- Drug discovery company Evotec is rolling out a new business aiming to create fibrotic disease medicines, and is working with Mars Innovation, a provider of funding for clinical-stage drugmakers, to get it off the ground.
- The companies unveiled the new enterprise, Firbrocor Therapeutics, on Tuesday. While neither of the co-creators disclosed specific compounds, a Jan. 17 statement said Fibrocor is developing novel molecules to treat fibrosis, or the scarring of body tissues, in organs such as the kidneys, liver and lungs.
- Evotec is responsible for developing investigational molecules in clinical trials, with Mars controlling business management and commercialization. The former company holds an equity stake in Fibrocor, while the latter is providing $2.1 million in funding to get the business started.
Fibrocor’s formation falls in line with larger trends seen with Evotec and the greater pharmaceutical industry.
On Evotec’s end, the company spent much of 2016 on a deal spree; so another collaboration isn’t particularly shocking. The Germany-based company inked collaborations in recent months with Bayer, Celgene and C4X Discovery focusing on kidney illness, neurodegenerative disorders, and cancer and autoimmune disease, respectively.
The company also gobbled up contract research organization Cyprotex in October for about $68 million.
“Combining Fibrocor's ability to identify novel disease relevant targets and Evotec's industry-leading drug discovery platform should greatly increase the probability of delivering effective medicines for patients,” Mario Polywka, Evotec’s chief operating officer, said in the statement.
From an industry perspective, fibrosis is a hot therapeutic area, with many disease variations and large patient populations.
As such, big players are throwing their weight behind finding and producing new treatments. Johnson & Johnson, for example, gained exclusive rights earlier this month to acquire Bird Rock Bio following Phase 1 testing of the clinical-stage biopharma’s drug for fibrotic and metabolic illnesses.
And last summer, Morphic Therapeutic — which has a preclinical program in fibrosis, among other diseases — roped in $51.5 million in Series A funding from a host of players that included Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and AbbVie.