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Evotec, Takeda Pharmaceuticals Partner on RNA-Targeting Drug Development

NEW YORK — German drug discovery and development firm Evotec said on Monday that it has signed an agreed to develop RNA-targeting small molecule drugs in partnership with Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

Under the terms of the deal, the companies will jointly identify and develop the drugs against targets that fit within Takeda's disease areas of focus.

They will use Evotec's RNA targeting platform to identify RNA sequences that are amenable to small molecule ligands. The platform combines established drug discovery methods with new technologies such as third-generation sequencing and sequencing-based RNA structure elucidation.

Evotec stands to receive undisclosed research funding from Takeda, as well as discovery, pre-clinical, clinical, commercial, and sales milestone payments of up to $160 million per drug program. Evotec is also eligible for royalties on the sale of products resulting from the alliance.

Additional terms were not disclosed.

Last year, Evotec and Tokyo-based Takeda forged a multi-year partnership around gene therapy research.