VIENNA, Austria and HAMBURG, Germany, Jan. 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- APEIRON Biologics AG, a company focused on cancer immunotherapy, and Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange:EVT) (TecDAX) (ISIN:DE0005664809) announced today that the companies received the first milestone payment from Sanofi under a 3-party alliance signed in August 2015. The milestone payment of € 3 million will be split equally between the two biotech companies. The success payment was triggered when the partners successfully advanced an undisclosed, novel, immuno-oncology small molecule into late-stage pre-clinical development. Under the alliance, the three companies work together to identify small molecule leads and targets for next-generation therapies in immuno-oncology, which may complement the pre-clinical and clinical profiles of leading checkpoint inhibitors.

Dr Hans Loibner, Chief Executive Officer of APEIRON Biologics, said: “We are delighted by the progress made in our collaboration with Evotec and Sanofi. Based on our scientific findings and the mode of action, we jointly agreed to accelerate the research and pre-clinical development of this very promising molecule. The successful achievement of this milestone further demonstrates our abilities to drive innovation in the field of immuno-oncology.”

Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “The Evotec and APEIRON teams are proud to have achieved our first milestone with Sanofi to discover and develop novel immuno-oncology small molecules therapies. It is a first-in-class approach with tremendous potential in combination with marketed checkpoint inhibitors but also as standalone therapy. The field of immuno-oncology will continue to evolve and at Evotec we will continue to invest in this area.”

About the APEIRON-Evotec-Sanofi-Alliance The strategic collaboration was set up in 2015 to support the long-term pipeline building for APEIRON Biologics, Evotec, and Sanofi and has a potential value of over € 200 million in milestone payments and significant royalties. The collaboration includes major research and development efforts to advance a first-in-class orally available small molecule approach based on a novel target to treat solid and hematopoietic cancers by enhancing the anti-tumor activity of human immune cells. All three companies are making significant contributions to this collaboration in terms of scientific expertise, technological platforms and resources. The collaboration will further enhance and complement Sanofi's extensive oncology portfolio and enables Evotec to address the drug discovery area of immuno-oncology. Furthermore, the agreement will substantially support APEIRON’s strategy of focusing on novel and innovative checkpoint inhibiting approaches.

About APEIRON Biologics AGApeiron is a private biotech company based in Vienna, Austria, engaged in innovative projects in immuno-oncology. Recently, the most advanced programme, an antibody-based immunotherapy to treat neuroblastoma, was granted marketing approval in the EU. The company is developing additional immunotherapies, predominantly in clinical stage, based either on targeted, tumor-specific approaches or on the stimulation of the immune system via novel and proprietary modes of action (unique checkpoint blockade mechanisms) to fight cancer by engaging the human body’s natural defence mechanisms. For additional information please go to and follow us on Twitter @apeironbio.

About EVOTEC AGEvotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academics, patient advocacy groups and venture capitalists. We operate worldwide providing the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery solutions, covering all activities from target-to-clinic to meet the industry’s need for innovation and efficiency in drug discovery (EVT Execute). 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, diabetes and complications of diabetes, pain and inflammation, oncology and infectious diseases. On this basis, Evotec has built a broad and deep pipeline of more than 80 partnered product opportunities at clinical, pre-clinical and discovery stages (EVT Innovate). Evotec has established multiple long-term discovery alliances with partners including Bayer, CHDI, Sanofi or UCB and development partnerships with e.g. with Sanofi in the field of diabetes, with Pfizer in the field of tissue fibrosis and Celgene in the field of neurodegenerative diseases. For additional information please go to and follow us on Twitter @EvotecAG.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTSInformation set forth in this press release contains forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgement of Evotec as of the date of this press release. Such forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

For further information please contact:

APEIRON Biologics AG Evotec AG Peter Llewellyn-Davies Gabriele Hansen, VP, Corporate Communications & Investor Relations CFO/CBO Email: Tel.: + 49(0)4056081-255 Email: Investor Relations LifeSci Advisors, LLC Chris Maggos T +1 646 597 6989 Email: Media Relations international MC Services AG Dr. Claudia Gutjahr-Löser T: +49 89 210 228 0 Email: Media Relations Austria PR&D - Public Relations for Research & Education T +43 1 505 70 44 Email: