This announcement contains inside information
C4X Discovery Holdings plc
("C4XD" or the "Company")
C4X Discovery builds on previous agreement with Evotec on broad, innovative drug discovery portfolio
C4X Discovery Holdings plc (AIM: C4XD), an innovative drug discovery engine, today announces that the Company has entered into a multi-target, risk-sharing alliance ("the Agreement") with Evotec AG ("Evotec"), a leading drug discovery alliance and development partnership company. The new Agreement builds on the strategic collaboration between the two companies announced in January 2015 and will see C4XD and Evotec work together to develop new small molecule drugs across a range of targets, therapeutic areas and stages of development, with the initial programmes targeted towards the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases.
This new, longer-term strategic alliance will be a risk-shared multi-target programme with a minimum of three projects active at any point in time. As part of the Agreement, Evotec will apply its extensive assay and screening technologies, laboratory scientists and medicinal chemistry know-how to selected C4XD programmes, in return for funding to partially cover operational costs, milestones dependent on developmental success and a share of potential future royalties.
Each programme will run until the point of Potential Development Candidate ("PDC") nomination, after which C4XD, which retains all IP, will have the right to out-license successful projects to the pharma industry or proceed itself to clinical studies on a case-by-case basis, as per its existing model. Financial terms have not been disclosed.
This collaboration is consistent with C4XD's approach to drug discovery whereby target identification and validation, compound design and optimisation, and critical-path planning are conducted in-house, while those activities that require laboratory infrastructure and technically specialised staff - such as chemical synthesis, assay development, compound screening and conduct of disease models - are partnered with specialised providers. However, in Evotec, C4XD gains not only a partner with significant know-how and expertise in the target and therapeutic areas C4XD is pursuing, but one with common developmental and commercial goals and the financial strength to share developmental risk with C4X, thereby reducing near-term cost while increasing the potential output of C4XD’s drug discovery engine.
Evotec is listed in Germany on Xetra with a market capitalisation of more than €600m and, in 2015, €127.7m in revenues. The company has the largest chemistry operation in the whole of the UK life-sciences sector, including large pharma, and counts among its clients most of the world’s top-20 pharmaceutical companies.
Commenting on the strategic collaboration, Clive Dix, CEO of C4X Discovery, commented: "We are delighted to expand on our successful relationship with Evotec through this alliance that is designed to support us in achieving our vision of becoming the world’s most productive drug discovery engine. This new long-term Agreement is a step change from our previous collaboration as now the risk of small molecule development will be shared as we progress candidates towards the clinic. We have already identified the first three small molecule targets and the combination of our unique technologies and the infrastructure and expertise that Evotec has in place will enable us to accelerate the development of novel small molecule drug candidates."
Dr Mario Polywka, Chief Operating Officer of Evotec, commented: "We are very pleased to continue and expand the broad-based drug discovery collaboration with C4XD. This integrated drug discovery deal showcases our broad target class expertise coupled with our industry leading platform, which perfectly complements C4XD's technology and expertise. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration with our scientific colleagues and friends at C4XD."
No financial details were disclosed.