Toronto, Sept. 14, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — MaRS Innovation (“MI”) and Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) today announced the launch of “LAB150”. This transformational Toronto-based partnership will give Canada access to the world-class infrastructure and drug discovery expertise of Evotec, and pair it with cutting-edge drug discovery projects emerging from the 15 Member institutions of MaRS Innovation.
A crucial lack of the funding, specialized infrastructure and drug development expertise necessary to translate disease-related biological pathways into focused drug discovery programmes has been a persistent hindrance for promising biomedical research to reach clinical development and the marketplace in Canada and globally. LAB150 addresses precisely this challenge. The goal of this new partnership is to significantly shorten the drug discovery timeline and to generate viable start-up companies with high potential for success.
MI will identify projects and build technical and business cases from scientific concepts that focus on first-in-class and disease-related novel biological pathways. Evotec will contribute infrastructure and pre-clinical drug development expertise to translate such discoveries into potential medicines.
Said Dr Rafi Hofstein, President & CEO of MI: “LAB150 represents an extraordinary opportunity for Canada to bridge the drug discovery gap with the objective of stimulating the formation of new ventures in Ontario and of developing ground-breaking therapies to benefit Canadians and others around the world. LAB150 is an additional building block aimed at enhancing the increasingly important Canadian drug discovery research and associated commercialization ”.
Dr Werner Lanthaler, CEO of Evotec commented: “We are delighted to expand our academic BRIDGE network and partnerships together with MaRS Innovation. The dramatic reduction of search costs for capital for the first translational work packages of academic science, early validation of experiments, and industry proven drug discovery processes will add a highly valuable new tool to the Canadian ecosystem of innovation”.
Evotec is seeking partnerships across all biotechnology innovation hubs and has selected MI and Toronto as a top-notch venue for its first North American partnership. This is a testament not only to MI’s novel approach to commercialization but also to the quality of science and innovation of MI’s Member Institutions. Supported by financial contributions from both MI and Evotec, this newly formed five-year partnership will accelerate the development and commercialization of Canadian-born therapies delivered globally. MI and Evotec are already collaborating on other projects, notably Fibrocor Therapeutics LP, a company based in Toronto which focuses on developing first-in-class therapeutics targeting fibrotic diseases.
The name of this partnership, LAB150, commemorates Canada’s 150th anniversary.
ABOUT MARS INNOVATION
MaRS Innovation is the commercialization agent for 15 of Ontario’s leading academic institutions including the University of Toronto and its affiliated research hospitals, York University, Ryerson University and Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute. Supported by the Government of Canada through the Networks of Centres of Excellence, by the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Centres of Excellence, and by its Members, MaRS Innovation is a transformational partnership that turns research strengths into commercial opportunities through industry partnerships, licensing and company creation. MaRS Innovation represents over $1.47 billion of R&D funding annually, a portfolio of 60 companies, $160M in outside risk capital, and is credited with creating over 400 jobs. For more information please visit www.marsinnovation.com.
About Evotec AG
Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academics, patient advocacy groups and venture capitalists. We operate worldwide providing the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery solutions, covering all activities from target-to-clinic to meet the industry’s need for innovation and efficiency in drug discovery (EVT Execute). The Company has established a unique position by assembling top-class scientific experts and integrating state-of-the-art technologies as well as substantial experience and expertise in key therapeutic areas including neuroscience, diabetes and complications of diabetes, pain and inflammation, oncology and infectious diseases. On this basis, Evotec has built a broad and deep pipeline of more than 80 partnered product opportunities at clinical, pre-clinical and discovery stages (EVT Innovate). Evotec has established multiple long-term discovery alliances with partners including Bayer, CHDI, Sanofi or UCB and development partnerships with e.g. Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the field of Alzheimer’s disease, with Sanofi in the field of diabetes and with Pfizer in the field of tissue fibrosis. For additional information please go to www.evotec.com.