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Evotec, Jain Foundation expand collaboration
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author


HAMBURG, GermanyŚEvotec AG and the Jain Foundation, a Bellevue, Wash.-based not-for-profit working on therapies for muscular dystrophies caused by dysferlin deficiency, have announced the extension and expansion of their research collaboration, which is making use of Evotec's assay development and screening capabilities to support the Jain Foundation's ongoing efforts to unravel and cure dysferlinopathy. Financial details were not disclosed.
"We are excited to be moving toward screening compound libraries with Evotec," Dr. Plavi Mittal, president and CEO of the Jain Foundation, said in a press release. "This is an important step toward accomplishing our mission of finding a therapy for Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2B Miyoshi Myopathy (LGMD2B/MM)."  
The two companies established their research project in 2012, aiming to develop a cell-based high-throughput screening assay using dysferlin deficient cells. The goal is to develop a simple test that can determine the wellbeing of a muscle cell in the absence of dysferlin, in order to identify compounds that can improve the wellbeing of dysferlin deficient muscle cells. Dysferlin is a protein made from the dysferlin gene that, when mutated or absent, results in Limb- Girdle Muscular Dystrophy type 2B and Miyoshi Myopathy.  
"We look forward to our continued collaboration with the Jain Foundation on this project. This collaboration highlights both the increasing role that foundations play in delivering solutions for unmet medical needs and also how Evotec's broad and comprehensive discovery platform can be leveraged in support of these goals in a highly efficient and effective manner," Dr. Mario Polywka, chief operating officer of Evotec, commented in a statement regarding the extension.  
Muscular dystrophy encompasses a group of diseases that all result in muscle weakness. All of these diseases present with abnormalities of the muscle cells, and are caused by genetic mutations. Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy refers to the fact that the first muscles to show symptoms are those around the shoulders and the hips. Miyoshi Myopathy is a form of muscular dystrophy first described in medical literature in Japan in 1967.
Evotec announced another collaboration a little more than a month ago, on July 9. the company announced the establishment of a research collaboration with Dow AgroSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, to make use of Evotec's advanced chemical proteomics services to support compounds currently being developed at Dow AgroSciences. Under the collaboration, Evotec will perform quantitative chemical proteomics services to translate Dow's phenotypic screening results. Specifically, Evotec will bring to bear its Cellular Target Profiling technology, which it notes on its website "reveals the molecular targets of small-molecule compounds with unknown mode-of-action on a proteome-wide basis and facilitates successful target deconvolution and off-target analysis early in the discovery and development process."    
SOURCE: Evotec press release
Code: E08211301



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