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Bayer, Evotec expand women's health collaboration to new disease target

German companies Evotec SE and Bayer AG expanded their partnership in women's health with a new five-year collaboration to develop multiple potential treatments for polycystic ovary syndrome.

This common hormonal disorder affects women of reproductive age who may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid and fail to regularly release eggs.

Evotec will receive a €6.5 million up-front payment and €10 million in research payments over five years through the expanded partnership. The company may also be eligible to receive preclinical, clinical and sales milestones of over €330 million as well as royalties of net sales.

As part of the agreement, both companies will be responsible for drug targets and technology platforms to jointly develop the drug candidates. Evotec and Bayer will work together during the preclinical development of the potential therapies, while Bayer alone will take over on any subsequent clinical development and commercialization. Bayer will also have access to targets from a recent partnership between Celmatix Inc. and Evotec through the expanded deal.

Evotec and Bayer entered into an initial strategic five-year collaboration in 2012, through which the companies are developing a potential treatment of endometriosis. The disorder causes tissue similar to that which forms the lining of the uterus to grow outside of the uterine cavity. The companies also collaborated in 2016 to develop potential drugs for kidney diseases.