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Evotec Inks Deal with Apeiron to Use Chemical Proteomics in Cancer Drug Development


German pharmaceutical firm Evotec said this week that it has entered a research collaboration with Apeiron Biologics in which it will apply its chemical proteomic capabilities to the development of immunomodulatory compounds to treat cancer.

The agreement stems from a successful high-throughput phenotypic screen previously performed for Apeiron by Evotec, the company said in a statement.

Evotec obtained its chemical proteomics assets through its 2011 purchase of proteomics firm Kinaxo Biotechnologies for €16 million ($22 million). Kinaxo, which was spun out of the Max Planck Institute by researchers including Matthias Mann, used mass-spec-based competition binding assays to profile small molecule drugs and drug targets.

In June 2011, Evotec signed a deal with Roche to use the technology to identify biomarkers for oncology drugs in Roche's pipeline (PM 7/1/2011). Prior to the acquisition, Kinaxo had collaborations ongoing with pharma firms including Takeda and AstraZeneca.

Apeiron is a Vienna-based biotech firm with five current clinical programs, including projects developing therapies for neuroblastoma and inflammation.

Financial and other details of the agreement were not provided.