Evotec, Working with Bayer, Moves Potential Therapy for Endometriosis into Phase 1 Study

Evotec, Working with Bayer, Moves Potential Therapy for Endometriosis into Phase 1 Study

Evotec AG announced that it has achieved an important milestone in its product development alliance with Bayer. Evotec will receive a milestone payment for advancing a program for the treatment of endometriosis from the companies’ shared portfolio into Phase 1 clinical development.

Evotec and Bayer’s entered into the alliance in October 2012, collaborating on the development of three clinical candidates for a five-year period. Both are contributing novel drug targets and technology infrastructures, and both share the responsibility for early research and pre-clinical characterization of potential candidates for endometriosis.

Financial details of the payment or the treatment were not disclosed, but the press release states that Bayer will be in charge of subsequent clinical development and commercialization plans. If development of the potential candidate is successful and it is approved, Evotec will also be eligible for clinical and sales milestones as well as royalties on net sales.

“We are very pleased to report this exciting progress in our endometriosis collaboration with Bayer. Endometriosis is a truly debilitating disease for a large population of women. These milestones represent further good progress in addressing both the underlying inflammation as well as the resulting pain,” Dr. Mario Polywka, Evotec’s chief operating officer, said in a press release. “We look forward to continued success within the alliance as we strive to deliver new therapeutics for the treatment of this disease with significant unmet medical need.”

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A distinct difference exists in the gene expression of the immune system’s inflammatory mediators, known as cytokines, within endometrial tissues in people with endometriosis, a finding that helps to explain how the disease spreads and produces inflammatory responses in this patient group.

The study, “Immune-inflammation gene signatures in endometriosis patients,” was published online in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

“To our knowledge, this study is the first to attempt molecular profiling of differential immune and inflammation gene expression between matched ectopic tissues and eutopic endometrium from patients, ectopic and control endometrium, and eutopic and control endometrium that are also matched by menstrual cycle,” the authors wrote.