Bayer has announced plans to expand its partnership with Evotec, embarking on a new five-year, multi-target collaboration to develop multiple clinical candidates for the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Initially joining forces in 2012, the companies will contribute drug targets and a “comprehensive” set of high-quality technology platforms to jointly develop innovative treatment options.

Under the terms of the agreement, the companies have announced they will share responsibilities during the pre-clinical development of potential clinical candidates, and Bayer will be responsible for any subsequent clinical development and commercialisation.

Further, Evotec has revealed that it will receive a €6.5m upfront payment and €10 million research payments over five years, as well as eligibility to receive pre-clinical, clinical and sales milestones of potentially over €330 million.

There is a “high unmet medical need for women worldwide suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome. This new research alliance will perfectly complement Bayer's research activities in the area of women’s health,” said Dr Joerg Moeller, member of the executive committee of Bayer AG’s Pharmaceuticals Division.

He continued to say the company looks “forward to joining our forces with Evotec in PCOS to develop new treatment options for women living with this often devastating condition.”

PCOS is the most frequent endocrine disorder in women linked to metabolic dysfunction, and the most frequent cause of female infertility. 93% of infertility or pregnancy complications may be caused by PCOS, and it is estimated that PCOS occurs in 5-10% of women.