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2022-05-11| R&D

Evotec Expands Partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb for Potential $5 Billion Deal

by Reed Slater
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Evotec announced on May 10 that it will extend and expand its partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb in targeted protein degradation in a deal that includes a $200 million upfront payment with the potential for $5 billion adding royalties and net sales. The two have been working together since 2018 and agreed to extend the relationship for another eight years to advance protein degradation technology with the help of Evotec’s data framework tools, EVOpanOmics and EVOpanHunter. 

Protein Degradation as High-Value Therapeutic Drugs

Bristol Myers Squibb is a gargantuan pharmaceutical company with dozens of approved drugs adding to its revenue stream, but Evotec’s particular interest lies in Bristol Myers Squibb’s expertise in molecular glue technologies to target protein degradation. 

“Bristol Myers Squibb is the pioneer and industry-leader in the field of molecular glue degraders.” Dr. Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, said, “ Molecular glues are one of the most exciting new modalities as they can be developed into highly selective and potent degraders of high-value therapeutic targets, even reaching molecular targets which have been deemed undruggable by conventional means.”

Bristol Myers Squibb explains that protein degradation is so essential because the body is continually producing proteins while removing proteins that are inactive or mutated. When a cell is unable to remove certain proteins, they have the potential to accumulate and cause diseases like cancer. Molecular glue technologies are designed to target protein degradation to prevent and treat diseases caused by inactive or mutated proteins. 

Evotec and Bristol Myers Squibb’s collaboration is predicated on working to promote the targeted degradation of disease-causing proteins using Bristol Myers Squibb’s established range of protein degraders and Evotec’s proprietary omics-based technology tools for data collection and evaluation. 

Related Article: SK Biopharma Teams Up with Targeted Protein Degrader Ubix

Omics-Driven Development

Multi-omics data is a rapidly growing trend in biotechnology that consists of large datasets recording characteristics of various “omic” sectors of biology like genomics, phenomics, and transcriptomics. Access to multi-omics data is proving to be invaluable for researchers because AI and machine learning help comb through massive amounts of data. Additionally, correlations that may have been previously undetected can now be highlighted by computer programs. 

Several multi-omics data tools like MAINE, MiBiOmics, and OneOmics Suite are used to develop biological insights from datasets. Evotec’s EVOPanOmics has thrown itself into the mix to advance drug development. Evotec states that it has access to high-quality molecular patient databases, which it will use to understand molecular mechanisms and refine drug development for therapies in the future. 

Gathering data is just half the battle in omics-based technologies. The other half is assembling the data into digestible and intelligible forms so researchers can leverage the data to develop more effective treatments. To assist in data analysis, Evotec developed EVOpanHunter to leverage AI and machine learning technology to parse through copious amounts of data to provide more useful information for researchers. 

In conjunction with Bristol Myers Squibb’s molecular glue technologies, Evotec hopes to continue to advance protein degradation technology with their proprietary omics data-driven tools.

A Success Story So Far

Since its inception in 2018, Evotec’s partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb has reported stellar results. As recently as January, the two reported an expansion of the targeted protein degradation project, which rewarded Evotec $15 million. 

Evotec and Bristol Myers Squibb’s most recent partnership expansion is another step in their blossoming relationship. Molecular glue technologies targeting protein degradation are the central aspect of their partnership, but the two have also reported success in projects involving their neuroscience collaboration. 

Building on the back of Bristol Myers Squibb’s established set of technologies and therapies and Evotec’s cutting-edge data collection and analysis tools, the two are on an exciting path that will be compelling to follow into the future. 

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