Bristol Myers Squibb exercised its option to enter into the exclusive global licence agreement that covers late-stage discovery programmes that were developed and progressed within the collaboration.
The companies originally entered their neurodegeneration partnership in 2016. They said the partnership had proved highly productive in generating a promising pipeline of discovery to clinical-stage programmes. Based on this success, Bristol Myers Squibb and Evotec agreed to extend and expand the partnership for an additional eight years in March to ‘further broaden and deepen the strategic alliance’.
Under the licence agreement, Bristol Myers Squibb has selected a number of programs that were rapidly developed and progressed using Evotec’s precision medicine platforms for further development within the expanded collaboration.
Evotec will receive a $40 million payment and is eligible to earn performance milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties up to low double-digit percentages on product sales.
Cord Dohrmann, chief scientific officer of Evotec, said: “This licence agreement will further bolster our joint pipeline of programmes targeting several neurodegenerative conditions. We are confident that the strong collaboration of the experienced teams at Evotec and Bristol Myers Squibb will make novel innovative treatment options available to patients living with a broad range of neurodegenerative conditions.”
Evotec and Bristol Myers Squibb say their aim is to identify disease-modifying treatments for a broad range of neurodegenerative diseases. Currently approved drugs only offer short-term management of patients’ symptoms and both companies say there is a significant unmet medical need for therapies that slow down or reverse disease progression in the field of neurodegenerative diseases.
The partnership’s aim is to pursue an innovative approach to the discovery and development of novel medicines by using several of Evotec’s modality-agnostic precision medicine platforms. They say there has already been success in generating a pipeline of discovery and pre-clinical-stage programmes.
First programme BMS-986419 or EVT8683, targeting eIF2b - a protein complex found in eukaryotes, was in-licensed by Bristol Myers Squibb in September 2021, following the successful filing of an Investigational New Drug application with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and has proceeded into the clinical phase 1.
EVT8683 is a small molecule targeting a key cellular stress response that holds great promise in various neurodegenerative indications and is ready to enter clinical development.