Evotec AG (OTC PINK: EVTCY) (FSE: EVTA) (XETRA: EVT) announced on 2/28/19 that a promising small molecule from its multi-target alliance with Bayer has advanced into Phase II clinical development for the treatment of persistent chronic cough. As a result of the trial initiation, Evotec received a payment of $3.4 million.
In October 2012, Evotec and Bayer began their multi-target discovery alliance with the shared goal to discover three clinical candidates with a focus in the field of endometriosis. The successful and productive long-term alliance ended in 2018, generating six first-in-class pre-clinical candidates three of which have progressed into Phase I clinical trials. Bayer advanced a first programme into a Phase II trial in chronic cough in July 2018 and has now initiated a further candidate into a second Phase II trial for the same indication.
Persistent chronic cough is significant problem. Chronic cough is a painful, debilitating condition characterised by unexplained coughing episodes ranging from 10s to 100s of times per hour and persisting for longer than 8 weeks in adults or 4 weeks in children. Chronic cough can last for months or even years and is one of the most common reasons for seeing a doctor. The global prevalence of chronic cough is approximately 10 percent. Currently, treatments are available to manage this condition - including antihistamines, inhaled asthma drugs, among others - but there are no approved drug therapies that treat the underlying condition of chronic cough.
Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, commented: "Our long-term alliance with Bayer represents our continued commitment to bring new therapeutics options to millions of patients. We are pleased to see a second compound from this alliance moving into Phase II studies for chronic cough, a debilitating condition affecting about ten percent of the global population and with no approved, curative therapy."