Evotec AG has announced that Spermatech A/S has chosen them as a partner to identify small molecule therapeutics for their pharmaceutical discovery project.
Through the study of the physiology of sperm motility, more specifically of “rapid swimmers” that cause fertilisation, Spermatech have identified biological targets that could be exploited in the development of non-hormonal reversible male contraceptives. On this basis, Evotec and Spermatech have defined a strategy for a tailored drug discovery project. Evotec will apply its expertise and proprietary technologies in assay development, high throughput screening and NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) screening to identify inhibitors of the sperm specific target protein. The screening will be performed with Evotec’s screening library of 250,000 drug-like compounds. Compounds will be identified that reduce sperm motility and will be used in the development of non-hormonal reversible male contraceptives at Spermatech. In addition, compounds that promote target activity may be evaluated as supporters of male fertility.
Dr Mark Ashton, Executive Vice President Business Development Services at Evotec, said: “We are extremely pleased that Spermatech has selected Evotec for this interesting project. It will allow us to use our combined technologies in assay development, high-throughput screening and NMR screening to identify the most promising candidates in the therapeutic field. Evotec’s highly diverse compound library is a good starting point to identify such active molecules and the additional results from NMR investigations of the hits with the target protein will provide the medicinal chemists with useful information to support subsequent drug design.”
“We were impressed by Evotec’s highly specialized and integrated capabilities. The collaboration will provide us with access to state-of-the-art assay development and screening technology and expertise together with a high quality library of small molecules. We are confident that this will provide an excellent starting point and valuable information to progress the molecules into more advanced stages. We really appreciated that during the initial scientific discussions of the project Evotec clearly demonstrated a results-oriented spirit in support of our project:” commented Eirik Næss-Ulseth, Chief Executive Officer, Spermatech.