BMS re-ups 'highly productive' legacy neurodegeneration partnership with Evotec for $50M upfront

Things must be going well for Bristol Myers Squibb’s legacy Celgene-Evotec neurodegeneration partnership. The New York Big Pharma has decided to add another eight years to their agreement, boosting the overall potential deal value to $4 billion.

In re-upping the collaboration, originally signed in 2016 through Celgene, BMS added eight years to the arrangement and made a $50 million upfront payment to Evotec, according to a Tuesday press release. The deal also includes undisclosed license and performance milestones plus royalties. All tallied, the partnership could someday reach $4 billion.

The companies said the original partnership “proved highly productive” in building a pipeline of neurodegeneration candidates. This includes neurodegeneration med EVT8683, which BMS licensed in September 2021 after the drug was approved to advance into a phase 1 trial. The opt-in meant a $20 million payment for Evotec plus a potential $250 million in milestones down the line.

Evotec uses its modality-agnostic precision medicine platforms to develop clinical candidates. BMS Senior Vice President of Neuroscience Richard Hargreaves, Ph.D., said in the release that the two companies have developed patient-centric biological and analytical systems to identify, validate and develop novel targets for neurodegenerative disease.

This is the second time BMS has expanded the alliance. The companies added additional cell lines for a $6 million payment back in January 2020.

The companies also have a separate agreement, which was signed in 2018, to work on molecular glue degraders, which has a potential value of up to $5 billion after a May 2022 expansion that added eight years. Evotec noted earlier in March that $75 million had been paid by BMS from performance and program-based achievements

Evotec also has partnerships with Eli Lilly for metabolic diseases, Almirall for medical dermatology and Boehringer Ingelheim in ophthalmology.