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Evotec wins H3 receptor antagonist programme grant

Evotec AG announced recently that it will receive funding of up to €1.5 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research to advance its H3 receptor antagonist programme into the clinic.

Evotec has successfully identified and optimized H3 receptor antagonists through to preclinical development, and this grant will now provide external funding for Evotec to advance the programme through Phase I clinical studies.

The histamine H3 receptor is a drug target of high interest because of evidence that blocking this receptor in the brain can improve cognition, alertness and attention. H3 receptor antagonists, therefore, have the potential to become an important new class of therapy in a number of CNS indications, including excessive fatigue associated with conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

Dr Werner Lanthaler, CEO of Evotec, commented: ‘We are happy that the Neu² consortium has chosen to support our H3 receptor antagonist programme for further development within the BioPharma initiative. By driving these novel drug candidates from identification through to the first clinical steps, we can optimally capture the commercial value of this programme.’

The Neu2 consortium, including Evotec, MerckSerono, the European ScreeningPort GmbH, Bionamics GmbH, and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf – among others – were successful against stiff competition in the BioPharma initiative, a nationwide strategic competition of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research with the objective of supporting innovative drug discovery programmes in the German Pharma and Biotech industry. The Neu2 consortium focuses on developing therapeutics aimed at multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases.

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