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Evotec, Second Genome to discover new treatment for microbiome-mediated diseases

German drug discovery firm Evotec and US-based biotechnology company Second Genome have entered into a partnership for small molecule-based discovery and development activities to treat microbiome-mediated diseases.

The deal, which triggers an undisclosed upfront payment, includes the discovery and optimisation of new compounds as well as licence agreements for already existing assets developed by Evotec.

Under the deal, Second Genome’s approach to identify and modulate microbiome-mediated pathways will be further improved by the use and results of Evotec’s integrated drug discovery platform.

Both the firms will jointly work to screen microbiome-mediated targets of interest identified by the Second Genome microbiome discovery platform with Evotec’s technology platform, chemical libraries and other pre-clinical capabilities.

Evotec chief scientific officer Dr Cord Dohrmann said: "We are pleased to contribute to Second Genome’s unique approach to treat microbiome-mediated diseases in the body with a particular emphasis on the gut.

"The enrichment and maturation of Second Genome’s project portfolio through our contributions will enhance the Company’s clinical pipeline in the near future."

As part of the collaboration, Evotec is also eligible for pre-clinical, clinical, regulatory milestones and royalty payments related to commercialisation.

Second Genome chief business officer Mohan Iyer said: "The partnership with Evotec allows us efficiently to translate our unique microbiome discovery platform efficiently into tangible drug molecules for clinical development.

"Our enriched pipeline offers new treatment approaches for patients across a wide range of diseases with an initial focus on inflammatory conditions. We look forward to a sustained partnership with Evotec."