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Evotec Sells Single Molecule Detection Technology & IP Portfolio to Olympus


- Collaboration with Long-term Partner Olympus Intensified -

24 July 2006, Hamburg, Germany - Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX 30) today announced that its Tools and Technologies Division (Evotec Technologies GmbH) has sold the core of its Single Molecule Detection Technology and transferred or licensed the corresponding IP portfolio to Olympus Corporation, Tokyo, Japan. This transaction is a further step taken by Evotec Technologies to increasingly focus its business on providing cutting edge cell imaging and cell handling systems for the cell biology growth market.

Over the past years Evotec Technologies has developed a set of innovative confocal detection methods for single molecule drug discovery. This Technology & IP portfolio and the related know-how will now be licensed or transferred to Olympus. Evotec Technologies will continue to market devices based on this IP portfolio and on supplies from Olympus as elements of its drug discovery solutions (i.e. screening systems) and will continue to serve and support the entire existing customer base. However, certain revenues previously planned in 2006 will be transferred to Olympus. Adjusted for the sale of this part of its business which generated approximately EUR 2.5 million revenues with products and services in 2005, Evotec continues to anticipate 0 to 5 % revenue growth in 2006 on its remaining business. The net proceeds from this transaction have already been included in Evotec’s latest cash guidance.

The transaction will intensify the long-standing collaboration between Evotec Technologies and Olympus. This collaboration had led to the MF20 molecular interaction analytical system, which is manufactured and marketed by Olympus. Olympus meanwhile has successfully launched the MF20 in Japan.

Both companies will closely work together to best exploit single molecule detection for cellular applications and to ensure the compatibility of Olympus’ single molecule detection products with Evotec Technologies’ cell biology systems.

“Evotec Technologies is delighted to intensify the long-standing collaboration with Olympus. We are convinced that Olympus is best positioned to successfully market our single molecule technologies to an even broader customer base,” said Prof Carsten Claussen, CEO of Evotec Technologies. “At the same time the transaction allows Evotec Technologies to increase the focus of its own business on providing comprehensive solutions for automated cell biology. This strategy has already proven to be successful considering strong sales e.g. with our Opera™ analyser, both as a stand-alone system or integrated into a broader automated platform.”

“Over the past years we have successfully marketed the MF10 and MF20 readers in Japan which have been jointly developed with Evotec Technologies. With the transaction announced today we are now in a position to build on this success and further broaden our drug discovery business,” said Mr. Kazuhisa Yanagisawa, group president of Life Science Group, Olympus Corporation, Tokyo, Japan. “We are looking forward to the close collaboration with our long-lasting technology partner Evotec Technologies.”

About Evotec AG
Evotec is an international leader in the discovery and development of new, small-molecule drugs. Both through its own discovery programmes and contract research partnerships, Evotec provides research results to partners in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. In proprietary projects, Evotec specialises in finding new treatments for diseases of the central nervous system (CNS).
In 2005, Evotec has generated sales of EUR 80 million with approximately 600 people located in Hamburg, Germany and near Oxford and in Glasgow, UK.

About Evotec Technologies GmbH
Evotec Technologies GmbH, subsidiary of Evotec AG, is the world’s leading provider of confocal detection devices (Opera™, Clarina™, Insight™ Cell), cell handling devices (CytoClone™, Cytocon™) and ultra-High-Throughput Screening (uHTS) systems (EVOscreen®, plate::explorer™). The Company’s product portfolio is focused on high-end technologies for automated cell biology. Its outstanding expertise in detection coupled with sophisticated automation skills, integrating hardware, software and bioware modules, makes the Company a clear leader for automated cell analysis. Evotec Technologies employs 80 people, primarily at its main site in Hamburg, Germany.

About Olympus
Established in 1919, Olympus Corp., Tokyo, Japan, manufactures and sells precision machinery and instruments for medical and healthcare, imaging and information, and industrial applications. Its core competency is opto-digital technology, which is a fusion of traditional optical technology with advanced digital and fine processing technologies.
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About Single Molecule Detection Technology
Evotec Technologies’ Single Molecule Detection techniques enable the direct study of interactions between biological molecules. A combination of a confocal laser optical system with high-sensitivity fluorescence detectors and proprietary signal processing techniques permits measurements in an extremely small volume of around 1 femtoliter, thereby capturing interactions at the level of single molecules.
Single Molecule Detection was pioneered by Prof Rudolf Rigler and Nobel laureate Prof Manfred Eigen, who co-operated with Rigler to establish Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS) as a tool for the quantification of molecular processes based on single-molecule interactions. Evotec AG, and its spin-out Evotec Technologies GmbH, have further developed and substantially enhanced FCS by a set of complementary, proprietary signal processing approaches for molecular fluorescence to create today’s powerful and flexible Single Molecule Detection platform. Evotec has successfully commercialised this Single Molecule Detection platform as a tool for pharmaceutical high-throughput screening and biochemical high content analysis.

About MF20
The MF20 system can analyse molecular interactions, thus providing valuable clues about protein function. This promises to help in the detailed elucidation of biological phenomena, and to play an important role in genome-based drug discovery. The MF20 system employs single molecular fluorescence spectroscopy, a technology that not only permits high-speed measurements relative to existing techniques, but also facilitates inexpensive, high-precision analysis. The principal target market for the system comprises pharmaceutical firms and other drug research companies, who could use the MF20 in receptor studies to search for ligands. Other potential users include universities and research institutions.


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