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Evotec receives € 7.5 m grant for development of COVID-19 therapeutic

publication date: Jan 12, 2022
author/source: Evotec


Evotec is developing a highly potent immunomodulatory molecule that holds the potential to amplify the immune response and reduce the risk of difficult disease progression and hospitalisation

Evotec SE has announced that the Company has been selected by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research ("BMBF") to receive a grant for the development of EVT075, a potential first-in-class immunomodulatory therapy against COVID-19. Evotec is one of three companies receiving a highly competitive grant as part of a new initiative by the BMBF to support the clinical development of novel therapeutic candidates against COVID-19.

Under the € 7.5 m grant, Evotec will use clinical material manufactured within its Just - Evotec Biologics manufacturing platform to initiate the clinical development of a potentially highly potent immunomodulatory molecule. Utilising the assays developed as part of the Company's global Pandemic Preparedness and Rapid Response initiative "PRROTECT", Evotec has demonstrated potent activity of the molecule in pre-clinical in-vitro studies. The molecule has shown great potential to produce a powerful antiviral response against infections with SARS-CoV-2 ("coronavirus"). By amplifying the immune response against coronavirus infections, the molecule can potentially reduce the viral load. Thus, the early administration of this biologic may significantly lower the risk of a severe progression of COVID-19 that requires hospitalisation of patients.

Evotec intends to use the grant to initiate clinical studies assessing the safety and efficacy of the compound and to determine the optimal dose-range in healthy volunteers as well as COVID-19 patients.

Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, commented: "As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become apparent that besides continuing to build up immunity by way of vaccinations, effective therapeutics against the disease are also urgently needed. By amplifying the immune response and lowering the viral load, the molecule can help reduce the share of people requiring inpatient treatment, and thus the enormous strain the pandemic is putting on the global health systems. Having leveraged our pandemic preparedness platform 'PRROTECT', we are excited to use the grant from the BMBF to bring a potential COVID-19 therapeutic into the clinic."



To prepare against future pandemics, Evotec has initiated the global networking initiative PRROTECT (pandemic Preparedness and Rapid RespOnse TEChnology PlaTform). PRROTECT builds on Evotec's existing anti-viral therapeutics portfolio and leverages the Company's platform to further broaden its existing modality-agnostic pipeline against viral threats, while at the same time accelerating R&D timelines for neutralising antibodies, and creating a flexible manufacturing network to deliver such therapeutics in the event of a future pandemic.


About Evotec SE

Evotec is a life science company with a unique business model that delivers on its mission to discover and develop highly effective therapeutics and make them available to the patients. The Company's multimodality platform comprises a unique combination of innovative technologies, data and science for the discovery, development, and production of first-in-class and best-in-class pharmaceutical products. Evotec leverages this "Data-driven R&D Autobahn to Cures" for proprietary projects and within a network of partners including all Top 20 Pharma and over 800 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, as well as other healthcare stakeholders. Evotec has strategic activities in a broad range of currently underserved therapeutic areas, including e.g. neurology, oncology, as well as metabolic and infectious diseases. Within these areas of expertise, Evotec aims to create the world-leading co-owned pipeline for innovative therapeutics and has to-date established a portfolio of more than 200 proprietary and co-owned R&D projects from early discovery to clinical development. Evotec operates globally with more than 4,000 highly qualified people. The Company's 14 sites offer highly synergistic technologies and services and operate as complementary clusters of excellence.



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