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Evotec SE, a drug discovery and development solutions company, today announced a partnership agreement with the University of Oxford regarding access to biospecimens from the biobank Quality in Organ Donation (QUOD), an initiative of the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences (NDS) at the University of Oxford in close collaboration with the National Health Service Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) organisation in the UK.

Quality in Organ Donation (QUOD) logo

The QUOD biobank is a joint programme by a consortium of UK academic transplant centres and NHSBT. The biobank is funded by NHSBT and the Medical Research Council and provides blood, urine and tissue samples from heart, lung, liver and kidney from consented organ donors for researchers with anonymised integrated medical records. The samples have been collected over several years with QUOD’s primary goal to identify biomarkers, explain mechanisms of injury and repair, and improve organ utilisation and transplantation. 

Under the terms of the partnership, Evotec will investigate at first samples from 1,000 donors of the QUOD biobank using a comprehensive multi-omics analysis (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics). This data will complement Evotec’s existing patient database, generating a greater understanding of disease mechanisms across indications, i.e. cardio-vascular, kidney, and liver diseases. Investigation of diseased versus healthy human biomaterial using a multi-omics approach combined with clinical data will provide extensive knowledge, indispensable for advancement of organ transplantation, drug discovery as well as clinical and biomarker research.

Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “We are proud to enter this collaboration with the QUOD programme, which expands our strategic partnership with the University of Oxford beyond LAB282, our first-of-its kind academic BRIDGE partnership. Comprehensive molecular profiling of patient samples will re-define health and disease according to dysregulated molecular disease mechanisms. This will open new doors for intervention and corresponding patient stratification.”

Professor Rutger Ploeg, Co-ordinating Principal Investigator and Director of the QUOD programme at NDS, is delighted“Robust and sustainable partnerships with high-tech industrial partners such as Evotec will enhance knowledge, help identify better diagnostic tests as well as allow to develop targeted intervention. Increased insight will improve the quality of donor organs and may reduce progression of chronic disease which should benefit our patients.”

No financial terms of the agreement were disclosed.

Press release courtesy of Evotec SE.