Hamburg, Germany - 10 March 2016: Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) today announced the achievement of a key pre-clinical milestone in the ongoing alliance with its research partner Padlock Therapeutics, Inc. ("Padlock"). The programme focuses on developing inhibitors of protein-arginine deiminases ("PADs"), first-in-class compounds for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and lupus. The milestone triggers a significant milestone payment to Evotec.
The collaboration, now in its third year, could potentially extend through March 2017. As part of the collaboration, Evotec provides a full range of research activities and expertise to Padlock including in vitrobiology, high-throughput screening, structural biology, medicinal and computational chemistry and DMPK. Evotec and Padlock plan to progress multiple programmes through hit-to-lead and lead optimisation with the goal of achieving multiple development candidates. Under the terms of the initial agreement, Evotec was awarded the opportunity to earn success payments and an equity grant in addition to research payments totaling over $ 13 m.
Dr Michael Gilman, Chief Executive Officer, Padlock Therapeutics, commented: "We are excited about the swift progress we've made with our colleagues at Evotec. We have dramatically accelerated our understanding of the PAD enzyme family and created significant proprietary chemical equity around PAD inhibitors with the potential to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people with destructive autoimmune diseases."
Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, added: "We are delighted about the great achievements in this programme so far and how Venture Capital-financed virtual start-up companies like Padlock take advantage of Evotec's technological platform. We believe the combination of partnerships with asset-centric start-up companies and our industrial infrastructure creates tremendous value and will ensure that the therapeutic programmes advance with increasing capital efficiency to discover molecules for clinical testing."
ABOUT PADLOCK THERAPEUTICS, INC.
Padlock Therapeutics is a private, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company dedicated to creating new medicines to treat destructive autoimmune diseases. The company leverages the breakthrough science on the role of protein citrullination in disease to develop drugs targeting protein-arginine deiminase (PAD) enzymes. Padlock was founded by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute in conjunction with Atlas Venture. Padlock's Series A investors include Atlas Ventures, Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC, MS Ventures, and Index Ventures. For more information on Padlock, visit www.padlocktherapeutics.com.
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.