Research never stops



  • Proven track record of delivery in Neuroscience Research
  • Critical mass of > 60 FTEs focussing on CNS research in biology and chemistry

  • In-depth expertise in key target classes such as enzymes, GPCRs and ion channels
  • Strong experience in neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis), neuroinflammation and other areas
  • Innovative technologies such as neuronal differentiation and disease modelling from human iPS cells, phenotypic screening and cellular high-content assays, AAV-based target validation and high-throughput histology



Evotec has been involved in neuroscience research for over 20 years and through internal and collaborative efforts has built a highly sophisticated and integrated drug discovery platform covering essentially all biological and chemical aspects from target identification to investigational new drug (“IND”).

Evotec has a track record in neuroscience drug discovery of 11 pre-clinical candidates (including back-ups) across 6 mechanisms with 6 compounds evaluated in humans as well as expertise in all major neuroscience therapeutic indications including sleep disorders, epilepsy, excitotoxicity, neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.

Our dedicated neuroscience research team of over 60 FTEs has experience and know-how in pursuing both target-based approaches as well as phenotypic/pathway paradigms to identify, validate and prosecute disease-modifying approaches..


Key capabilities of Evotec’s neuroscience discovery platform

High-content screening

  • State-of-the art imaging platform to access complex read-outs:
    - Subcellular events: Protein aggregation and localisation, post-translational modification, protein levels
    - Cell morphology: Neurite outgrowth, synapse formation, spine morphology
    - Cell survival: Apoptosis, ER stress, mitochondria function
    - siRNA/CRISPR screening
  • Use complex cellular models to mimic disease biology: Co-cultures (neurons and glia) and iPS/ES derived neuron populations

Target validation

  • AAV-based target modulation capabilities in vitro and in vivo
  • Unique high-throughput ex vivo imaging platform with high-end read-outs

 In vitro biology

  • Extensive expertise with biochemical, biophysical and cellular assay systems across relevant target families (GPCRs, ion channels, enzymes, others)
  • Expertise with disease-relevant secondary assays using primary neurons, microglia, astrocytes and co-cultures, stem cells
  • World-class platform for ion channel drug discovery: Electrophysiology and pharmacology expertise with most ion channel families (voltage- and ligand-gated or K+, Na+, Ca2+, Cl-) and access to a comprehensive technology platform (IonWorks® Quattro, PatchLiner©, QpatchHTX®, Qube®, Manual patch-clamp: Fast perfusion (Dynaflow®))
  • High-content assays to monitor neuroprotection in primary neurons
  • Innovative human ES and iPS cell platforms: differentiation of cortical, striatal and motor neurons from patient lines and isogenic controls (Huntington’s disease, motor neurons diseases, frontotemporal dementia)

In vivo biology

  • Set-up and validation of relevant PD and disease model
  • Pharmacodynamic assays: PK/PD: IL-1b/desArg9 Bradykinin paw oedema, a,b-me-ATP flinching, (R)-a-methylhistamine induced dipsogenia
  • Animal disease models (pain, inflammation, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease) and behavioural and side effect profiling (motor: locomotor activity, rotarod; emotion: elevated zero maze, fear conditioning; cognition: novel object recognition, spatial memory, Irwin test)

Translational biomarker assays

  • Evotec’s translational biomarker expertise is applied to demonstrate early target modulation in pre-clinical efficacy studies and to support translational biomarker read-outs that are applicable to clinical samples
  • Key technologies are development of novel immunoassays (e.g. TR-FRET, Singulex) and high-end proteomics


Capabilities such as Evotec’s high-throughput screening, structure-based drug design, medicinal chemistry, bioinformatics research, DMPK and reagent production platforms can also be accessed to support and accelerate neuroscience discovery programmes.

For more information on our services and partnerships in the neuroscience space, please click on the links below or contact us at


Neuroscience drug disccovery

Presentation (PDF)

Drug discovery services
EVT Execute
EVT Innovate