Science Pool

A Strong Foundation for Success: Evotec´s iPSC Partnerships

For more than a decade, Evotec has been closing strategic R&D collaborations in the area of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), both with academic and industry partners.

The scope ranges from broad, long-term alliances to targeted research-driven collaborations. These partnerships support Evotec’s growing iPSC activities, strengthen the capabilities, and thus comprise a strong foundation for success within Evotec’s iPSC Lighthouse.

A brief overview of key references for iPSC partnerships is provided below.

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Industry partnerships

In 2006, Evotec and CHDI Foundation, Inc. (“CHDI”) closed a strategic collaboration to advance drugs for the treatment of Huntington´s disease. The partnership builds on Evotec’s integrated neuroscience platform and its iPSC platform, among others, and was extended in 2018.

In 2016, Evotec and Celgene (now Bristol Myers Squibb) signed a broad R&D collaboration to develop disease-modifying treatments for neurodegenerative disorders based on Evotec’s unique iPSC platform. The platform allows for systematic drug screening in patient-derived disease models. The partnership was expanded to include additional cell lines in 2018 and new cell types in 2019. Following the acquisition of Celgene by Bristol Myers Squibb, the agreement with Evotec was again expanded to further broaden the number of cell lines in 2020.

In 2020, Evotec formed an alliance with Sartorius and Curexsys to advance an iPSC-based exosome approach. The collaboration combines Evotec’s iPSC platform with Curexsys’ proprietary exosome isolation technology, while Sartorius will support Curexsys in setting up a GMP-compliant and scalable manufacturing platform.

Scientific collaborations

The first iPSC partnership was a collaboration with the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (‘HSCI’) in 2013 to identify compounds which prevent or halt the loss of motor neurons, a key symptom of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (‘ALS’).

In 2017, Evotec entered into a research collaboration with the Center for Regenerative Therapies TU Dresden (“CRTD”) to discover novel small molecule candidates for retinal diseases. Gola of the collaboration is to combine CRTD’s expertise in stem cell-based retinal disease modelling with Evotec´s iPSC technology platform to generate promising drug candidates for potential clinical development.

In 2018, Evotec and Centogene signed an agreement for a global drug discovery collaboration to develop novel small molecules in rare hereditary metabolic diseases, which are generated by a joint high-throughput platform.

The collaboration was expanded into Gaucher´s disease in 2020, leveraging Evotec’s iPSC platform and broad drug discovery and development capabilities and Centogene´s proprietary rare disease platform, including iPSC lines, to generate novel treatment approaches for this orphan drug indication.

In 2021, Evotec and the Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (“UKE”) signed a partnership for the development of a novel, innovative first-in-class cell therapy based on Engineered Heart Tissue for the treatment of heart failure. The goal is to produce human, clinical-grade heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) for implantation.

Evotec is continuously looking to expand its iPSC portfolio through industry and academic partnerships both within existing disease areas but also to expand into new disease areas. Reach out to us for questions around collaborations and partnerships.