Evotec, Harvard collaborate on development of antibacterials
Evotec, a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company, is collaborating with Harvard University, aiming to discover and develop novel antibacterial agents based on a target family involved in bacterial cell wall biosynthesis.
Researchers at Harvard and Evotec will identify and optimize small molecule inhibitors of bacterial cell wall synthesis, based on enabling technologies and chemical starting points licensed from Harvard. Evotec will specifically target peptidoglycan biosynthesis (PGB). The approach leverages promising chemical starting points, biological and structure-guided techniques allied with extensive medicinal chemistry expertise. The commercialization of the resulting assets will be through Evotec.
"The lack of new antibacterials has been broadly recognized as a major unmet medical need as antibiotics pipelines are drying up while resistance against existing drugs is on the rise," said Werner Lanthaler, chief executive officer of Evotec. “We are excited to team up with our colleagues at Harvard to systematically target a highly validated but under-exploited anti-bacterial target family."
"Target PGB builds on research at Harvard on bacterial cell wall biosynthesis, which is at the perfect stage of development to partner with Evotec,” said Vivian Berlin, director business development in Harvard's office of technology development. “Our goal in collaborating with Evotec is to accelerate the research and advance the project toward the clinic.”
Using proprietary assays, chemical starting points and x-ray crystallographic tools from Harvard, the collaboration will help develop novel antibacterial agents targeting PGB.