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Owkin and Evotec partner to accelerate therapeutics in oncology and I&I

The companies will aim to select targets, discover and develop new therapeutics

Owkin and Evotec have entered into an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered strategic partnership in oncology, immunology and inflammation (I&I).

Both companies will collaborate to accurately select targets, discover and develop new therapeutics.

As part of the agreement, the French-American techbio company, Owkin, will identify indication-relevant targets and subgroups using AI applied to multimodel patient data with its cutting-edge target discovery engine.

Evotec will utilise its shared research and development (R&D) platform to accelerate and de-risk the validation of targets, the identification of drug candidates and the successful completion of pre-clinical development activities up to an investigational new drug application (IND).

In addition, an Owkin-Evotec joint research strategy team will steer the collaboration to design fully tailored strategic programme plans from target selection to IND, as well as ensuring the delivery of the programmes.

Evotec will receive R&D funding from Owkin, as well as any potential performance milestone payments and royalties on product sales, while Owkin will maximise capital efficiency while reducing risk.

Dr Matthias Evers, chief business officer of Evotec, commented: “Owkin and Evotec both feel there is something special brewing by convergence between AI and science in drug innovation – hence, we are thrilled to strike this partnership towards accelerating therapeutics in therapeutic areas of highest unmet needs – patients need us, together.”

Dr Thomas Clozel, co-founder and chief executive officer of Owkin, said: “The combination of in silico hypothesis generation through AI and experimental lab validation is the core of our pipeline strategy” and “Evotec’s broad capabilities in drug discovery… coupled with their understanding of AI… make them an ideal partner for us.”

Last December, Owkin announced that it had entered into a collaboration agreement to develop AI-powered diagnostics for cancer with Merck & Co and later, Cerba Path, to transform colorectal cancer diagnosis by integrating AI-powered tests into standard clinical practice.

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