Evotec AG today announced that it has achieved first milestones in its multi-year, multi-target integrated drug discovery collaboration with UCB in the field of immunology.
The milestones were achieved upon the progression of certain projects into hit-to-lead and into lead optimisation. Evotec and UCB entered into this collaboration in October 2011. Under the terms of the collaboration, Evotec receives research payments, milestones based on achieving various pre-clinical, clinical and sales goals and royalties on final product sales.
Dr Mario Polywka, Chief Operating Officer of Evotec, stated: "We are delighted that the project teams at UCB and Evotec have met these important milestones in the collaboration. The progress in this collaboration is a testament to the way scientists from both companies have worked together in a true partnership."
Dr Neil Weir, Senior Vice President of Discovery at UCB, commented that "The collaboration with Evotec complements our internal research efforts and enhances our scientific network. Hitting these milestones is great news and as we continue to work together, we hope that the results will enhance the pace of the discovery process, the quality of compounds selected for further development and ultimately improve patient outcomes."
ABOUT EVOTEC AG
Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. We operate worldwide providing the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery solutions, covering all activities from target-to-clinic. The Company has established a unique position by assembling top-class scientific experts and integrating state-of-the-art technologies as well as substantial experience and expertise in key therapeutic areas including neuroscience, pain, metabolic diseases as well as oncology and inflammation. Evotec has long-term discovery alliances with partners including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, CHDI, Genentech, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, MedImmune/AstraZeneca, Ono Pharmaceutical and UCB. In addition, the Company has existing development partnerships and product candidates both in clinical and pre-clinical development. These include partnerships with Boehringer Ingelheim, MedImmune and Andromeda (Teva) in the field of diabetes, with Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the field of depression and with Roche in the field of Alzheimer''s disease.
UCB, Brussels, Belgium is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With more than 9000 people in about 40 countries, the company generated revenue of EUR 3.4 billion in 2012. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels.
Immune Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced today that Tomer Adar, M.D. at the Digestive Diseases Institute, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, presented a poster on October 15, 2013 entitled Inhibition of Eotaxin-1 (CCL 11) Ameliorates DSS-Induced Colitis; A Novel Potential Therapeutic Approach for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, at the United European Gastroenterology Week being held in Berlin, Germany.
This study was performed to evaluate the effect of eotaxin-1 (CCL-11) inhibition on BALB/c mice with dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis. The mice were treated with an anti-eotaxin-1 monoclonal antibody or a control antibody. Inhibition of eotaxin-1 resulted in significant amelioration of DSS-induced colitis demonstrated by statistically significant reduction in both disease activity index and body weight loss compared to controls. These results indicate the importance of eotaxin-1 in regulating intestinal mucosal inflammation, and its potential as a future therapeutic target in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Bertilimumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody with high specificity for human eotaxin-1. Bertilimumab was originally developed by Cambridge Antibody Technologies, now part of MedImmune, the Global Research and Development Arm of AstraZeneca. Immune has initiated a double blind placebo controlled Phase II international study, which compares bertilimumab with placebo in 105 patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. Patients are selected based on elevated eotaxin-1 levels from colonic biopsy samples. Topline data from this trial is expected in early 2015.
Eran Goldin, M.D., Chairman of the Digestive Diseases Institute at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, commented: "Eotaxin-1 is a biomarker of IBD and a potential target for therapeutic intervention. This new selective approach is promising for patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. We look forward to the Phase II clinical data with bertilimumab."
Marc Rothenberg, M.D.,Ph.D., Director of the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Cincinnati Children''s Hospital Medical Center, one of the pioneer researchers on eotaxin, commented: "Eotaxin-1 is a key regulator of gastrointestinal eosinophils, and its neutralization by bertilimumab is an attractive approach to potentially treating IBD. Bertilimumab targets the innate (not adaptive) immune system by blocking an inflammatory ligand, similar to the action of anti-TNF therapies. The study by Professor Eran Goldin''s group adds further data substantiating a contributory role of eotaxin-1 and eosinophils in key processes involved in IBD."
About Immune Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Immune Pharmaceuticals Inc. applies a personalized approach to treatment, developing novel, highly targeted antibody therapeutics to improve the lives of patients with inflammatory diseases and cancer. The Company''s lead product candidate, bertilimumab, is entering Phase II clinical studies for moderate to severe ulcerative colitis and bullous pemphigoid, with additional studies planned for Crohn''s disease and severe asthma. The Company is evaluating the use of its NanomAb® platform, a second generation antibody drug conjugate technology, with chemotherapeutics in order to enhance their safety and efficacy profiles by delivering the medicines directly to cancer cells. The Company''s growing oncology pipeline also includes proprietary antibodies and, clinical-stage small molecules that have been shown activity in a variety of solid tumors.
Immune licensed worldwide rights for systemic indications of bertilimumab from iCo Therapeutics in June 2011, while iCo retained rights to all ophthalmic indications. iCo originally licensed the exclusive world-wide rights to bertilimumab in 2006 from MedImmune, the Global Research and Development Arm of AstraZeneca.
Construction of the facilities for the third group of twelve key projects scheduled for this year got underway recently in Changzhou National Hi-Tech District (CND), encompassing a total investment of 3.725 billion yuan.
Two projects - the facilities for Syn-The-All New Medicine and Xinri New Material - each commanded investments exceeding 500 million yuan, respectively, demonstrating the attractiveness of the district as a manufacturing location, the scale of investment that is possible there as well as the high level of production capability that is available.
STA Pharmaceutical Hong Kong Limited and Shanghai Syn-The-All Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., two wholly-owned subsidiaries of NYSE-listed WuXi AppTec, have jointly invested in a new pharmaceutical production and R&D center in Changzhou Binjiang Economic Development Zone. Phase I of the project calls for an investment of US$98 million and registered capital of US$72 million. The commercial viability of the project has been submitted for approval and some early-stage preparatory work is underway, with the first batch of drugs expected to start rolling off production lines by the second quarter of 2015.
Furthermore, investments for some key projects have been established: 250 million yuan for the manufacturing base of China Auto Parts & Accessories Corporation; 150 million yuan for the AMJHouse LNG Fueling Device facility; 100 million yuan for the Keneng Electric Power Cooling Installation facility; and 110 million yuan for Phase II of Global Logistic Properties.
While developing an advanced manufacturing industry, CND also strives to create a modern high-level service sector, by leveraging its existing industrial bases and its advantageous location alongside or near key transportation hubs. Xinlong International Business City, doubling as both a science and technology center as well as a financial center, has already signed agreements to house the corporate headquarters of eight major companies, setting the stage for it becoming a local high-end business center in Changzhou.