Secarna Pharmaceuticals’ strategic partner Evotec achieves programme designation in neuroscience collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb
The programme designation is based on an antisense-based approach which triggers a US-Dollar 16 million payment to Evotec by Bristol Myers Squibb. Evotec sources LNAplusTM antisense technology through a strategic partnership with Secarna Pharmaceuticals.
© Secarna Pharmaceuticals
Alexander Gebauer, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of Secarna Pharmaceuticals
“This collaboration also shows that our ASOs have the potential to provide truly novel therapies to people living with a wide range of neurodegenerative diseases considered difficult-to-treat or even untreatable.”
Alexander Gebauer, M.D.
Ph.D., CEO of Secarna Pharmaceuticals
Secarna Pharmaceuticals GmbH & Co. KG, a biopharmaceutical company focusing on the discovery and development of next-generation antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) therapies to address challenging or previously undruggable targets reports that its collaboration partner Evotec SE has reached another programme designation within its neuroscience collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb triggering a payment of US-Dollar 16 million to Evotec.
The programme further adds to a fast-growing pipeline in neurodegeneration that also includes EVT8683, which entered clinical development end of 2021. In contrast to previously nominated programmes, which are small molecule based, the newly designated project utilises an antisense-based approach. Evotec is eligible to receive tiered royalties of up to low double-digit percentages of sales of any commercial products resulting from the collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb. Additionally, Evotec can earn up to US$ 250 m in development and sales milestones within the collaboration.
Antisense oligonucleotides (“ASOs”) are precisely engineered chemical structures that specifically bind to a targeted RNA to interfere with gene expression. By specifically inhibiting the production of disease-driving proteins in the cells of interest, ASOs can provide new pathways to tackle targets that are difficult to regulate or were previously deemed “undruggable”. The programme leverages ASOs originating from the LNAplus™ ASO discovery and development platform established and validated by Secarna Pharmaceuticals with whom Evotec entered a strategic partnership in August 2020.
“Congratulations to our partners at Evotec for reaching programme designation within its neuroscience collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb”, said Alexander Gebauer, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of Secarna Pharmaceuticals. “We are very proud that the programme leverages ASOs derived from our proprietary discovery and development platform LNAplusTM and this milestone further emphasizes our platform’s versatility and efficiency – two key competitive advantages of LNAplusTM. This collaboration also shows that our ASOs have the potential to provide truly novel therapies to people living with a wide range of neurodegenerative diseases considered difficult-to-treat or even untreatable.”
The neuroscience collaboration between Evotec and Bristol Myers Squibb aims to identify disease-modifying treatments for a broad range of neurodegenerative diseases. Currently approved drugs only offer short-term management of the patients’ symptoms and there is a huge unmet medical need for therapeutic modalities that slow down or reverse disease progression. The program leverages Secarna’s LNAplus™ platform in combination with Evotec’s industrialised iPSC platform using patient-derived disease models, which is one of the largest and most sophisticated platforms in the industry.