- PORTFOLIO OF DRUG DISCOVERY PROJECTS TARGETING DNA DAMAGE RESPONSES (“DDR”), A HIGHLY PROMISING APPROACH TO TREAT CANCER PATIENTS
- BREAKPOINT THERAPEUTICS WILL ADVANCE MULTIPLE COMPLEMENTARY AND SYNERGISTIC DRUG DISCOVERY PROGRAMMES INITIATED AT EVOTEC
- STRONG CONSORTIUM OF RENOWNED FUNDING PARTNERS CONSISTING OF MEDICXI, TAIHO VENTURES, LLC AND EVOTEC PROVIDING EARLY STAGE FINANCING OF € 30 M
Hamburg, Germany, 08 July 2019:
Evotec SE (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) today announced the formation of Breakpoint Therapeutics GmbH, a spin-off company focusing on the development of Evotec’s DNA damage response (“DDR”) portfolio, comprising discovery-stage assets and drug targets that promise broad therapeutic application in a variety of cancers. Breakpoint Therapeutics’ mission is to develop first and best-in-class oncology drugs that interfere with DNA repair and replication stress pathways to facilitate the cure of therapy-resistant cancers.
Breakpoint Therapeutics will initially focus on advancing multiple drug discovery programmes initiated at Evotec that address high unmet medical needs of different patient groups. The goal of the spin-off company is to accelerate early projects through discovery and pre-clinical development and expect to deliver the first IND-ready drug in 2022.
The early stage funding amounting to € 30 m will be covered by a renowned international investor consortium led by Medicxi, a life sciences-focused investment firm, Taiho Ventures, LLC (“Taiho”), the venture capital arm of Taiho Pharmaceutical, and Evotec. Evotec will hold below 50% of the company and consolidate at equity accordingly.
The company will conduct its research activities using Evotec’s fully established, validated and industrialised platforms. This highly virtual set up of Breakpoint Therapeutics achieves maximal flexibility in accessing required resource to drive projects forward at highest scientific standards and best capital efficiency.
Dr Daniel Speidel, Managing Director of Breakpoint Therapeutics, said: “We are delighted that the support of Medicxi, Taiho Ventures and Evotec has enabled us to form Breakpoint Therapeutics. Drugs that modulate DNA damage responses hold great promise for many cancer patients that don’t respond to currently existing treatments and are indeed among the most exciting new approaches to improve the success of cancer therapy. Given that so many people still die of cancer, it is absolutely vital that we turn relevant scientific concepts into new effective drugs. This is what Breakpoint Therapeutics is all about.”
Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, said: “The formation of Breakpoint Therapeutics with a core team of Evotec scientists fits well within our strategy of creating upside with an optimal risk-reward profile through participation in companies operating in selected fields of high strategic medical relevance. Creating and advancing highly capital efficient virtual biotech initiatives is one of the key advantages with the outstanding platform of Evotec.”
Dr Jon Edwards, Partner at Medicxi, said: “This is a unique opportunity to leverage the longstanding Evotec R&D platform for the rapid advancement of our DNA damage response (DDR) programmes. We’re thrilled to be supporting this expert team of scientific entrepreneurs and working alongside Taiho and Evotec, both leading industry players. This is a ground-breaking field and we’re confident that our capital efficient, asset-centric approach will enable Breakpoint Therapeutics to rapidly develop differentiated medicines for the global patient population.”
Sakae Asanuma, President of Taiho, said: “We are extremely excited to co-found Breakpoint Therapeutics, as a leading company of DNA damage response (DDR), together with sophisticated partners like Medicxi Ventures as well as Evotec SE. DDR is one of the most promising fields in oncology with higher interest following the current success of PARP inhibitors and we strongly believe Breakpoint’s DDR targeting programmes have the potential to deliver therapeutically impactful treatment options for a variety of cancer patients.”
– end –
About DNA damage responses (“DDR”)
DNA damage responses (“DDR”) are signalling pathways by which cells sense and respond to damage that affects their DNA. Most current cancer treatments, including radiation and chemotherapy, induce DNA damage with the aim of causing cancer cell death. However, many cancer cells have genetic alterations of DDR pathways. These changes enable them to resist the effect of existing therapies. They can also make those cells exquisitely and selectively sensitive to drugs that modulate DDR pathways. Modulating DNA damage responses thus offers hope to many cancer patients: those who don’t respond to existing therapies and those who may respond but suffer greatly from side effects.
About Breakpoint Therapeutics GMBH
Breakpoint Therapeutics is a spin-off company of Evotec SE. The company is focused on the development of several discovery projects in the area of DNA damage responses (“DDR”) initiated at Evotec. The goal is to develop first-in-class oncology drugs that interfere with DNA repair and replication stress pathways to facilitate the cure of therapy-resistant cancers.
Contact Breakpoint Therapeutics
Dr Daniel Speidel
Medicxi is a European venture capital firm with the mission to create and invest in companies along the full drug development continuum. Medicxi was established by the former Index Ventures life sciences team, which has been active for over 20 years, and invests in both early and late-stage assets with a product vision that can fulfill a clear unmet need. GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis and Verily, an Alphabet company, have invested in Medicxi funds. Please see www.medicxi.com for more information.
About Tahio Ventures, LLC
Taiho Ventures, LLC is the corporate venture capital arm of Taiho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a Japanese specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on oncology, allergy and immunology, and urology. Taiho Ventures is a newly established strategic investor looking at early stage preclinical oncology companies as well as platform technology companies for our core therapeutic areas. We will review the wide variety of modalities (both biologics and small molecules) and opportunities mainly in US and Europe. We will also consider the option-type of investments and spin-outs, in addition to pure equity investments.