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Evotec’s BRIDGE “beLAB2122” leverages academic innovation from our region

Heidelberg, Germany 13.04.2021. Evotec SE announced today the launch of beLAB2122 in the Rhine-Main-Neckar region to efficiently advance first-in-class therapeutic concepts into investable drug discovery projects. Mediated and supported by BioRN, Evotec’s newest BRIDGE brings together the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (“EMBL”), the German Cancer Research Center (“DKFZ”), the Goethe University Frankfurt, Heidelberg University and the University of Tübingen. The translational $ 20 m BRIDGE is launched together with Bristol Myers Squibb to provide funding and commercial perspectives for academic asset development.

By analysing different international private-public partnership models advancing early-stage life science projects, BioRN recognised the potential of Evotec’s BRIDGE partnership for the region and initiated discussions with Evotec and the academic partners in 2019. The scientific consortium creates the necessary critical mass for the BRIDGE concept and at the same time serves as a lighthouse project, demonstrating the region’s devotion to the translation of basic research. Pre-negotiated conditions and the non-exclusive nature of the agreement allow the region’s top institutes to advance academic drug discovery projects through preclinical validation. In addition to the financial contribution, beLAB2122 combines Evotec’s drug discovery expertise with the scientific know-how of the institutes, and thus helps to de-risk and advance therapeutic projects with unprecedented speed and quality.

“With the formation of beLAB2122, Evotec and Bristol Myers Squibb recognise the value of one of Europe’s leading academic clusters of excellence in the life sciences. This partnership can significantly boost advancement of translational early-stage research and enable the formation of new spin-out companies.” Commented Julia Schaft, BioRN Managing Director.

Moreover, this partnership marked the first official cooperation among these universities, research institutions, and their related technology transfer offices. BioRN celebrated this landmark cooperation in the BRIDGE name: beLAB2122. It refers to the Rhine, Main, and Neckar rivers which connect the member institutions with one another and which total 2,122 kilometres in length.

Evotec’s BRIDGE (Biomedical Research, Innovation & Development Generation Efficiency) partnerships provide an integrated fund and award framework to validate exciting academic projects in partnerships with pharma and funders which may lead to the formation of jointly owned new companies. Since 2016, Evotec has established several BRIDGE partnerships with a variety of top-tier academic, pharma, and venture capital partners across Europe and North America.

Dr Thomas Hanke, Head of Academic Partnerships at Evotec, says: “We are delighted to see the first BRIDGE in Germany becoming reality and look forward to working closely with our academic partners in the Rhine-Main-Neckar area and our colleagues at BMS to identify and accelerate the next generation of first-in-class therapeutics across all modalities and therapeutic areas. I am particularly thankful to Julia Schaft and the BioRN team for continuously supporting beLAB2122.”

BioRN will promote beLAB2122 in the Rhine-Main-Neckar cluster and keep supporting the BRIDGE network.

For further information on beLAB2122, please visit


About BioRN

BioRN is the science and industry cluster of the Rhine-Main-Neckar region around Heidelberg, one of Germany’s strongest biotech hubs. It is a non-profit network fostering health innovations and serving its members by creating a rich translational ecosystem as well as promoting, representing and connecting the regional innovation stakeholders. Our vision is to develop the region into a world-leading life science cluster attracting international investments and top global talent.
BioRN has more than 100 institutional members, including the top academic and research institutions, 8 global pharmaceutical companies, a large range of small and medium-sized enterprises bolstering the life science ecosystem as well as local government organizations and interest groups.

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 a number of different partnerships, e.g. LAB282, LAB150, LAB031, LAB10x, and Autobahn Labs. For more information about Evotec’s BRIDGE initiatives, please go to


Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol Myers Squibb, visit us at or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

Media Contacts
Dr. Annalisa Zuccotti
BioRN Cluster Management GmbH
Communication & Events Lead
P: 49 6221 4305-111

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