Secarna Pharmaceuticals GmbH & Co. KG: Secarna Pharmaceuticals and Evotec Expand Strategic Partnership in the Field of Antisense Drug Discovery

  • In addition to the successful ongoing collaboration on a co-owned LNAplus TM ASO pipeline, Secarna and Evotec now also start to jointly work on third-party discovery, research and development programs
  • The two companies will leverage Secarna’s industry-leading antisense oligonucleotide expertise with Evotec’s unparalleled discovery and development capabilities to enable novel development projects for industry partners
  • Across therapeutic indications, antisense oligonucleotides are a strongly emerging modality making targets druggable, which are typically not or only poorly addressable by small molecules and monoclonal antibodies

MUNICH/MARTINSRIED and HAMBURG, GERMANY / ACCESSWIRE / September 2, 2021 / Secarna Pharmaceuticals GmbH & Co. KG (“Secarna”), a biopharmaceutical company focusing on the discovery and development of next-generation antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) therapies to address challenging or previously undruggable targets via its LNAplus(TM) platform and Evotec SE (“Evotec”) (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809), a life science company with a unique business model that delivers on its mission to discover and develop highly effective therapeutics and make them available to the patients, have expanded their strategic partnership in the field of ASO-based therapeutics.

The new agreement expands the ongoing successful collaboration between Secarna and Evotec. The parties are now also working on industry partners’ discovery, research and development programs leveraging Secarna’s industry-leading antisense oligonucleotide expertise with Evotec’s unparalleled discovery and development capabilities. Using state-of-the-art bioinformatics (Oligofyer(TM)), Secarna will precisely design, screen, characterize and select ASO molecules, which specifically bind to the targeted pre-mRNA of the gene of interest. Through this process, Secarna will provide high-quality lead compounds for in-vitro and in-vivo proof-of-concept work to be performed for industry partners. Depending on the scope of the collaboration with the respective industrial partner, successful candidates may be progressed into IND-enabling studies and, ultimately, clinical development under such alliances. Terms and conditions of the collaboration were not disclosed.

Alexander Gebauer, MD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Secarna Pharmaceuticals, said : “We are excited to further expand our successful alliance with Evotec. Integrating our proven expertise in the field of antisense discovery into Evotec’s well established discovery and development platform, we form a strong foundation for enabling and strengthening third-party pipelines with our LNAplus(TM) ASOs. We are looking forward to continue working with Evotec to make new therapeutic options available to industry partners and the many patients who urgently need them.”

Dr. Craig Johnstone, Chief Operating Officer of Evotec, added: “ We are delighted to open our strategic partnership with Secarna for third-party programs. Secarna’s validated ASO technology provides a highly promising pathway to access targets commonly deemed ‘undruggable’. Leveraging Secarna’s LNAplus(TM) technology through the capacity and capabilities of Evotec’s multimodality drug discovery platform will unlock a vast opportunity space for a broad range of partnerships with third parties to develop disease-modifying therapies in indications with high unmet medical need.”

In August 2020, Secarna and Evotec started their collaboration with the goal to build a co-owned LNAplus(TM) ASO pipeline based on a number of selected challenging targets across various indications. Leveraging the ongoing collaboration, this new joint offering has been initiated to create a unique opportunity for biotech and pharmaceutical companies to gain access to the companies’ pipeline and, thus, enter the rapidly growing field of antisense therapeutics by partnering with Evotec and Secarna.

About Secarna’s proprietary drug discovery platform, LNAplus(TM)

For discovering, testing and selecting antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) for pre-clinical and clinical development, Secarna employs its proprietary, customized LNAplus(TM) drug discovery platform. LNAplus(TM) encompasses all aspects of drug discovery and pre-clinical development and has proven to be fast, reliable, scalable, efficient and to provide for a uniquely integrated workflow, enabling the discovery of novel antisense-based therapies for challenging or currently undruggable targets.The platform includes the powerful proprietary Oligofyer(TM) bioinformatics pipeline, a streamlined, high efficiency screening process including our proprietary LNA-Vit(r)ox(TM) safety test system as well as target-specific functional assays. Secarna’s platform and ASOs have been validated by numerous in-house projects as well as in several academic and industry collaborations.

About Secarna Pharmaceuticals GmbH & Co. KG

Secarna Pharmaceuticals is the next generation antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) company addressing high unmet medical needs in the areas of immuno-oncology, immunology, as well as viral, neurodegenerative and cardiometabolic diseases. Secarna’s mission is to maximize the performance and output of its proprietary LNAplus(TM) antisense oligonucleotide discovery platform, as well as to develop highly specific, safe, and efficacious best-in-class antisense therapies. With over 15 development programs, including proprietary pipeline projects as well as partnered programs, we focus on targets in indications where antisense-based approaches have clear benefits over other therapeutic modalities, Secarna is the leading European antisense drug discovery and development company.

About Evotec SE

Evotec is a life science company with a unique business model that delivers on its mission to discover and develop highly effective therapeutics and make them available to the patients. The Company’s multimodality platform comprises a unique combination of innovative technologies, data and science for the discovery, development, and production of first-in-class and best-in-class pharmaceutical products. Evotec leverages this “Data-driven R&D Autobahn to Cures” for proprietary projects and within a network of partners including all Top 20 Pharma and over 800 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, as well as other healthcare stakeholders. Evotec has strategic activities in a broad range of currently underserved therapeutic areas, including e.g. neurology, oncology, as well as metabolic and infectious diseases. Within these areas of expertise, Evotec aims to create the world- leading co-owned pipeline for innovative therapeutics and has to-date established a portfolio of more than 200 proprietary and co-owned R&D projects from early discovery to clinical development. Evotec operates globally with more than 3,900 highly qualified people. The Company’s 14 sites offer highly synergistic technologies and services and operate as complementary clusters of excellence. For additional information please go to and follow us on Twitter @Evotec and LinkedIn .


Secarna Pharmaceuticals GmbH & Co. KG

Alexander Gebauer, MD, PhD 

Secarna Pharmaceuticals GmbH & Co. KG
Am Klopferspitz 19
82152 Planegg/Martinsried
Tel.: +49 (0)89 215 46 375

For media enquiries:

Anne Hennecke/Vera Lang
MC Services AG 
Tel.: +49 (0)211.52 92 52 22

Evotec SE

Gabriele Hansen
SVP, Global Head of Corporate Communications & Marketing 
Tel.: +49 (0)40.560 81 255

Hinnerk Rohwedder
Senior Specialist Corporate Communications 
Tel.: + 49 (0)40 56081-281

SOURCE: Secarna Pharmaceuticals GmbH & Co. KG

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