Evotec AG has entered into a license agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals for its NR2B subtype selective NMDA-antagonist portfolio for development to treat diseases related to depression.
Janssen has an exclusive, worldwide license to a series of small molecule drug candidates to further develop the compounds and market the resulting products. Janssen’s affiliate, Janssen R&D, LLC, will conduct the clinical development work.
Evotec will receive $2 million upfront and an additional $6 million upon confirmation of certain preclinical properties of the candidates. Evotec is eligible to receive additional milestones for certain clinical, regulatory and launch events for a first product, which may total as much as $67 million, as well as $100 million in commercial milestones and royalties on certain future sales. Evotec will share portions of the payments with F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., which originally discovered the molecules.
Dr. Mario Polywka, chief operating officer of Evotec, said, "Evotec has worked towards tackling the significant need for an effective treatment approach against depression. The now sealed collaboration with Janssen reflects not only the value attributable to our past development efforts but, more importantly, also enhances the hopes of many patients to gain access to a first-in-class relief of their suffering. We are happy to team with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, one of the leaders in the field for the further development of our NMDA antagonists."