Evotec AG and Interprotein Corporation have signed a collaboration agreement on Interprotein's Interleukin 6 (IL-6) inhibitors programme for the development of orally active drugs treating inflammatory diseases.
IL-6 is a crucial cytokine involved in the onset and progression of inflammatory diseases such as e.g. rheumatoid arthritis and cachexia.
Based on in silico drug design, Interprotein discovered a number of hit molecules. On the basis of these structures Evotec will use their expertise in medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry and profiling to fully optimise the compounds and to develop potent inhibitors for IL-6.
Mr. Masato Hosoda, President and CEO of Interprotein, said: “We are excited about the collaboration with Evotec, which has a leading position in drug discovery and development and a proven track record in progressing drug candidates into development. Ongoing anti-IL6 antibody clinical trials provide evidence that the inhibition of IL-6 is significantly effective in inflammatory diseases.”
Hosoda continued, “We believe that orally available drugs have the potential to supersede antibody therapy and furthermore, we hope that this programme will prove that small molecule compounds may have the potential to inhibit such protein-protein interactions.”
Dr. Mark Ashton, Executive Vice President Business Development Services Division from Evotec said: "We were impressed by the results of Interprotein's in silico work. Our medicinal chemists look forward to optimising the molecules identified and to supporting Interprotein with potent drug candidates for this very interesting target. We really enjoyed the excellent atmosphere developed between Evotec and Interprotein during the scientific and commercial discussions."