Evotec, Takeda partner on RNA-targeting drug discovery, development

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

March 22, 2021 -- Evotec has entered into an alliance with Takeda Pharmaceutical with the goal of discovering and developing RNA-targeting small-molecule therapeutics for targets that are difficult to address with conventional approaches.

Together, the companies will jointly identify and develop small molecules targeting a range of RNA targets aligned with Takeda's research and development areas. The collaboration will leverage Evotec's RNA-targeting platform to optimally identify promising RNA sequences to target with small-molecule ligands that can potentially be developed into first-in-class therapeutics.

Evotec's platform uses structure-based recognition of RNA tertiary structures as an alternative to sequence-based approaches. RNA-targeting small-molecule approaches enable novel therapeutics by allowing highly conserved parts of RNA, creating pathways where encoded proteins cannot be targeted with conventional targeted approaches.

Under the agreement, Evotec will receive significant research funding and will be eligible to receive discovery, preclinical, clinical, commercial, and sales milestone payments of up to $160 million per program. Additionally, Evotec is entitled to tiered royalties on net sales of any product resulting from the collaboration.

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