Teaming up to partner Aspireo's Somatoprim (DG3173)
HAMBURG, Germany and TEL AVIV, Israel, Sept. 28, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Evotec AG (Frankfurt:EVT) (TecDAX) and Aspireo Pharmaceuticals Limited ("Aspireo"), an Israeli biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of a novel somatostatin analogue (SSA), announced today that they have entered into a strategic advisory agreement for support in the development and partnering of Aspireo's Somatoprim. Somatoprim (DG3173) is a new molecular entity somatostatin analogue with a unique, potentially best-in-class, pharmacological profile currently in phase I of clinical development. Somatostatin analogues have been approved for the treatment of Acromegaly, carcinoid tumours, and Cushing's disease but also have demonstrated significant potential in Diabetic Retinopathy. Somatostatin analogues are generating more than USD 1.5 billion in annual sales in a continually growing market. Under the terms of the agreement, Evotec will provide Aspireo with strategic and operational advice on the partnering of Somatoprim. In addition, Evotec will consult Aspireo on matters of clinical and pre-clinical development. In return for such services, Evotec will retain advisory fees as well as participate in the economic success of Somatoprim. Dr Werner Lanthaler, CEO of Evotec, commented: "This agreement marks a new business model for asset centric biotech companies who want to combine capital efficiency with access to high quality and often very specialised pre-clinical, clinical, regulatory and commercial expertise. Aspireo is a pioneer in pursuing a model of extreme capital efficiency while not compromising on quality and speed. We are excited to advise and support Aspireo in its partnering efforts for Somatoprim." Carsten Dehning, CEO of Aspireo, added: "Aspireo is combining the strengths of a project focused company with the benefits of accessing complete teams with leading expertise drug development and proven partnering skills. This strategic advisory agreement comes at a time when we are getting closer to reaching clinical proof of concept for Somatoprim. Evotec's reach into the pharmaceutical industry, combined with its own experience in clinical development and partnering of clinical stage assets, makes it the partner of choice for Aspireo." About Somatoprim Somatoprim (DG3173) is a novel and proprietary somatostatin analogue (SSA) that is based on a novel amino acid composition and a unique backbone cyclisation technology used for stabilisation of the peptide. During extensive pre-clinical testing, Somatoprim has demonstrated a unique receptor binding and pharmacological profile which is significantly differentiated from SSAs that are currently marketed or in clinical development. In particular, Somatoprim has demonstrated an improved side effect profile with reduced adverse effects on the gastrointestinal tract and metabolic control. Furthermore, assessment of growth hormone secretion in cultured human somatotroph adenoma tissue treated with Somatoprim indicates that it has the potential to significantly increase the response rate of acromegalic patients to SSA therapy. Somatoprim is currently in phase I of clinical development with a phase Ib study currently underway.