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Evotec inks research pact with Yale University to identify new mechanisms, targets & compounds to interfere with DNA repair

Hamburg, Germany
Thursday, December 19, 2013, 11:00 Hrs  [IST]

Evotec AG has signed a research collaboration with the laboratories of Prof. Peter Glazer and Prof. Ranjit Bindra at Yale School of Medicine for TargetDBR (DNA Break Repair). The objective of this collaboration is to identify novel mechanisms, targets and compounds that have the potential to interfere with DNA repair.

DNA repair mechanisms allow cancer cells to cope with extensive genome rearrangements as well as to escape conventional radio- and chemotherapy and thus have potential applications in many cancer indications. This is the first collaboration to be announced as part of Evotec's open innovation alliance with Yale University.

TargetDBR is based on systematic cell screens designed to identify DNA repair inhibitors and their mechanisms of action. The application of Evotec's high-content cellular screening platforms allied to chemoproteomics-based target deconvolution will enable the identification not only of novel DNA repair inhibitors but also of novel tractable targets in DNA repair pathways. The initial focus will be on increasing the effectiveness of glioblastoma brain tumour treatments but it is expected that the DNA repair inhibitors will also find application in many other cancer types. Yale and Evotec will collaborate in a highly integrated fashion and share potential commercial rewards.

Dr Cord Dohrmann, chief scientific officer of Evotec, commented: “Deficiencies in DNA repair mechanisms constitute not only initiating events leading to cancer but also provide potential therapeutic targets on the basis of the concept of synthetic lethality. We are very excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Peter and Ranjit to identify and develop novel classes of DNA repair inhibitors that have the potential to become highly effective therapeutics against difficult to treat cancers such as glioblastoma.”

“'Through this collaboration with Evotec, novel biological discoveries and medical insights made at Yale are being effectively translated into a state-of-the-art drug discovery project. The collaboration is already demonstrating the benefit of the Yale Evotec open innovation alliance in accelerating drug discovery projects', said Dr Jon Soderstrom, Managing Director of Yale's Office of Cooperative Research.

Financial details were not disclosed.

In January 2013, Evotec AG and Yale University entered into a strategic partnership. Under the agreement, Evotec and Yale are leveraging first rate science performed at Yale University together with Evotec's drug discovery infrastructure and expertise into highly innovative discovery approaches in diseases of high unmet medical need. Evotec and Yale have defined a wide range of scientific fields including metabolic diseases, CNS, immunological diseases and cancer where they will jointly assess and potentially pursue novel assays, screens and models but in particular exploratory drug targets and compounds. The intention is to seamlessly integrate Evotec's drug discovery infrastructure with highly innovative biology at Yale to mature individual projects to a stage where they can be commercialised.

The Yale School of Medicine is a world-renowned centre for biomedical research, education and advanced health care. Among its 27 departments are one of the nation's oldest schools of public health and the internationally recognized Child Study Centre. The Yale Centre for Molecular Discovery provides Yale researchers with access to drug discovery expertise and support services.


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