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Evotec expands into gene therapy with new Austrian unit

6 Apr 2020

Evotec has established a dedicated gene therapy-based R&D site in Orth an der Donau, Austria with the immediate focus of spearheading a partnership with Japan’s Takeda to support its research projects, the German drug discovery firm said Monday.

The new unit, Evotec Gene Therapy, will start operations with a team with expertise in vectorology and virology as well as disease insights, in particular in hemophilia, hematology, metabolic and muscle diseases.

In explaining the rationale for the move, Evotec said the addition marked an important step towards its long-term goal of becoming a fully modality-agnostic drug discovery and development partnership company.

"In recent years, precision medicines based on cell and gene therapies have emerged and are predicted to grow significantly,” said Dr Werner Lanthaler, chief executive officer of Evotec. “Gene therapy is a promising approach in the development of genetic medicines for patients, especially for inherited and rare diseases. Finding the best candidate agnostic of modality for any given disease biology will ultimately bring forward the best medicine for patients."

Under the terms of the agreement with Takeda, Evotec will support multiple Takeda programmes targeting conditions in four core therapeutic areas: oncology, rare diseases, neuroscience and gastroenterology.

No financial details of the agreement have been disclosed.

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