Evotec Goes Wholesale
VC firm Oxford Bioscience's deal with Evotec gives its portfolio companies discounted access to the German biotech's screening and chemistry services--but with no obligation.
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A group of drug discovery companies believes it has found a way to use scientific discoveries about the genetics of aging to develop novel drugs for specific diseases. These companies begin with insights from animal models of longevity and long-lived human populations, which they hope will help them discover new targets for age-related diseases. Several companies have rallied around calorie restriction, an intervention known to increase lifespan in laboratory animals, and are characterizing genetic and phenotypic changes associated with calorie restriction. Others believe they have found key genes that regulate aging, and hope to use this knowledge to develop drugs for such age-related as diseases as cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. The challenges for companies will be to validate mechanisms implicated in aging, and then link them to specific diseases. However, the diseases of aging are some of the toughest drug development categories; they're often progressive diseases that develop over the course of years, and proving that drugs slow down disease progression or prevent onset involves tough endpoints.
Public markets around the world are down; Germany's Neuer Markt is also out. The demise of the exchange once hailed as Europe's most promising will hit more than just Germany's listed stocks. It affects the country's private sector, too, where young companies-and their investors-are frantically seeking ways to weather the storm.
As the global shut-down caused by the coronavirus pandemic continues, sponsors are rushing to adapt clinical trials that can move to partial or completely remote monitoring, allowing patients to remain in their homes but continue to participate in studies. And the outbreak may have another silver lining for the biopharma industry, a chance to rebuild its reputation.