- German drugmaker Bayer has signed a five-year research deal with Evotec to develop clinical candidates for treatment of kidney disease, broadening a partnership begun four years ago in a separate pact focused on endometriosis.
- Bayer will get exclusive access to selected candidates and Evotec’s "CureNephron" target pipeline, and will carry out clinical development and commercialization on any candidates selected. In return, Evotec will receive a minimum of €14 million over the five years. Milestones balloon the deal's potential value up to as much as €300 million.
- The CDC estimates one in ten adults in the U.S. have some degree of kidney disease, and those with diabetes or high blood pressure are at higher risk.
The advance of chronic kidney disease (CKD), which is often asymptomatic in its early stages, can be slowed through medication and lifestyle changes. However, as the disease gets more advanced, therapeutic options are more limited.
“Patients with end-stage renal disease face dialysis or kidney transplantation as the only available treatment options. There are no effective treatments that can significantly slow or reverse disease progression," said Cord Dohrmann, chief scientific officer of Evotec.
Bayer has a drug for diabetic kidney disease, finerenone, currently in Phase 3 trials, testing the drug's effect on disease progression. Another study, again in diabetic patients with kidney disease, is aimed at testing finerenone ability to reduce cardiovascular disease and death.
As part of the new partnership agreement, both companies will contribute drug targets and share pre-clinical development responsibilities.
Evotec and Bayer paired up in 2012 with a separate five-year agreement to develop drugs for endometriosis, resulting (so far) in four preclinical candidates with a fifth already in the clinic.
“Evotec is already a strong partner of ours, and we look forward to continuing the relationship to develop novel drug candidates for the benefit of patients,” said Andreas Busch, head of drug discovery at Bayer.