German collaboration aims to develop three drug candidates in five years

Bayer Healthcare and Evotec have agreed to collaborate in their search for drugs for endometriosis, a disease in which cells of the type that normally line the uterus wall grow outside of the womb. The condition is painful and often associated with infertility, affecting an estimated 176 million women worldwide - 10% of women of reproductive age.

Evotec will receive €12 million (£9.6 million) upfront, with potential for €580 million more as milestones are met, plus a share of net sales of any successful drugs. The companies will work together to develop compounds to bring to the collaboration, but Bayer will take responsibility for the clinical trials and commercialisation.