Convergence and Evotec form integrated pain alliance
Cambridge, UK, 31 March 2014: Convergence Pharmaceuticals Holdings Limited (“Convergence”), the company focused on the development of novel and high value analgesic medicines for the treatment of chronic pain, today announces that it has entered into a research alliance with Evotec, a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
A Convergence subsidiary, Panion Ltd, has been awarded a Technology Strategy Board Biomedical Catalyst Early Stage Round 2 £2.4 million grant, in order to discover and develop compounds against a novel GPCR pain target.
Evotec will be responsible for undertaking key drug discovery activities and will work closely with Panion over a three year period to identify suitable pre-clinical candidates, subsequently taking a lead candidate to Phase I ready status. Convergence and Evotec will then jointly progress the assets into the clinic or via partnering collaborations.Brenda Reynolds, Chief Operating Officer of Convergence, commented: “We are pleased to have formed this alliance with Evotec and we are confident that, with our knowledge of the therapeutic area of pain and Evotec’s expertise in drug discovery, this partnership will prove valuable to both parties and help to facilitate the delivery of new treatments to patients. This is the first TSB Grant awarded to a subsidiary of Convergence, a testament to our leading position in pain, and we would like to thank the TSB for their support.”
Ged Giblin VP, Head of Chemistry and Preclinical Development at Convergence, also commented: “We are delighted to launch this alliance with Evotec, whose excellence in drug discovery is widely recognised. We look to forward to collaborating with Evotec and leveraging the combined scientific expertise from both companies to discover and develop a new class of analgesic agents.”
Dr Mario Polywka, Chief Operating Officer of Evotec, commented: “Pain remains a major unmet medical need with estimates of 1.5 million people worldwide suffering from this often chronic ailment. This alliance with Convergence marries our complementary expertise in the field of pain and leverages our world class platform for addressing targets associated with pain. Supported by the Biomedical Catalyst Early Stage Round 2 grant, we look forward to collaborating with Convergence to bring a new class of analgesic candidates to the clinic.”
About Convergence Pharmaceuticals
Convergence Pharmaceuticals is an independent biotechnology company focused on the development of novel analgesics with potentially commercially attractive efficacy, responderrate and side effect profiles. The Company, led by CEO Clive Dix, was formed in October 2010 following the acquisition of certain neuroscience clinical assets from GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”). The Company has a pipeline of differentiated clinical-stage compounds targeting the points of convergence in chronic pain signalling through modulation of specific ionchannels.
Convergence Pharmaceuticals is well funded and raised US$35.4 million in Series A financing from a syndicate of leading European and US financial institutions. For more information please go to the Company’s website at www.convergencepharma.com.
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. We operate 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 as well as oncology and inflammation. Evotec has long-term discovery alliances with partners including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, CHDI, Genentech, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, MedImmune/AstraZeneca and Ono Pharmaceutical. In addition, the Company has existing development partnerships and product candidates both in clinical and pre-clinical development. These include partnerships with Boehringer Ingelheim, MedImmune and Andromeda (Teva) in the field of diabetes, with Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the field of depression and with Roche in the field of Alzheimer’s disease. For additional information please go to www.evotec.com.
About the Technology Strategy Board
The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org.
For more information about Convergence Pharmaceuticals, please contact:
Brenda Reynolds, Chief Operating Officer
T: +44 (0)1223 755 501
Dr Simon Tate, Chief Scientific Officer
E: info @convergencepharma.com
Consilium Strategic Communications
Mary-Jane Elliott/ Amber Bielecka/ Matthew Neal/Lindsey Neville
T: +44 (0)20 7709 5700
E: convergence @consiliumcomms.com