Confocal microscopy enables the detection of faint and/or small fluorescent signals by eliminating fluorescent light that is outside the plane of focus. Evotec BioSystems GmbH is incorporating a version of confocal microscopy called fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) into an automated ultra-high throughput screening system that uses submicroliter volumes of reagents, and whose custom software allows drug developers to use the signals to detect meaningful changes in molecular properties.

Evotec's FCS-based screening platform, called EVOscreen, grew out of the company's initial focus on protein evolution. Karsten Henco, CEO and CSO, and Ulrich Aldag, president and CFO, two of the founders of Qiagen N.V. (QGENF, Venlo, the Netherlands), left QGENF in 1992 to join Manfred Eigen and several other scientists to start Evotec. The company was based on Eigen's research into the directed molecular evolution of proteins, and the name Evotec is derived from "evolutionary biotechnology."