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Evotec forms respiratory research alliance with IR Pharma

Deal will focus on providing support to research treatments for COPD, cough and asthma

Evotec has joined forces with UK-based firm IR Pharma to offer drug discovery support to pharma and biotech companies researching treatments for respiratory conditions.

The German firm, which focuses on forming discovery and development partnerships, has several alliances with pharma companies in a variety of therapy areas, but this is its first move into respiratory disease research.

IR Pharma specialises in respiratory research and offering services in target validation, in vitro profiling, in vivo profiling and pharmacological assessment of key biomarkers to evaluate respiratory drugs. This has mainly focused on treatments for asthma, cough and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).

COPD, which covers a number of chronic lung diseases, remains a real focus for pharma companies, with the US trade body Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) claiming US firms currently having 54 medicines in development.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimating that around 210m people worldwide live with the condition, the primary risk factor for which is smoking.

There is no cure for COPD, although various forms of treatment can help control its symptoms and increase quality of life for patients.

“IR Pharma has outstanding expertise in the respiratory disease area including disease relevant in vivo models and coupled with our world leading discovery engine and commercial reach, we are sure we can bring outstanding value to existing and future partners and collaborators in these demanding disease areas,” said Dr Mario Polywka, chief operating officer at Evotec AG.

“This co-operation is a significant addition to our strategy to offer the most comprehensive drug discovery solutions to our partners."

Evotec's current collaboration efforts include both a biomarker and Alzheimer's alliance with Roche, as well as efforts to research pain treatments with both Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim.

The company also recently signed a kidney disease biomarker research deal with Harvard University in the US.

16th February 2012

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