04/19/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/19/2021 00:52
Hamburg, Germany, 19 April 2021:
Evotec SE (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) announced today that the Company has entered into both a licensing and master service agreement with Kazia Therapeutics Limited ('Kazia', ASX: KZA; NASDAQ: KZIA), an Australian oncology-focused biotechnology company. Under the contract, Evotec will grant Kazia an exclusive worldwide license for research, development and commercialisation of Evotec's oncology project EVT801.
EVT801 is a pre-clinical-stage, orally available, small molecule inhibitor of the lymphatic growth factor receptor VEGFR3, originally developed within Evotec's partnership with Sanofi. The high selectivity of EVT801 for VEGFR3 over other VEGF receptors differentiates the compound from other small-molecule multi-kinase inhibitors that target multiple VEGF receptors, which are associated with significant toxicity. EVT801 provides the potential to specifically antagonise VEGFR3 to combine high efficacy both against the primary tumour and lymphatic-borne metastases with a highly favourable toxicology profile.
Kazia seeks to clinically evaluate EVT801 both as a single agent and in combination with immunotherapy in a set of specific oncology indications. Evotec will manage the Phase I trial under the full sponsorship of Kazia. Kazia will be responsible for any subsequent clinical evaluation and commercialisation of EVT801.
Evotec receives a small upfront payment as well as further payments for continued support progressing EVT801 into the clinic and beyond, e.g. for biomarker development and CMC. Additionally, Evotec is eligible to receive clinical and commercial milestones of more than € 300 m as well as tiered high single-digit royalties on the net sales of EVT801, which will be shared with Sanofi, Evotec's partner for the discovery and early development of EVT801.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: 'We are excited to enter this licensing agreement with Kazia, who have a strong track record of clinical expertise in oncology. EVT801 comes with a comprehensive pre-clinical data package, very well-characterised pharmacology, and a clear mechanistic understanding that can inform rational selection of target populations and therapeutic combinations. In addition to a great asset, Evotec provides Kazia with a world-class team to continue progression into the clinic. We look forward to working with Kazia, to make EVT801 available to patients globally, thus providing a new treatment option for their severe unmet medical needs.'
Dr James Garner, Chief Executive Office of Kazia, said: 'We are delighted to add this tremendously exciting new compound to the Kazia pipeline. Evotec have done first-class work in the early development of EVT801, and the preclinical data package is exceptionally strong. Our intention is to fast track a phase I clinical trial of the drug, which we expect to commence in CY2021.'
Kazia Therapeutics Limited (ASX: KZA, NASDAQ: KZIA) is an oncology-focused drug development company, based in Sydney, Australia. Our lead program is paxalisib, a brain-penetrant inhibitor of the PI3K / Akt / mTOR pathway, which is being developed to treat glioblastoma, the most common and most aggressive form of primary brain cancer in adults. Licensed from Genentech in late 2016, paxalisib commenced recruitment to GBM AGILE, a pivotal study in glioblastoma, in January 2021. Seven additional studies are active in other forms of brain cancer. Paxalisib was granted Orphan Drug Designation for glioblastoma by the US FDA in February 2018, and Fast Track Designation for glioblastoma by the US FDA in August 2020. In addition, paxalisib was granted Rare Pediatric Disease Designation and Orphan Designation by the US FDA for DIPG in August 2020. In March 2021, Kazia licensed Greater China rights for paxalisib to Simcere Pharmaceutical Company. For more information, please visit www.kaziatherapeutics.com.
Information set forth in this press release contains forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgement of Evotec as of the date of this press release. Such forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.