German pharmaceutical firm Evotec has signed a drug discovery and development alliance with Celgene to identify new therapies for treating cancer.
Under the terms of the long-term partnership, Celgene gains exclusive opt-in rights to licence worldwide rights to all programmes resulting from the alliance.
In turn, the company will make an upfront payment of $65m to Evotec, which may also get additional milestone-based payments and tiered royalties on each licensed programme.
Evotec chief scientific officer Cord Dohrmann said: “We are extremely pleased and encouraged about the opportunity to enter into a second major alliance with our colleagues at Celgene.
“Our first alliance in neurodegenerative diseases has already proven that both companies and teams are united by the same spirit and objectives bringing new and better treatment to patients.”
Evotec primarily develops pre-clinical discovery and development platforms. Its portfolio includes a phenotypic screening platform featuring compound libraries and related target deconvolution capabilities.
The partners plan to utilise these capabilities for the oncology collaboration that will initially work towards therapeutics for solid tumours.
Earlier this month, Evotec entered a strategic partnership with biopharmaceutical firm Carna Biosciences, providing access to its INDiGO platform designed to further advance early drug candidates.
Carna will leverage the platform to accelerate its CB-1763 programme aimed at blood cancer treatment.
Evotec and Carna are also jointly working on the latter’s AS-871 drug candidate being developed as a non-covalent BTK inhibitor for treating autoimmune diseases.