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12:00 AM
 | 
Jul 30, 2012
 |  BioCentury  |  Tools & Techniques

Screening beta

Evotec's in vitro screens key to Harvard-J&J beta cell deal for diabetes

In the last 16 months Evotec AG has done two deals using its porcine beta cell screening technology. The first was a collaboration with Harvard University to discover diabetes therapies targeting beta cell regeneration. This month, Johnson & Johnson snapped up the resulting portfolio of small molecules and biologics.

J&J's Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. subsidiary has exclusive rights to develop and commercialize the drug candidates for Type I and Type II diabetes. Evotec and Harvard will share the $8 million upfront payment, as well as potential milestone payments of up to $300 million per product plus royalties.

Evotec would not disclose the targets of the therapeutic candidates included in the J&J deal. But Douglas Melton, who supplied the targets in the Evotec-Harvard collaboration, has published on a set of small molecule adenosine kinase inhibitors that promote replication of beta cells in rodent, porcine and other animal models (see SciBX: Science-Business eXchange, June 14).

Melton is a professor at Howard Hughes Medical Instituteand Harvard and co-director of Harvard's Stem Cell Institute. Last...

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