updated 5/31/2011 2:16:51 AM ET 2011-05-31T06:16:51

HAMBURG, Germany, May 31, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Evotec AG (Frankfurt:EVT) (TecDAX) today announced that a back-up compound in its strategic alliance with Boehringer Ingelheim has advanced into a Phase I clinical trial. Evotec will receive a milestone payment of EUR 2.0 million. The compound, which was discovered and optimised within the alliance, is being developed as a novel treatment for neuropathic pain.

The alliance has involved working on multiple high priority targets across key therapeutic areas. So far it has resulted in 13 milestone payments from multiple programmes.

Dr Werner Lanthaler, CEO of Evotec, added: "New more effective treatments against pain are urgently needed. We continue to enjoy a rewarding partnership at both scientific and commercial levels with Boehringer Ingelheim."

About the Collaboration

In 2004, Evotec entered into a multi-year, multi-target drug discovery collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim to jointly identify and develop preclinical development candidates for the treatment of various disease areas including CNS, inflammation, cardiometabolic and respiratory diseases. In 2009, the collaboration was extended for an additional 4 years term and the scope expanded to include oncology targets. Under the terms of the agreement, Boehringer Ingelheim has full ownership and global responsibility for clinical development, manufacturing and commercialisation of the compounds identified. In return, Evotec receives ongoing research payments and preclinical milestones. Furthermore, the contract provides substantial long-term upside for Evotec through potential payments for successful milestone achievements during clinical development and royalties when new drugs reach the market.

About Neuropathic pain

Neuropathic pain is a type of pain which is caused by damage to or dysfunction of the nervous system. There is often no 'injury' or tissue damage that triggers the pain. However, the function of the nerve is affected in a way that it sends pain messages to the brain. Neuropathic pain is often described as burning, stabbing, shooting, aching, or like an 'electric-shock'. According to the Pain journal (Bouhassira et al, 2008), as much as 7% to 8% of the world's population is affected. Furthermore, it was noted in the same journal (Dworkin et al, 2007) that neuropathic pain can be very difficult to treat with only some 40-60% of patients achieving partial relief.

About Evotec AG

Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. The Company operates worldwide providing the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery solutions, covering all activities from target-to-clinic. The Company has established a unique position by assembling top-class scientific experts and integrating state- of-the-art technologies as well as substantial experience and expertise in key therapeutic areas including neuroscience, pain, metabolic diseases, oncology and inflammation. Evotec has established long-term discovery alliances with partners including Boehringer Ingelheim, CHDI, Genentech, Medimmune/Astra Zeneca, Novartis and Ono Pharmaceutical. In addition, the Company has existing development partnerships and product candidates both in clinical and preclinical development. These include partnerships with Boehringer Ingelheim, MedImmune and with Andromeda (Teva) in the field of diabetes. For additional information please go to www.evotec.com .

Forward-Looking Statements

Information set forth in this press release contains forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgement of Evotec as of the date of this report. Such forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

CONTACT:  Dr Werner Lanthaler
          Chief Executive Officer
          +49.(0)40.560 81-242
          +49.(0)40.560 81-333 Fax
          werner.lanthaler@evotec.com
         
          Evotec AG
          Schnackenburgallee 114
          22525 Hamburg (Germany)

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