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Evotec and Roche in Alzheimer’s partnership

Evotec and Roche have signed a deal for the development of a treatment for Alzheimer's disease

Evotec and Roche have entered into an exclusive worldwide agreement for the development and commercialisation of Evotec's monoamine oxidase type B (MAO-B) inhibitor in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Evotec will receive an upfront fee of $10m and could receive further development and commercial milestone payments of up to $820m, as well as tiered double-digit royalties on sales.

Roche will initiate studies in 2012 to demonstrate proof of concept and will be responsible for all clinical development, manufacturing and commercialisation activities.

Evotec's compound (EVT 302) is a potent inhibitor of MAO-B, an enzyme that breaks down the chemical messenger dopamine in the brain and contributes to the production of free radicals, which may contribute to pathogenesis of Alzheimer's as demonstrated by the up-regulation of MAO-B expression in the brain of patients.

For these reasons, the selective MAO-B inhibitor is targeted to treat Alzheimer's symptoms and potentially slow disease progression.

The compound was originally licensed from Roche to Evotec in 2006 for a different indication.

Jean-Jacques Garaud, head of Roche's pharma research and early development unit, said: "Roche is committed to bringing innovative treatments to patients suffering from devastating neurodegenerative diseases, and is developing a number of approaches to tackle Alzheimer's.

The addition of EVT-302 to our central nervous system pipeline complements other approaches we are investigating including tau- and amyloid- targeted therapies."

Evotec has changed its revenue guidance for 2011 from €70-72m to €77-79m following the deal, and has increased its 2011 year-end liquidity target to more than €60m.

6th September 2011

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