Evotec And Apeiron Biologics Announce Collaboration On Cancer Immunotherapy

HAMBURG, Germany, Jan. 2, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Evotec AG (Frankfurt:EVT) (TecDAX) today announced that Evotec and Apeiron Biologics have entered into a research collaboration with the objective of developing immunomodulatory lead compounds for the treatment of cancer. Apeiron Biologics will contribute in vitro and in vivo pharmacology expertise to this collaboration while Evotec will be responsible for medicinal chemistry as well as chemical proteomics. The collaboration is based on the successful outcome of a phenotypic high throughput screen previously commissioned by Apeiron Biologics to Evotec.

Dr Mario Polywka, Chief Operating Officer of Evotec, commented: "We look forward to continue working with Apeiron on this important project. The collaboration highlights the strength of Evotec's phenotypic screening capabilities to identify novel mechanisms and hits in important therapeutic areas"

Dr Hans Loibner, Chief Executive Officer of Apeiron Biologics, added: "We were excited about the outcome of the primary screen and look forward to refining the hit compounds in this collaboration applying our immunological know-how. There is no doubt that immunomodulatory compounds like these carry huge therapeutic and commercial potential."

No financial details are disclosed.

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 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, and with Roche in the field of Alzheimer's disease. For additional information please go to www.evotec.com .

ABOUT APEIRON Biologics AG

Apeiron is a mostly privately financed biotech company in Vienna that develops immunological/biological therapies against cancer. Its portfolio consists of five clinical projects (lead in phase III) as well as some preclinical approaches. The most advanced project APN311 is an antibody to treat the pediatric cancer neuroblastoma. The immunocytokine hu14.18-IL2 (APN301) is being developed clinically in neuroblastoma as well as in melanoma. Moreover, recombinant human superoxide dismutase is in clinical development, notably in a topical liposomal formulation (APN201) as a potent anti-inflammatory tissue-protective biologic. Two complementary approaches are pursued (APN401, APN411) that stimulate immune cells in a novel way to treat cancer more effectively. The recombinant human Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 (GSK2586881, previously APN01) was licensed out to GlaxoSmithKline in early 2010 and is currently investigated in a phase II trial in patients suffering from acute lung injury. Apeiron started operations in 2006 and has 23 employees as of today.

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