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Evotec and Apeiron Biologics to Discover Novel Pain Therapeutics


Hamburg, Germany | Oxford, UK | Vienna, Austria - Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX 30) and Apeiron Biologics GmbH today announced that they have entered into a discovery collaboration to develop small molecules targeting a novel therapeutic concept for pain relief. This concept is based on research activities of Prof Josef Penninger, Director of the Institute for Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA).

During the initial phase of this collaboration, Apeiron Biologics and Evotec will jointly develop tailored biochemical and cellular assays, and Evotec will apply its outstanding skills in utilising such assays for ultra-high-throughput screening to identify promising hit molecules. At a later stage, both companies aim at advancing a selected lead compound into preclinical development up to proof-of-concept in patients. Commercialisation rights which are shared equally may be out-licensed or assigned to a pharma partner.

Dr Erich Greiner, Executive Vice President Science at Evotec, said: “We are very pleased to enter into this innovative project with Apeiron Biologics. The top-level research provided by Apeiron and its scientific founder in this area, paired with Evotec’s substantial track record in the rapid identification of drug candidates and its expertise in field of central nervous system disorders is an excellent basis for successfully identifying novel pain therapeutics. This could become an attractive addition to our growing CNS pipeline.”

“To establish strategic partnerships with reknowned pharma partners such as Evotec is an important step in Apeiron’s development and the validation of the Company’s business model. This collaboration is of key importance for this scientifically and commercially highly interesting project in pain”, said Dr Hans Loibner, Chief Executive Officer of Apeiron Biologics. “We are looking forward to an enjoyable and rewarding collaborative effort.”

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 providing 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 (CNS). Evotec has three Phase I clinical programmes: EVT 201, a GABAA modulator for the treatment of insomnia, EVT 101, a subtype selective NMDA receptor antagonist for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and EVT 301, a selective and reversible inhibitor of MAO-B for the treatment of Alzheimer’s 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, based on preliminary numbers Evotec has generated sales of EUR 79 million with 600 people located in Hamburg, Germany and near Oxford and in Glasgow, UK.

About Apeiron Biologics GmbH
Apeiron Biologics GmbH is a biotechnology company located in Vienna, Austria. Its objective is to translate biological knowledge into innovative biopharmaceutical products for the treatment of diseases with a high degree of unmet medical needs. Apeiron’s business model consists of generating value by profiling and developing therapeutics up to a first proof of concept in patients. It is based on top-level and internationally recognized research for the identification of projects and professional, focused profiling of product candidates.
The company was founded by Prof. Josef Penninger, Director of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA), a top level scientist with high international reputation.


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