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Evotec and Spero Therapeutics extend collaboration to develop novel antibacterials

Evotec AG extends the existing collaboration with Spero Therapeutics ("Spero"), based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Evotec AG extends of an existing collaboration with Spero Therapeutics (“Spero”), based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, aimed at discovering and developing new and ground-breaking therapeutics for Gram-negative bacteria to treat serious infections and address the growing threat to global public health resulting from antibiotic resistance.

Fighting Multi-Resistant Bacteria

Under the terms of the agreement, Evotec will complement Spero’s capabilities by providing early-stage research support for key projects such as Spero’s Potentiator programme which is focused on increasing the potency of existing drugs against multi-drug resistant Gram-negative bacteria. Infections resulting from Gram-negative bacteria is an area that has been without novel therapeutics or approaches in more than fourty years.

Virulence and Persistance

In addition, Spero will direct Evotec’s in vitro and in vivo infectious disease capabilities to advance its MvfR programme which focuses on two highly important bacterial processes, virulence and persistance. The collaboration includes substantial research funding to Evotec and runs to the end of 2016. No further financial details were disclosed.

Dr Mario Polywka, Chief Operating Officer of Evotec, commented: “We are delighted to continue to work in this expanded fashion with Spero in the important fight against multi-drug resistance shown in bacterial infections. This programme highlights Evotec’s unique capabilities in infectious disease and the ongoing success of the 2014 acquisition of Euprotec.”

Dr Ankit Mahedevia, Founder and CEO of Spero Therapeutics, added: “Spero continues to pioneer ground-breaking approaches to treat serious infections; Evotec’s support has been essential in our efforts to develop multiple new therapeutic class of medicines.”

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About Spero

Spero is a product-focused biopharmaceutical company developing a pipeline of novel treatments for bacterial infections and is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company’s pipeline of anti-infective agents is one of the most unique in the industry – focused exclusively on gram-negative bacterial infections. The Spero Potentiator program provides the opportunity to increase the power of standard of care by enhancing existing drugs through a dramatic increase in their potency against multi-drug resistant gram-negative bacteria. Spero’s MvfR inhibitor program works differently from existing antibiotics by targeting a pathway involved in two critical bacterial processes: virulence and persistence. Spero’s pipeline of drug candidates may uniquely reduce the morbidity caused by severe infections and promote their clearance, including in bacterial strains highly resistant to even the most potent existing antibiotics. The investors in Spero include Atlas Venture, SR One, The Partners Innovation Fund, Lundbeckfond Ventures, MRL Ventures, and The Kraft Group.

About Evotec

Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academics, patient advocacy groups and venture capitalists. Drug discovery solutions are provided in form of fee-for-service work, integrated drug discovery alliances, development partnerships, licensing of innovative drug candidates and consulting arrangements. Operating worldwide the company boast key therapeutic expertise in the areas of neuroscience, pain, metabolic diseases, oncology, inflammation and infectious diseases. By leveraging this expertise, Evotec intends to develop best-in-class and first-in-class differentiated therapeutics on its systematic, unbiased and comprehensive infrastructure.

Evotec has long-term discovery alliances with partners including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, CHDI, Genentech, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, MedImmune/AstraZeneca, Roche and UCB. In addition, the Company has existing development partnerships and product candidates both in clinical and pre-clinical development. These include partnerships with Boehringer Ingelheim and MedImmune in the field of diabetes, with Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the field of depression and with Roche in the field of Alzheimer’s disease.

Evotec is built on integrated drug discovery know-how of over 20 years and is a leading player in the drug discovery field. The company’s headquarters are located in Hamburg, Germany. Additional major operating sites exist in Abingdon and Manchester, UK; Göttingen and Munich, Germany, South San Francisco, Branford and Princeton, USA as well as Toulouse, France. Evotec has approx. 900 employees worldwide.

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