- COLLABORATION EXPLORES OPPORTUNITIES TO SET UP ANTIBIOTIC DISCOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT PLATFORM AND ESTABLISH A JOINT PIPELINE OF NOVEL ANTIBIOTIC ASSETS
- DISCOVERY EFFORTS WILL FOCUS ON WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (“WHO”) PRIORITY PATHOGENS
Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) and The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (“GARDP”) are today announcing the formation of a new strategic public-private partnership to tackle the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (“AMR”). By joining forces, Evotec and GARDP will leverage their capabilities and networks to address drug-resistant bacterial infections. This includes bringing together GARDP’s clinical expertise and sustainable access commitment with Evotec’s leading drug discovery platform, expertise in medicinal chemistry and pharmacology, as well as its world-leading collection of bacterial pathogens.
With few antibiotics in development, AMR is a major and rapidly growing global health challenge that is making previously easy to treat infections harder to treat. Approximately 700,000 people worldwide die of drug-resistant infections every year and this number is expected to increase significantly in the future.1 Serious bacterial infections, and in particular Gram-negative bacterial infections, have been identified by the WHO as a global public health priority.2
This strategic partnership focuses on accelerating the development of first-in-class antibiotic treatments for hard-to-treat bacterial infections by establishing a platform that spans the length of the drug development value chain as well as developing a joint pipeline. Of critical importance is also to ensure that novel antibiotics are sensibly priced and made available globally to all patients who need them.
“Partnerships are central to GARDP’s model. Working with Evotec will undoubtedly strengthen GARDP’s efforts to develop new antibiotics, while addressing the need for their sustainable access. Evotec’s expertise complements GARDP’s approach, which allows both partners to develop a drug from early exploratory to pre-clinical and clinical studies all the way to patients,” said Dr Seamus O’Brien, Research and Development Director at GARDP. “Developing treatments to treat drug-resistant bacterial infections is key to achieve universal health coverage.”
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “The development of resistance to antimicrobials is likely to accelerate and the need for new antibiotics is beyond urgent. Unfortunately, the number of companies engaged in antimicrobial drug discovery is continuously decreasing due to scientific and commercial challenges. Evotec and GARDP are committed to explore new models to leverage cutting-edge discovery platforms to highly innovative and promising projects that have the potential to yield novel classes of antibiotics directed against high priority pathogens. GARDP perfectly complements Evotec in vision and strategy and we are extremely proud to have them as a strategic partner.”
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GARDP is a not-for-profit research and development organization that addresses global public health needs by developing new or improved antibiotic treatments, while endeavouring to ensure their sustainable access. Initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Drugs for Neglected Disease initiative (DNDi), GARDP is an important element of WHO’s Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance that calls for new public-private partnerships to encourage research and development of new antimicrobial agents and diagnostics. www.gardp.org
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FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
Information set forth in this press release contains forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgement of Evotec as of the date of this press release. Such forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
1 O’Neill, J. (Chair) (2016). Tackling drug-resistance globally: Final Report and recommendations. Available at: https://amr-review.org/sites/default/files/160525_Final%20paper_with%20cover.pdf
2 WHO. (2017). Global priority list of antibiotic-resistant bacteria to guide research, discovery, and development of new antibiotics. World Health Organization. Available at: http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/global-priority-list-antibiotic-resistant-bacteria/en/