German company Evotec and Canada-based MaRS Innovation (MI) have launched a joint partnership ‘LAB150’ in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The five-year partnership will provide Canadian academic institutions and teaching hospitals with access to Evotec’s infrastructure and drug-discovery expertise that will be combined with the latest drug discovery projects initiated by the 15 MI member institutions.

The LAB150 partnership addresses challenges related to the lack of funding, specialised infrastructure and drug development expertise that is essential for the translation of disease-related biological pathways into effective drug-discovery programmes.

The joint effort between Evotec and MI is centered on significantly reducing the drug discovery timeline and establishing suitable start-up companies.

"LAB150 represents an extraordinary opportunity for Canada to bridge the drug discovery gap."

As part of the collaboration, MI will identify projects and develop technical and business cases from scientific concepts that focus on new and disease-related novel biological pathways.

Evotec will be responsible for contributing infrastructure and pre-clinical drug-development expertise to transform the discoveries into potential treatments.

MI president and chief executive officer Dr Rafi Hofstein said: “LAB150 represents an extraordinary opportunity for Canada to bridge the drug discovery gap with the objective of stimulating the formation of new ventures in downtown Toronto and of developing groundbreaking therapies to benefit Canadians and others around the world.”

The partnership will help boost the development and commercialisation of new Canadian therapies across the globe.