Pharma giant AstraZeneca have signed a deal with German biotech company Evotec to collaborate on a new treatment for diabetes . The deal is with the global biologics unit of AstraZenecan, MedImmune, to research the regeneration of insulin -producing beta cells .
The deal is worth in the region of GBP4.3 million, and Evotec will receive further research cash to support in vivo and in vitro pharmacology studies as part of the joint operation. Evotec could earn milestone payments up to GBP215 million plus royalties if the research is successful.
MedImmune, which makes the respiratory drug Synagis and the flu vaccine FluMist, was aquired by AstraZeneca in 2007 for USD15.2 billion. Evotec sells services to help drug manufacturers identify potential research areas, and also develops a range of its own medicines.
Cord Dohrman, chief scientific officer at Evotec, argues that the loss of insulin-producing beta cells is closely connected to the development of diabetes and “using a unique screening approach for beta cell regeneration targets, we have identified and validated novel and highly relevant biological factors.”
The researchers hope to generate a pipeline of biological factors that have the potential to prevent or reverse disease progressio, and also offer improved glycaemic control for patients.

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