HAMBURG, Germany, March 31, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Evotec AG (Frankfurt:EVT) (TecDAX) (ISIN:DE0005664809) today announced that it has entered into a research alliance with Panion Ltd, a subsidiary of Convergence Pharmaceuticals Holdings Ltd. Convergence is a UK company focused on the development of novel, high value analgesics to treat chronic pain. Panion Ltd has been awarded a £ 2.4 m Technology Strategy Board Biomedical Catalyst Early Stage Round 2 grant to discover and develop compounds against a novel GPCR pain target. Evotec will be responsible for undertaking key drug discovery activities and will work closely with the Convergence team in identifying pre-clinical candidates over the next three years. Subsequently, and upon meeting certain pre-clinical milestones, Convergence and Evotec will jointly progress the assets further into the clinic or via partnering. Further financials remain undisclosed.
Dr Mario Polywka, Chief Operating Officer of Evotec, commented: "Pain remains a major unmet medical need with estimates of 1.5 billion people worldwide suffering from this often chronic ailment. This alliance with Convergence marries our complementary expertise in the field of pain and leverages our world- class platform for addressing targets associated with pain. Supported by the Biomedical Catalyst Early Stage Round 2 grant, we look forward to collaborating with Convergence to bring a new class of analgesic candidates to the clinic."
Brenda Reynolds, Chief Operating Officer of Convergence, commented: "We are pleased to have formed this alliance with Evotec and we are confident that, with our knowledge of the therapeutic area of pain and Evotec's expertise in drug discovery, this partnership will prove valuable to both parties and help to facilitate the delivery of new treatments to patients. This is the first TSB Grant awarded to a subsidiary of Convergence, a testament to our leading position in pain, and we would like to thank the TSB for their support."
ABOUT EVOTEC AG
Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. We operate worldwide providing the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery solutions, covering all activities from target-to-clinic. The Company has established a unique position by assembling top-class scientific experts and integrating state-of-the-art technologies as well as substantial experience and expertise in key therapeutic areas including neuroscience, pain, metabolic diseases as well as oncology and inflammation. Evotec has long-term discovery alliances with partners including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, CHDI, Genentech, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, MedImmune/AstraZeneca and Ono Pharmaceutical. In addition, the Company has existing development partnerships and product candidates both in clinical and pre-clinical development. These include partnerships with Boehringer Ingelheim, MedImmune and Andromeda in the field of diabetes, with Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the field of depression and with Roche in the field of Alzheimer's disease. For additional information please go to www.evotec.com.
ABOUT CONVERGENCE PHARMACEUTICALS
Convergence Pharmaceuticals is an independent biotechnology company focused on the development of novel analgesics with potentially commercially attractive efficacy, responder-rate and side effect profiles. The Company, led by CEO Clive Dix, was formed in October 2010 following the acquisition of certain neuroscience clinical assets from GlaxoSmithKline ("GSK"). The Company has a pipeline of differentiated clinical-stage compounds targeting the points of convergence in chronic pain signalling through modulation of specific ion-channels.
Convergence Pharmaceuticals is well funded and raised US$ 35.4 million in Series A financing from a syndicate of leading European and US financial institutions. For more information please go to the Company's website at www.convergencepharma.com.
ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY STRATEGY BOARD
The Technology Strategy Board is the UK's innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org.
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 report. 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.
CONTACT: Gabriele Hansen VP, Corporate Communications & Investor Relations +49.(0)40.560 81-255 +49.(0)40.560 81-222 Fax firstname.lastname@example.org Evotec AG Manfred Eigen Campus Essener Bogen 7 22419 Hamburg (Germany)Source:Evotec AG