Evotec, Samsara BioCapital, And KCK Launch Autobahn Labs


HAMBURG, GERMANY and PALO ALTO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / June 24, 2020 / Evotec SE (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809), Samsara BioCapital, a leading life sciences investment firm, and KCK Ltd., a family investment fund, today announced the launch of Autobahn Labs, a novel virtual incubator partnering with top academic and research institutions to catalyse early-stage drug discovery and development. Autobahn Labs also announced today a first-in-kind strategic collaboration with UCLA Technology Development Group (“UCLA TDG”) to identify and advance the most promising areas of scientific research with the greatest potential for patient therapies.

“Autobahn Labs was created to be a catalyst for translational research, working with academic scientists and institutions to design and execute an accelerated path to deliver transformational new therapies,” said Thomas Novak, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Autobahn Labs. “We are very excited to partner with UCLA, a university with a premier reputation for innovation in the life sciences, to realise the potential of that innovation for patients.”

Built on a model of long-term partnership and collaboration, Autobahn Labs invests earlier than traditional venture capital, providing intellectual, financial and physical capital to efficiently and effectively advance new scientific discoveries from novel concept to pre-clinical drug candidate. Working in partnership with leading scientists and university tech transfer offices, the incubator identifies and de-risks early-stage research projects with significant therapeutic potential. Autobahn Labs creates jointly-owned new companies and invests up to $ 5 M per project. This model provides Principal Investigators with scientific and operational strategy as well as direct and immediate access to Evotec’s state-of-the-art drug discovery and development technologies and capabilities.

“Autobahn Labs is a one-of-a-kind incubator that builds on the well-established foundation of our model of academic partnership programs, to support multiple academic institutions,” said Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec. “Providing both funding and access to a powerful drug development platform, Autobahn Labs will be able to efficiently translate the ground-breaking research of leading academic institutions into medical progress to benefit patients with unmet medical need. We are very glad about our first partnership with the internationally renowned UCLA.”

“Many of the most important advances in medicine were born in university labs,” said Srinivas Akkaraju, MD, PhD, Managing General Partner, Samsara BioCapital. “While government funding and grants support basic research, there are limited resources available for translational research, particularly in the early stages. Autobahn Labs is investing early with a long-term perspective and a strong commitment to each program’s success.”

“UCLA TDG’s mission is centred on innovation, research, teaching and entrepreneurship to benefit society,” said Amir Naiberg, Associate Vice Chancellor, CEO & President of UCLA Technology Development Group. “TDG is exploring new models for Tech Transfer, this novel strategic collaboration with Autobahn Labs allows us to partner with industry experts earlier than ever before. We believe this will enable us to accelerate the transformation of our early scientific research into new drugs.”

About Evotec’s BRIDGE model: Partnering to accelerate innovation
Evotec has created a new paradigm to translate early-stage academic research to drug discovery and development called “BRIDGE” (Biomedical Research, Innovation & Development Generation Efficiency), an integrated fund and award framework to tap into exciting academic science to accelerate the formation of spin-out companies and generate partnerships with Pharma and biotech. Through these efforts, Evotec has defined a new formula for fast-track early-stage drug discovery. Since the launch of the BRIDGE model in 2016, Evotec has formed and funded seven partnerships, termed LAB282, LAB150, LAB591, LAB031, LAB10x, LAB555 and Autobahn Labs. For more information about Evotec’s BRIDGE initiatives, please go to www.evotec.com/en/innovate/bridges.

Autobahn Labs is a new model for early-stage drug discovery and development, partnering with leading research institutions to accelerate the advancement of novel science to deliver transformational new therapies for patients. We invest intellectual, financial and physical capital, applying our proven drug discovery framework to efficiently and effectively move projects from feasibility to novel drug candidates. Autobahn Labs was created by Samsara BioCapital, a leading life sciences venture capital firm, Evotec, a global leader in drug discovery research and KCK Ltd, a family investment fund. For more information, visit

Samsara BioCapital is a new breed of biotech investment fund focused on translating cutting-edge biology into new therapies to treat patients with unmet medical needs. Founded in 2016 by Srinivas Akkaraju, MD, PhD, our team of scientists, investors, and entrepreneurs takes a long-term view to value creation across all stages of public and private life science companies. We believe in a collaborative, hands-on approach, working closely with entrepreneurs to harness exciting scientific advances and build leading companies. Samsara actively manages approximately US$410 million in assets on behalf of endowments, foundations, and family offices. For more information, visit

KCK, Ltd. is a single-family, evergreen fund with offices in the SF Bay Area and New York City. We invest across a broad range of sectors and in companies of all stages in the US, Europe and Emerging Markets, including in biotech, industrials, deep tech, med tech and financial services. Our investments are flexible and long-term, with a unique focus on technically and scientifically challenging projects.

UCLA Technology Development Group (“TDG”) promotes UCLA innovation, research, education and entrepreneurship to benefit society. Working with UCLA TDG helps facilitate the translation of UCLA discoveries into new products and services that create economic value to support UCLA’S scholarly and educational missions. The UCLA TDG office manages a large portfolio of technologies and license agreements and has a rich history of startup company formation.

Evotec 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 and our more than 3,000 employees provide the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery and development solutions. We cover all activities from target-to-clinic to meet the industry’s need for innovation and efficiency in drug discovery and development (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 neuronal diseases, diabetes and complications of diabetes, pain and inflammation, oncology, infectious diseases, respiratory diseases, fibrosis, rare diseases and women’s health. On this basis, Evotec has built a broad and deep pipeline of approx. 100 co-owned product opportunities at clinical, pre-clinical and discovery stages (EVT Innovate). Evotec has established multiple long-term alliances with partners including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CHDI, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi, Takeda, UCB and others. For additional information please go to
www.evotec.com and follow us on Twitter @Evotec.

Information 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.

SOURCE: Evotec AG via EQS Newswire

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