Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) announced today that it has earned a $ 2 m milestone payment from Second Genome, Inc., a leading microbiome science-based discovery & development company, for the initiation of a Phase II clinical study of SGM-1019, a first-in-class oral therapeutic for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The Phase II trial of SGM-1019 has been initiated following the completion of two successful Phase I trials.
Since 2015, Evotec and Second Genome have been collaborating under a discovery and development agreement focused on the identification of novel microbiome assets. As part of the collaboration, Second Genome and Evotec worked together to screen microbiome-mediated targets of interest identified by the Second Genome microbiome discovery platform with Evotec's technology platform, chemical libraries and other pre-clinical capabilities. The agreement between Evotec and Second Genome triggered an undisclosed upfront payment and Evotec is eligible for clinical and regulatory milestones as well as royalty payments related to commercialisation.
Dr Karim Dabbagh, President & CEO of Second Genome, said: "The partnership with Evotec (Aptuit), that encompasses pre-clinical and manufacturing activities, allowed us to efficiently translate output from our microbiome discovery platform into tangible drug molecules for clinical development."
SGM-1019 is an oral small molecule inhibitor of the P2X7 receptor, which plays a key role in activating the inflammasome and has been implicated in causing inflammatory diseases such as NASH and inflammatory bowel disease. In numerous pre-clinical NASH models, inhibition of P2X7 has been shown to be protective in animals. In clinical studies in healthy volunteers, up to twice daily dosing for 2 weeks with SGM-1019 was found to be safe and fully inhibited the P2X7 receptor in whole blood.