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EvoTec to command vast Sanofi resources in infectious disease R&D partnership

Published on 08/03/18 at 10:53am
Image Credit: Gregor R.

Sanofi has announced it is to team up with biotech drug discovery specialist EvoTec to leverage a new open innovation platform in the research and development of new treatments for infectious diseases.

As part of the deal, Sanofi will provide to EvoTec the license for the majority of its research and early-stage portfolio in infectious disease, and well as transfer its infectious disease research unit to the company, including its vaccine R&D unit and other related projects including more than 100 employees. EvoTec will then take these resources and utilise its own expertise, over 150 of its scientists and open collaborations with foundations, academia, government agencies and pharma and biotech firms to push forward in the discovery of new infective disease therapies.

Kicking off the partnership, Sanofi will pay EvoTec a one-time, upfront payment of €60 million, as well as unspecified long-term funding to support the development of the portfolio. The French firm will also retain certain option rights on the development, manufacturing, and commercialisation of resulting products.

“Since the acquisition of Euprotec (UK) in 2014, Evotec has had a significant strategic interest and demonstrated expertise in infectious diseases research, with an ambition to grow and become the drug discovery and development leader in this space together with its partners,” remarked EvoTec CEO Dr Werner Lanthaler. “We are pleased to be working and expanding our strategic relationship with Sanofi, which has a long history in providing novel anti-infective agents to markets globally. Finding a way to motivate more public funding and academic initiatives for the progress of novel anti-infectives on Evotec's platform will be a key success factor for this initiative.”

Dr Elias Zerhouni, President of Global R&D for Sanofi, added: “Research in the field of anti-infectives is an area where building critical mass through partnering is particularly important. This new French-based open innovation center will benefit from the high-quality science ecosystem. Evotec is a trusted partner in drug discovery and has the ambition and capacity to become a real leader in the fight against infectious diseases.”

Matt Fellows

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