Evotec today announced the first two projects to be developed within beLAB1407, a collaboration between Evotec and Bristol Myers Squibb to accelerate translational research from the UK's academic life science ecosystem. Only six months after signing the beLAB1407 collaboration agreement in May 2021, the first projects to be developed within this academic BRIDGE partnership have now been identified.
Both projects offer innovative and promising new mechanisms to treat cancer. The first project is based on the findings of Dr Paul Badenhorst at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences. The project aims to develop novel small molecule inhibitors targeting an epigenetic reader associated with the survival of cancer cells.
The second project has its origins in the lab of Dr Ashish Dhir at the University of Edinburgh’s MRC Institute of Genetics and Cancer and focuses on the development of small molecules promoting interferon signalling, driving an inflammation-mediated anti-tumour response.
Both projects will now be validated and developed within beLAB1407, making use of Evotec’s integrated discovery and development platform. The goal of beLAB1407 is to develop academic projects to value inflection points that allow the formation of new jointly owned spin-off companies.
Dr Thomas Hanke, EVP & Head of Academic Partnerships at Evotec, commented: “We are delighted to announce the first funded projects at beLAB1407 and we are looking forward to accelerating the highly promising translational work of Drs Badenhorst and Dhir in the area of novel cancer treatments.”
Professor Ruth Roberts, Chair and Director of Drug Discovery at the University of Birmingham commented “We are delighted to be part of the beLAB1407 collaboration, translating the best academic innovation into patient benefit. Together with BMS and Evotec, we bring a wealth of interdisciplinary expertise to ensure success in this challenging area.’’
Dr Paul Badenhorst, Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, said: ““The award of funding from the beLAB1407 BMS-Evotec Academic Partnership marks a significant step in our ongoing research programmes to understand the roles of epigenetic readers in cancer, and to develop new strategies for therapeutic intervention in a diverse range of cancer types.”
beLAB1407 is backed by Evotec in collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb. The total volume of US$ 20 m will allow for several more funding rounds. For more information on beLAB1407, visit: www.belab1407.org.
About Evotec’s BRIDGE model: Partnering to accelerate innovation
Evotec has created a new paradigm to translate early-stage academic research to drug discovery and development called “BRIDGE” (Biomedical Research, Innovation & Development Generation Efficiency), an integrated fund and award framework to tap into academic science to accelerate the formation of spin-out companies and generate collaborations with Pharma and biotech. Through these efforts, Evotec has defined a new formula for fast-track early-stage drug discovery. Since the launch of the BRIDGE model in 2016, Evotec has formed and funded a number of different collaborations, e.g. LAB282, LAB150, LAB031, LAB10x, Autobahn Labs, Argobio and Danube-Labs. Please visit www.evotec.com/en/innovate/bridges to learn more about Evotec’s BRIDGEs.