German drug discovery company Evotec and the Centre for Regenerative Therapies TU Dresden (CRTD) have entered a research collaboration to discover new small molecule candidates for the treatment of retinal diseases.
CRTD carries experience in understanding stem cells for the development of new neurodegenerative and haematological disease therapies.
Evotec plans to utilise the centre’s expertise in stem cell-based retinal disease modelling along with its induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology platform for identifying potential drug candidates.
Evotec chief scientific officer Dr Cord Dohrmann said: “CRTD is a world leader in stem cell-derived modelling of retinal disease and thus fits perfectly into our strategy to continue to build and expand Evotec’s unique iPSC based drug discovery platform.”
The firms will use patient-derived iPSCs and subsequent separation into different types of cells present in the retina to develop relevant disease-in-a-dish models that are expected to aid in finding potential treatments for the major causes of blindness.
CRTD director professor Ezio Bonifacio said: “As a leading discovery alliance partner, we believe that Evotec shares our bold vision and are very pleased to collaborate with the company under its EVT Innovate platform.
“We look forward to working closely with our colleagues at Evotec to discover new therapeutic approaches for retinal diseases and laying the groundwork for better overall human health.”
Established in 2006, CRTD works on clinical research programmes for haematology and immunology, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and bone regeneration.