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Evotec, Inserm, Lille University Hospital and Inserm Transfert enter collaboration to identify novel therapeutic targets in obesity and metabolic diseases

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Evotec SE announced that the Company entered a partnership with Inserm, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, Lille University Hospital and Inserm Transfert (the private subsidiary of Inserm) to identify novel therapeutic targets and diagnostic and prognostic markers in obesity and metabolic diseases.

Lille University Hospital is the sponsor of the clinical study entitled ABOS / DIABOMICS (Biological Atlas of Severe Obesity). In the framework of this study, started in 2012, Lille University Hospital develops and maintains the ABOS Biobank composed of a biobank and different associated databases dedicated to the study of obesity and its comorbidities.

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Obesity, a medical condition characterised by an excess accumulation of fat cells and uncontrolled ectopic fat deposition in the body, is currently recognised as one of the most important public health problems. It is estimated that over one billion adults globally will be affected by 2030. The strategic partnership between Evotec, Inserm, Lille University Hospital and Inserm Transfert aims at identifying novel multi-modality therapeutic targets. Evotec will gain access to a large patient cohort with severe obesity for the longitudinal assessment of metabolic outcomes after bariatric surgery-induced weight loss. The cohort consists of more than 8,000 human samples. Evotec will support the recruitment of 200 additional subjects within the next two years.

Under the agreement, Lille University Hospital will provide human biological samples and associated clinical data from its ABOS biobank and will collect specific human biological samples for the collaboration. Evotec will perform various omics studies on cohort samples to generate large omics data sets including transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics data to better understand the etiology of metabolic diseases like metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (“MASH”), obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. These PanOmics data will feed into Evotec’s proprietary translational molecular patient data platform E.MPD, which serves as the central data repository for molecular patient data. The data will be analysed by all parties to identify and validate key mechanisms of obesity and other metabolic diseases.

Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “We are excited to enter this partnership with Inserm and Lille University Hospital accessing a cohort of obese patients that is extremely well characterised. Currently over 40% of the US population suffers from obesity. The condition is a major health threat as it is connected to a plethora of other medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, congestive heart failure, kidney disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This collaboration will help to understand obesity as a disease, something not achieved despite recent breakthroughs. Expanding our understanding of the key molecular mechanisms driving disease progression will allow us to identify and develop more effective but also safer treatment options than currently available.”

Prof. Francois Pattou, Translational Research Laboratory for Diabetes, Inserm UMR 1190 (under the joint supervision of Inserm, University of Lille and Lille University Hospital), PhD at Lille University Hospital, and Chairman of the Scientific Committee of Lille University Hospital ABOS Biobank, added: “Collaborating on cutting-edge science with a human data-centric approach gives us a unique opportunity to discover novel treatments for the benefit of patients living with obesity and metabolic diseases. The strong know-how and capabilities from Evotec will enable us to further strengthen and advance our research efforts within obesity and metabolic diseases based on human-relevant biology, to contribute to our overall mission of improving human health for all.”

Prof. Bart Staels, Nuclear receptors, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes Laboratory, Inserm UMR 1011 (under the joint supervision of Inserm, Lille University Hospital, University of Lille and Institut Pasteur of Lille), said: “We are very excited about the collaboration and are confident that the combination of Evotec's excellent expertise and our commitment to therapeutic innovation, translational research, and multidisciplinary approaches, will open up new possibilities in discovery and development of novel drugs targeting obesity and metabolic diseases, with the potential to make a difference for patients living with these conditions.”

Noémie Pellegrin, Director of Industry Partnerships and Entrepreneurship of Inserm Transfert, adds: We are delighted with this research partnership, which capitalises on the wealth of know-how within the Inserm laboratories, the quality data from Lille University Hospital and the cutting-edge molecular translational technologies developed by Evotec. This collaboration will advance our understanding of obesity and associated metabolic diseases through the identification of key molecular mechanisms and new therapeutic targets.