FIRST PROJECT ORIGINATES FROM THE GERMAN CANCER RESEARCH CENTER (“DKFZ”) AND HEIDELBERG UNIVERSITY IN HEIDELBERG
beLAB2122 IS A TRANSLATIONAL BRIDGE COLLABORATION BETWEEN EVOTEC AND BRISTOL MYERS SQUIBB
Hamburg, Germany, 27 October 2021: Evotec SE (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) today announced the first project to be developed within beLAB2122, a collaboration between Evotec and Bristol Myers Squibb. beLAB2122 aims to bring together leading academic institutions from the Rhine-Main-Neckar region of Germany with the goal of efficiently advancing first-in-class therapeutic options across all therapeutic areas and formats into investable drug discovery and early development projects. After signing the beLAB2122 collaboration agreement in April 2021, the first project to be developed within this academic BRIDGE collaboration has now been nominated.
Originating in the laboratory of Dr Darjus Tschaharganeh, Group Leader at the German Cancer Research Center (“DKFZ”), Heidelberg, and Professor at Heidelberg University, the project is based on the observation of synthetic lethal interactions in certain cancer types and aims at the development of small molecule inhibitors of a nutrient transporter essential for the survival of these cancer cells.
beLAB2122 will now leverage Evotec’s integrated discovery and development platform to validate and develop the project further. The goal of beLAB2122 is to develop academic projects to value inflection points that allow the formation of new jointly owned spin-off companies.
Dr Thomas Hanke, EVP & Head of Academic Partnerships at Evotec, commented: “We are pleased to further explore the promising approach from the DKFZ and Heidelberg University as the first funded project of beLAB2122. Evotec’s BRIDGE collaborations aim at seamlessly integrating academic innovations into the pharmaceutical value chain and accelerating them to new company formations. We look forward to progressing this and many more interesting academic projects using Evotec’s highly efficient integrated drug discovery & development infrastructure called the ‘Data-driven R&D Autobahn to Cures’. At the same time, we are pleased to receive additional promising applications from scientists working within the beLAB2122 member institutions at the EMBL, the German Cancer Research Center, the Goethe University Frankfurt, Heidelberg University and Tübingen University, and are looking forward to expanding the scope of the project portfolio further.”
Dr Darjus Tschaharganeh, Group Leader at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Professor at Heidelberg University, added: “We are excited to be chosen as the first beLAB2122 project and to be part of the collaboration bridge. Our project evolved from fundamental basic research and we are now at a point that our results clearly illustrate that pharmacological inhibitors for this target could be very successful for cancer treatment. The beLAB2122 initiative with strong pharmaceutical partners is ideally suited to pursue this project. We are looking forward to a close interaction with Evotec and Bristol Myers Squibb and hope that we can find potent inhibitors for our target in order to get to the next step and hopefully will be able to bring this in the future to the clinics for the benefit of patients.”
beLAB2122 is backed by Evotec in collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb. The total volume of US$ 20 m will allow for several more funding rounds. For more information on beLAB2122, visit www.belab2122.org.