The foundation is the leading non-profit organization focused on both research and patient support for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Under the collaboration, Evotec joins forces with the foundation’s IBD therapeutics incubator program that facilitates collaboration between the Foundation, academic researchers, and industry partners to translate groundbreaking basic research that was performed by academic researchers and identified by the Foundation into medical innovations for IBD patients.
Matthias Evers, chief business officer of Evotec, said: “Mission-driven foundations like the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation are an essential part of the healthcare ecosystem as they drive medical progress in areas of significant unmet need that would otherwise not be pursued.
“As we join forces within the Foundation in this second collaboration, we are fully aligned on our mission to create access to novel therapeutics and look forward to leveraging both Evotec’s translational experience as well as our fully integrated drug discovery powerhouse within the Foundation’s IBD Therapeutics Incubator.”
“The collaboration leverages Evotec’s end-to-end integrated R&D platform to advance drug discovery for two innovative drug targets that address major unmet medical needs of patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis: Fibrosis, the excessive accumulation of scar tissue in the intestinal wall, and impaired intestinal barrier function, which leads to increased intestinal permeability, also known as ‘leaky gut’.
Nearly 1 in 100 Americans have IBD, a serious chronic medical condition that indicates chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. IBD symptoms, which can include abdominal pain and diarrhea can be mild or severe, and they may appear suddenly or come on gradually. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are debilitating chronic conditions.
“We are excited about this collaboration with Evotec as part of the Foundation’s IBD Therapeutics Incubator because it will transform ideas into therapeutic product opportunities and scientific research into patient solutions,” said Andrés Hurtado Lorenzo, senior vice president of translational research & IBD Ventures at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.
“We’re actually driving research from idea to therapeutic product opportunity.”
Unfortunately, even with proper medication and diet, as many as two-thirds to three-quarters of people with Crohn’s disease will require surgery at some point in their lives. The mission of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is to cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. The Foundation has invested nearly $500 million in research toward cures.
“We’re excited to initiate these drug discovery projects with top-notch academic investigators and the experienced scientists at Evotec,” said Jennifer Swantek, director of the Foundation’s IBD Therapeutics Incubator program.
“We’re eager to deliver much-needed, differentiated therapies to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis patients as soon as possible.”
No financial terms of the collaboration were disclosed.