Evotec AG and ex scientia Ltd have announced a collaboration with the objective to discover and develop first-in-class bispecific small molecule immuno-oncology therapies. Ex scientia will contribute its unique algorithmic design platform while Evotec, mainly through its Toulouse site, will be responsible for medicinal chemistry, in vitro and in vivo pharmacology as well as development capabilities and expertise.
Application of bispecific small molecules is an exciting strategy to significantly expand and enhance efficacy beyond conventional single target therapies. The initial focus will be cancer-related adenosine targets which are increasingly recognised to play important roles in immuno-oncology. Combining adenosine-based mechanisms with related targets holds great promise in boosting efficacy and addressing larger patient populations through a single small molecule drug.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: "Polypharmacy is a widely used strategy to manage diseases more effectively. Ex scientia has built an outstanding platform to purposely design bispecific small molecules that can address multiple targets through a single molecule. Together we are well positioned to discover and develop a new generation of small molecule immuno-oncology therapies."
Commenting on the relationship, Andrew Hopkins, CEO, ex Scientia, said: "This is an ideal partnership to develop an innovative immuno-oncology portfolio where our focus is on delivering efficacious drug candidates to tackle the inherent challenges of the complex biology. Evotec have an excellent track record in project delivery and their proven track record in regarding efficiency gains in drug discovery chime with our own."
This is a co-owned, risk-shared-partnership, no further financial details were disclosed.