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Evotec Adds NMR Screening Assets from Combinature to its Fragment-Based Drug Discovery Business

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Evotec AG has announced that it has enhanced its Fragment-Based Drug Discovery business through the acquisition of selected assets from Combinature Biopharm.

Evotec has acquired equipment and expertise in NMR screening as well as access to the SAR-by-NMR™ intellectual property, licensed from Abbott. Through the addition of these assets, Evotec is able to integrate NMR-based screening technologies together with the SAR-by-NMR™ technique with its high throughput high concentration biochemical assay approach for Fragment-Based Drug Discovery for its internal pipeline of projects for partnering and also for collaborative research.

In addition, the acquisition will add a library of fragments augmenting Evotec’s fragment library to 30,000, the largest available fragment library from any of the independent fragment- based drug discovery companies.

Evotec’s Innovation Centre for Fragment-Based Drug Discovery (FBDD). Evotec has established a platform for Fragment-Based Drug Discovery. Its EVOlution™ technology is used to screen its library of fragments in a high throughput mode and to carry out subsequent protein-ligand crystallography. Leveraging its expertise in medicinal chemistry with its fragment optimisation technology, Evotec is able to progress fragments identified into lead optimisation.

The NMR-based screening technology is complementary to other screening technologies because its high sensitivity can enable the identification of weakly binding ligands, allow for site-selective screening and can thus help to accelerate lead optimisation.

The SAR-by-NMR™ technique locates distinctly different yet proximal sites to which fragment molecules bind on a protein’s surface such that the two fragments can be linked together in the proper orientation to provide potent molecules that do not exist in corporate libraries and cannot be found using conventional methods.

“We are delighted to have acquired these high-quality assets today. This NMR screening capability further enhances our leading expertise in fragment-based drug discovery and thereby increase our competitive advantage in this important area of research“, commented Dr Mario Polywka, Chief Operating Officer of Evotec.

“Fragment-based approaches have become increasingly important in modern drug discovery as they give access to novel chemical matter around targets previously intractable to traditional discovery approaches.”