Evotec Achieves First Milestone in Neurodegeneration Alliance with Celgene
News Oct 11, 2017
Evotec AG has announced that its strategic alliance with Celgene has reached a first milestone triggering revenues of $ 5.0 m to Evotec, which are recognised in the third quarter of 2017. The milestone is due to the successful completion of a screening campaign using Evotec’s induced pluripotent stem cell (“iPSC”)-based screening platform.
This milestone has been achieved under an agreement between Evotec and Celgene, signed only in December 2016. The goal of this collaboration is to identify disease-modifying therapeutics for a broad range of neurodegenerative diseases by leveraging Evotec’s unique iPSC platform.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “With ever-increasing life expectancy, neurodegenerative diseases present a major threat to global healthcare systems. Together with our colleagues at Celgene, we are committed to the discovery and development of new treatment options in this field. We are very pleased to have achieved this very important first milestone in this iPSC-based alliance and look forward to advancing these exciting programmes.”
About Evotec and iPSC
Induced pluripotent stem cells (also known as iPS cells or iPSCs) are a type of pluripotent stem cell that can be generated directly from adult cells. The iPSC technology was pioneered by Shinya Yamanaka’s lab in Kyoto, Japan, who showed in 2006 that the introduction of four specific genes encoding transcription factors could convert adult cells into pluripotent stem cells. He was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize along with Sir John Gurdon “for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent”. Pluripotent stem cells hold great promise in the field of regenerative medicine. Because they can propagate indefinitely, as well as give rise to every other cell type in the body (such as neurons, heart, pancreatic and liver cells), they represent a single source of cells that could be used to replace those lost to damage or disease Evotec has built an industrialised iPSC infrastructure that represents one of the largest and most sophisticated iPSC platforms in the industry. Evotec’s iPSC platform has been developed over the last five years with the goal to industrialise iPSC-based drug screening in terms of throughput, reproducibility and robustness to reach the highest industrial standards.