Partners plan database of AAV molecular information for research

Information to help scientists better understand disease, work on treatments

Margarida Maia, PhD avatar

by Margarida Maia, PhD |

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Evotec has formed a partnership with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin in Germany to build a database of all sorts of molecular information from people with ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV).

Molecular profiles, a kind of fingerprint of AAV, may help scientists better understand the autoimmune disease and pave the way for precision, or individually tailored, treatments.

Under the partnership deed, which financial details were not disclosed, patient samples collected over time at Charité will be run on Evotec’s PanOmics framework. Panomics refers to the analysis of multiple sets of genetic, protein, and metabolic data from tissues or even single cells.

Its output, a detailed report of clinically relevant information, will feed into Evotec’s proprietary translational molecular patient data platform, or E.MPD, a central repository of data designed to help produce ranked lists of potential therapeutic targets for a range of diseases.

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“We are delighted to announce this exciting new partnership with Charité, a renowned centre of medical excellence in Germany, and expand Evotec’s E.MPD database within autoimmune diseases,” Cord Dohrmann, PhD, Evotec’s chief scientific officer, said in a company press release. “With an improved molecular understanding of the complexities of ANCA-associated vasculitis, we can unlock the potential for more precise diagnostics, more effective treatments, and ultimately better outcomes for patients.”

AAV is an autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation and damage to small blood vessels. This inflammation is most often caused by ANCAs, self-reactive antibodies that bind to proteins of a type of white blood cells called neutrophils.

When this happens, neutrophils go haywire and mistakenly attack the cells lining small blood vessels, leading to a range of symptoms that vary from person to person.

 A need for ‘specific targeted therapies’ remains

While some available treatments can help manage symptoms, “specific targeted therapies are still desperately needed,” said Adrian Schreiber, MD, executing principal investigator at Charité’s department of nephrology and intensive medical care.

With the partnership, Charité will gain access to the data through PanHunter, an interactive PanOmics data analysis platform that Evotec launched last year to allow partners an in-depth understanding of patients’ molecular information.

Evotec, however, retains the exclusive right to use its machine learning-powered platform to translate research into precision treatments, marking a step toward improving diagnostic accuracy and therapeutic efficacy.

Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence that uses algorithms to analyze data, learn from its analyses, and then make a prediction.

“The major benefit of this partnership is the combination of invaluable expertise of both partners, which puts us in the promising position to pave the way for more precise diagnostics and efficient treatments for ANCA-associated vasculitis,” Schreiber said.