Evotec CEO Says First Patient to Receive Alzheimer’s Drug Soon

Evotec AG Chief Executive Officer Werner Lanthaler said the first patient will soon start a mid-stage trial of the company’s experimental Alzheimer’s drug.

“This is really our most exciting project right now,” Lanthaler said in a telephone interview today. The patient will begin receiving EVT 302 in a few weeks, Lanthaler said.

Roche Holding AG bought the rights to EVT 302 last year. Hamburg, Germany-based Evotec initially received $10 million and is in line for an additional $820 million if development and sales goals are met. The next milestone, completion of this trial, entails a payout of a high double-digit million dollar sum to Evotec, Lanthaler said.

“This is a great asset to have,” Lanthaler said.

The compound targets monoamine oxidase type B, or MAO-B, an enzyme that breaks down dopamine in the brain and contributes to the production of free radicals, which may contribute to the spread of the disease.

The drug could reach the market in 2018, and generate $5 billion in peak sales annually, Lanthaler said, of which Evotec is slated to receive royalties in the double-digit million dollar range.

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