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CHDI Selects Evotec as Strategic Drug Discovery Partner in the Search for Huntington Disease Treatments


- Four contracts signed since March 2006 covering most of Evotecís drug discovery capability -

10 August 2006, Hamburg, Germany | Oxford, UK | Los Angeles, CA, USA - Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX 30) today announced that CHDI, Inc., a not-for profit organisation pursuing a biotech approach to finding therapies for Huntington Disease, has chosen Evotec as a strategic partner for helping them advance its drug discovery programmes.

Since March 2006, Evotec and CHDI have signed four agreements covering medicinal chemistry, assay development and medium-throughput screening (MTS), ultra-high-throughput screening (uHTS) and library synthesis and management services. These contracts cover most of Evotecís integrated discovery offering. With access to these resources, CHDI has all the tools in place to rapidly discover novel drugs against Huntington Disease targets and further optimise them to the point of clinical development. Both parties envisage expanding the agreements to accommodate further discovery capabilities of Evotec as and when required.

In the course of this collaboration Evotec will apply its biological science expertise to develop assays, including those designed for high content screening, against high priority biological targets thought to be of importance to treating Huntington Disease provided by CHDI and the High Q Foundation. Working with medicinal chemists at CHDI, Evotec will apply its own medicinal chemistry and parallel synthesis skills to synthesise libraries of novel small molecule compounds. Evotec will also use its proprietary platform to screen these compounds and Evotecís own library to identify compounds with biological activity. Using Evotecís medicinal chemistry, profiling and ADMET (Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion and Toxicity) expertise active compounds will be further characterised, improving their potency and selectivity to generate lead molecules for further progression into clinical trials.

ďAs collaborative enablers, CHDI depends on a network of academic and industrial partners to conduct its research efforts. Evotec has an impressive and integrated suite of core competencies that will be critical for our efforts. Looking at Evotecís breadth of skills and expertise in drug discovery coupled with their profound knowledge of CNS diseases we believe we have found the ideal partner in our search for novel treatments that may slow or prevent Huntington Disease,Ē commented Dr. Robert Pacifici, Chief Scientific Adviser to CHDI.

ďWe are delighted that CHDI, a prestigious organisation dedicated to Huntington Disease research, has chosen us as their partner for drug discovery. With our integrated offering in this field and our CNS expertise we are ideally positioned to add significant value to their programmes up to clinical development and beyond,Ē said Dr Mark Ashton, Executive Vice President Business Development Services at Evotec.

Notes to the Editor

About Huntington Disease (HD)
HD is a familial disease, passed from parent to child through a mutation in a gene. Each child of an HD parent has a 50-50 chance of inheriting the HD gene which causes programmed degeneration of brain cells and results in emotional disturbance, loss of intellectual faculties and uncontrolled movements. Most people with HD develop the symptoms at midlife but in some people onset occurs in infancy or old age. The average survival time after onset is approximately fifteen to twenty years. It is estimated that about one in every 10,000 persons has the HD gene. At this time, there is no way to stop or reverse the course of HD.

About Evotec AG
Evotec is a leader in the discovery and development of novel small molecule drugs. Both through its own discovery programmes and through contract research partnerships, the Company is generating the highest quality research results to its partners in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
In proprietary projects, Evotec specialises in finding new treatments for diseases of the Central Nervous System. Evotec has three programmes in clinical development: EVT 201, a partial positive allosteric modulator (pPAM) of the GABAA receptor complex for the treatment of insomnia, EVT 101, a subtype selective NMDA receptor antagonist for the treatment of Alzheimerís disease and/or neuropathic pain and EVT 301, a selective and reversible inhibitor of MAO-B for the treatment of Alzheimerís disease.
In contract research, Evotec has established itself as the partner of choice for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide. The Company provides innovative and often integrated solutions from drug target to clinic through an unmatched range of capabilities, including early stage assay development and screening through to medicinal chemistry and drug manufacturing.
In 2005, Evotec has generated sales of EUR 80 million with 600 employees located in Hamburg, Germany and near Oxford and in Glasgow, UK.

About CHDI, Inc. and High Q Foundation, Inc.
CHDI, Inc. and the High Q Foundation, Inc. (High Q) are non-profit organizations that share the mission of bringing together academia, industry, governmental agencies, and other funding organizations in the search for HD treatments.
CHDI is pursuing a biotech approach to rapidly discover and develop drugs that prevent or slow HD. Through collaborations with industrial and academic partners, CHDI, participates in all aspects of drug discovery and development from high throughput screening to preclinical development. For more information about CHDI and its collaborative programs please see or contact Robert Pacifici (
High Q supports HD research aimed at target identification and validation, the development and use of animal models, drug delivery, and the search for markers of disease progression. For more information about High Q and its support of HD research please see or contact Ethan Signer ( or Allan Tobin (


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