New Multiple Sclerosis Research Will Focus On Cytokine Regulation, Neuroprotection, Tolerance Induction

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by Patricia Silva, PhD |

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New MS Research

EvotecEvotec AG, a German company specializing in the provision of drug discovery resources to biotech companies and learning institutions, announced that is going to begin three new research projects for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), which will be supported by funds from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The scientific approaches being used in the three novel research projects will focus on cytokine regulation, neuroprotection, and tolerance induction for further advancing efforts to develop therapies for multiple sclerosis. The work is based on research from the Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum, an institute of the Leibniz Association, which will feature the work of Prof. A. Hamann, as well as researchers from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, with the collaboration of Prof. M. Friese and Dr. J. Herkel.

The company intends to use their drug discovery platform, as well as their project management capabilities and market presence, to help identify and facilitate candidate drugs through novel therapeutic approaches that are able to effectively tackle MS. Evotec will later commercialize them, and expects to be able to create viable competitors for the current treatments, which are mostly based on disease-modifying approaches that are used in treating patients with the relapsing-remitting form of the disease. The projects are expected to run for one and a half and three years, and are funded by a budget of more than $6.3 million dollars.

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“These novel approaches to fight MS, the disease with the highest socioeconomic impact worldwide, perfectly fit to our EVT Innovate strategy to approach disease-modifying innovation and to identify first-in-class molecules eagerly sought for by the biotech and pharmaceutical industry,” said the Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, Cord Dohrmann. “We are proud to partner with these leading German research institutions and groups to translate their exceptional disease know-how into drug candidates and furthermore into novel products.”

Evotec had recently announced it was launching a line-up groundbreaking studies focused on the disease that affects the protective covering of nerve cells, leading to disability and loss of quality of life. Some of the companies partners include Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, CHDI, Genentech, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, MedImmune/AstraZeneca, Roche and UCB.