Evotec, Centogene initiate drug discovery project targeting rare genetic diseases

By Melissa Fassbender contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Gio_tto)
(Image: Getty/Gio_tto)

Related tags: Genetic testing, Drug discovery, Evotec, Small molecule drugs, Stem cells, Rare disease, Genetics

The joint drug discovery project announced yesterday will combine Centogene’s genetic testing service offerings with Evotec's iPSC platform and drug discovery capabilities.

The goal is to develop a high-throughput platform for testing novel small molecules in rare hereditary metabolic diseases. The partnership combines Evotec’s​ induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) platform and drug discovery capabilities with Centogene’s patient and biomarker knowledge, as a global genetic testing company.

Dr. Arndt Rolfs, Centogene CEO and founder, described Evotec as an expert in small molecule drug discovery with a global footprint – “and their iPSC technology is a unique and powerful platform,” ​he said.

“We felt that combined with our expertise in rare disease genetics and biology, we will be in a better position to establish the cellular models and biomarkers needed to evaluate novel treatments options in rare hereditary metabolic diseases,”​ Rolfs told us.

According to the companies, genotype-phenotype data will enable rapid biomarker development using patient primary cells.

Rolfs said the company’s goal is to become “the partner of choice”​ for drug development organizations looking for genetic insight to “steer therapeutic programs in the right direction.”

As the partnership was launched yesterday, Rolfs could not provide any additional information. No financial details were disclosed.

Moving forward, Rolfs said both companies will start working on first joint projects in the agreed disease space.

Evotec has several established long-term alliances with partners including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, CHDI, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi, Takeda, and UCB, among others.

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