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Evotec Says JV With Exscientia Starts Human Clinical Trials Of Novel Immuno-oncology Drug

Evotec SE (EVTCY.PK,EVOTF.PK), a German drug discovery alliance and development partnership company, announced Friday that A2a receptor antagonist, which is in development for adult patients with advanced solid tumours, has entered human clinical trials.

The antagonist, co-invented and developed between Evotec and Exscientia, is the most advanced asset arising from the joint venture with Exscientia. It includes application of Exscientia's next generation 3-D evolutionary AI-design platform, Centaur Chemist.

The drug candidate has potential for best-in-class characteristics, with high selectivity for the target receptor, bringing together potential benefits of reduced systemic side effects as well as minimal brain exposure to avoid potential undesired centrally-mediated side effects.

Tumour cells produce high levels of adenosine, a molecule that helps them escape immune system detection by binding to the A2a receptor on cancer-fighting T-cells, reducing T-cell ability to eliminate disease. The highly selective A2a receptor antagonist is being investigated for its ability to prevent adenosine from binding to the T-cell receptor and potentially promote anti-tumour T-cell activity.

Exscientia will lead further clinical development of the molecule and Evotec will retain co-ownership rights throughout clinical development.

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