial technologies, providing a flexible and high quality approach to lead identification for ion channels and other target classes.

No financial details are disclosed.

ABOUT EVOTEK 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 ALMIRALL

Almirall is an international pharmaceutical company based on innovation and committed to health.  Headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, it researches, develops, manufactures and commercialises its own R&D and licensed drugs with the aim of improving people's health and wellbeing.