Evotec said today it has won a $5 million first milestone payment from Celgene in the companies’ 10-month-old, up-to-$295 million-plus partnership to create treatments for neurodegenerative diseases that include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

The milestone payment follows the successful completion of a screening campaign using Evotec’s induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-based screening platform, the company said.

Celgene agreed to use Evotec’s iPSC platform to identify disease-modifying therapeutics for a broad range of neurodegenerative disorders when the companies launched their exclusive collaboration in December 2016 . Celgene agreed to pay Evotec $45 million upfront, up to $250 million in payments tied to achieving milestones, and up to low double-digit royalties on product sales generated by the in-licensed programs.

In return, the deal gave Celgene exclusive options to license the worldwide rights to Evotec compounds identified from the latter’s compound library

Under …