Evotec and Ohio State University collaborate on novel cancer therapy
by Lloyd Dunlap  |  Email the author

HAMBURG, Germany—Evotec AG, has announced a research collaboration with the laboratories of Prof. Roger Briesewitz at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC -James).
The objective of the collaboration is to progress a novel mechanism for engaging the KRas target discovered at The Ohio State University using Evotec's technology platform and broad expertise in drug discovery and pre-clinical development, to validate and progress novel leads into pharmaceutically developable candidates.
KRas is a small GTPase regulating the RAS/MAPK signalling cascade that governs cell division. Mutations in KRas are early transforming events in tumourigenesis and are highly prevalent in lethal cancers such as lung, colon and pancreatic cancer. Addressing the challenging tractability of this well-established oncology target, work conducted at Ohio State provides a novel route to engage the target.
"Working and initiating a strategic dialogue with OSUCCC is a great privilege for us, especially in such an important field in oncology. Activating mutations of KRas are one of the most frequent genetic events in cancers, and yet mutant KRas has long been considered an intractable drug target. However, working with Roger and his team, we believe we have an opportunity to attack this elusive target from a different angle with the potential to deliver an exciting new anti-cancer therapeutic", said Dr Werner Lanthaler, CEO of Evotec.
"Through this collaboration with Evotec, novel biological discoveries and medical insights made at Ohio State will be effectively translated into a state-of-the-art drug discovery project. The collaboration is already demonstrating the benefit of an alliance in accelerating drug discovery projects", said Dr. Tim Wright, founding partner and director, Drug Development Institute OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute, vice president, Technology Commercialization Office.
Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. We operate worldwide providing the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery solutions, covering all activities from target-to-clinic. The company has established a unique position by assembling top-class scientific experts and integrating state-of-the-art technologies as well as substantial experience and expertise in key therapeutic areas including neuroscience, pain, metabolic diseases, oncology, inflammation and infectious diseases. 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.
Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center—Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute ("OSUCCC - James") strives to create a cancer-free world by integrating molecular- and genetic-based discoveries into patient care, a strategy that leads to better prevention, detection and treatment of individual cancers. OSUCCC - James is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated  Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only four centers funded by the NCI to conduct both Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials. More than 300 cancer researchers from 12 of Ohio State's 14 colleges collaborate across research programs and disciplines to make some of the world's most game-changing discoveries. In December 2014, The Ohio State University was scheduled to open the doors of the new James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, a transformational facility that fosters collaboration and integration of cancer research and clinical cancer care. The new James will help revolutionize cancer prevention and care by enabling world-class oncologists and researchers to work side-by-side to solve the mysteries of this disease.
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