Evotec and Helmholtz Centre joining platforms and forces for novel antibiotics
The collaboration will initially focus on cystobactamids, a family of natural antibacterial products with broad activity against the most dangerous Gram-negative pathogens
Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (“HZI”) announced today a collaboration with the goal to address a major global health threat by developing novel antibiotics that overcome drug-resistant bacterial pathogens. Research activities will initially be focused on the optimisation of cystobactamids, a family of natural antibacterial products with innovative chemical scaffolds that are active against the most dangerous Gram-negative pathogens on the WHO priority list.
Under the terms of the agreement, Evotec and HZI will collaborate for an initial term of 3 years. The collaboration will combine HZI’s unique collection and know-how of natural products as well as access to in vitro and in vivo models of bacterial infection with Evotec’s leading drug discovery platform, expertise in medicinal chemistry and pharmacology as well as world-leading collection of bacterial pathogens.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “Combining the platforms of one of Europe’s leading and most prestigious academic anti-infectives research institutions with one of the industry’s largest and most comprehensive antibacterial drug discovery platforms is a great opportunity to advance the fight against antimicrobial resistance. Applying proven platforms in combination with the latest technologies and world-leading expertise is the most effective way to address one of most challenging health care threats for society. We are extremely proud that HZI chose Evotec as their partner.”
Prof. Dirk Heinz, Scientific Director of HZI, said: “Translating insights from infectious diseases research into medical applications as quickly as possible is a crucial part of HZI’s mission. Strategic cooperation with clinical and industry partners is vital to delivering on this translational mission by further developing innovative drug candidates such as cystobactamids as a potential tool against dangerous Gram-negative hospital germs. With Evotec we have found a strong and long-term oriented partner whose profile complements HZI’s own expertise in antibiotics research extremely well. We are looking forward to develop our drug candidates together with Evotec.”
No financial details of this collaboration were disclosed.
About antimicrobial resistance:
Antimicrobial resistance or AMR is the ability of a microorganism, such as bacteria, viruses, and some parasites, to prevent an antibiotic from working against it. As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and new resistance mechanisms may rapidly spread globally. AMR is one of the biggest threats to global health today and – if left untreated – could result in 10 million annual deaths and a cumulative global cost of $ 100 trillion by 2050.
About the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research:
Scientists at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig and its other sites in Germany, are engaged in the study of bacterial and viral infections and the body’s defence mechanisms. They have a profound expertise in natural compound research and its exploitation as a valuable source for novel anti-infectives. As member of the Helmholtz Association and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) HZI performs translational research laying the ground for the development of effective new treatments and vaccines against infectious diseases.
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 and our more than 2,500 employees provide the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery and development solutions. We cover all activities from target-to-clinic to meet the industry’s need for innovation and efficiency in drug discovery and development (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 neuronal diseases, diabetes and complications of diabetes, pain and inflammation, oncology, infectious diseases, respiratory diseases and fibrosis. On this basis, Evotec has built a broad and deep pipeline of approx. 100 co-owned product opportunities at clinical, pre-clinical and discovery stages (EVT Innovate). Evotec has established multiple long-term alliances with partners including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, CHDI, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi, Takeda, UCB and others. For additional information please go to and on Twitter @EvotecAG.
Forward looking statements:
Information set forth in this press release contains forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgement of Evotec as of the date of this press release. Such forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
The press release is also available on our website:
Susanne Thiele, Press Officer
Dr Andreas Fischer, Editor
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research
Press and Communications