Evotec and Bayer Announce New Alliance Focusing on Drug Discovery for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome With Novel Targets From Celmatix

  • New five-year, multi-target alliance aims to translate first-in-class science and drug discovery into new drugs for polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Partners will have access to big data-driven target identification as a highly promising approach via Evotec’s alliance with Celmatix Inc.
  • Milestone payments potentially more than € 330 m, € 16.5 m in upfront and research payments

NEW YORK--()--Evotec SE and Bayer AG today announced the expansion of their partnership in women’s health indications with a new five-year, multi-target collaboration with participation from Celmatix Inc. to develop multiple clinical candidates for the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (“PCOS”).

Under the terms of the agreement, both companies will contribute drug targets and a comprehensive set of high-quality technology platforms to jointly develop innovative treatment options. The strategic alliance will also have access to targets from the recently formed partnership between Celmatix and Evotec. Celmatix is the world leader in big data-driven target discovery focused on fertility and women’s health.

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common, underdiagnosed and undertreated disease among women, with several serious co-morbidities. The currently available treatment options are also limited and insufficient,” said Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec. Our long-term partnership with Bayer and the progression of multiple clinical candidates has been very successful and we look forward to continuing the relationship to deliver novel therapies for the benefit of patients with PCOS.”

There is a high unmet medical need for women worldwide suffering from PCOS. This new research alliance will perfectly complement Bayer's research activities in the area of women’s health,” said Dr. Joerg Moeller, Member of the Executive Committee of Bayer AG’s Pharmaceuticals Division and Head of Research and Development.We look forward to joining our forces with Evotec in PCOS to develop new treatment options for women living with this often devastating condition.”

For far too long, women with PCOS have not had access to drugs that were specifically developed to treat this condition and have had to rely on drugs prescribed off label,” said Dr. Piraye Yurttas Beim, Founder and CEO of Celmatix.Working closely with Bayer and Evotec allows us to leverage our decade-long investment into understanding the molecular underpinnings of this complicated syndrome to help enable completely novel therapeutics for these women and generations of women to come.”

Bayer and Evotec will share responsibilities during the pre-clinical development of potential clinical candidates. Bayer will be responsible for any subsequent clinical development and commercialization. Evotec will receive € 6.5 m upfront payment and € 10 m research payments over five years, which it will share with Celmatix in exchange for novel target identification and prioritization as part of the recently announced strategic alliance between the companies. Evotec and Celmatix might be eligible to receive pre-clinical, clinical and sales milestones of potentially over € 330 m as well as royalties up to low double-digit percentages of net sales.

In 2012, Bayer and Evotec entered their first strategic five-year, multi-target alliance. The collaboration was successfully completed resulting in three clinical and one pre-clinical drug candidate currently advancing through development for the treatment of endometriosis. A second research alliance was initiated in 2016 to develop multiple clinical candidates for the treatment of kidney diseases.

About polycystic ovary syndrome (“PCOS”)

PCOS is the most frequent endocrine disorder in women linked to metabolic dysfunction and the most frequent cause of female infertility. 83% of infertility or pregnancy complications may be caused by PCOS. It is estimated that PCOS occurs in 5-10% of women. PCOS has a high unmet medical need due to limited treatment options. PCOS is characterized by high levels of androgens (male hormones such as testosterone) produced in the ovaries, adrenals and fat tissue leading to the typical skin signs of androgen access such as hair loss and acne. Ovarian cysts give the syndrome its name and are associated with irregular menstrual cycle and the above described infertility. 80% of PCOS patients suffer from obesity and more than half are afflicted with insulin resistance, both driven by this endocrinological disorder. While the underlying cause of PCOS is largely unknown, genomic studies underpin a strong genetic background.

About the Evotec-Celmatix partnership in women’s health

In October 2019, Evotec and Celmatix, a precision medicine company with a proprietary multi-omics platform, announced a partnership to develop pre-clinical programs in prevalent but underserved conditions affecting women’s reproductive health, including PCOS, endometriosis, and infertility. In this research collaboration, Evotec is responsible for medicinal chemistry, in vitro and in vivo pharmacology, in addition to its broad development capabilities and expertise, while Celmatix contributes novel drug target discovery, powered by its proprietary multi-omics Reproductive Atlas™ platform. The partnership was expanded in December 2019 with Evotec participating in a funding round.

About Evotec SE

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. We operate worldwide and our more than 2,900 employees provide the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery and development solutions. We cover all activities from target-to-clinic to meet the industry’s need for innovation and efficiency in drug discovery and development (EVT Execute). 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 neuronal diseases, diabetes and complications of diabetes, pain and inflammation, oncology, infectious diseases, respiratory diseases, fibrosis, rare diseases and women’s health. On this basis, Evotec has built a broad and deep pipeline of approx. 100 co-owned product opportunities at clinical, pre-clinical and discovery stages (EVT Innovate). Evotec has established multiple long-term alliances with partners including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CHDI, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi, Takeda, UCB and others. For additional information please go to www.evotec.com and follow us on Twitter @Evotec.

About Celmatix

Celmatix is a data-driven, research-stage precision health company leveraging insights from its proprietary multi-omic discovery platform, Reproductive Atlas, to develop transformational therapeutics in previously under-studied areas of women’s health. With a lead program in ovarian senescence and additional programs in non-hormonal contraceptives and specialty indications such as endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), Celmatix is developing the next generation of interventions in its field and supporting its partners in bringing innovation to a high-value market with large unmet need. For more information visit www.celmatix.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.


Colleen McMillen


Colleen McMillen