Evotec AG (Germany) and MaRS Innovation (Canada) announced that they have identified the first project to be developed under their LAB150 partnership.
LAB150 is a collaboration between MaRS Innovation and Evotec AG designed to accelerate drug discovery. The mission of LAB150 is three-pronged: to develop and identify commercializable assets based on disease-related novel biological pathways; to significantly shorten the drug discovery timeline and; to generate viable start-up companies with high potential for success.
After signing a collaboration agreement in September 2017, the first project within this academic BRIDGE has now been identified. The project aims to develop kallikrein-targeting compounds as novel topical drugs for the rare but severe inflammatory skin disease ‘Netherton Syndrome’ as well as the broader disorder atopic dermatitis. Skin kallikreins are expressed in the outer layer of the human skin and represent an attractive target. Extensive research over many years from the laboratory of Dr. Eleftherios P. Diamandis at Mount Sinai Hospital, part of Sinai Health System in Toronto, has shown that excessive activity of kallikreins is central to the development of skin inflammation.
Approximately 2-5% of the general population and 20-30% of newborns suffer from skin inflammatory diseases, which significantly impede their quality of life. Current options are limited to general immune-suppressants (steroids) or systemic anti-inflammatory biologics. The team has completed a series of drug screening activities which have led to the identification of some very promising novel kallikrein inhibitors.
Dr. Werner Lanthaler, CEO of Evotec comments: “Following the positive outcome of further drug discovery efforts that are conducted jointly at Evotec and at Dr. Diamandis’ lab, the foundation of a new company is planned in order to make these therapies available to patients in the most efficient and effective manner through LAB150.”