Evotec to develop Sanofi candidates in deal worth more than $74m

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

GettyImages/Mukhina1
GettyImages/Mukhina1
Sanofi will license more than ten R&D assets to Evotec as part of an open platform alliance designed to advance anti-infective drug discovery and development.

According to the agreement, Sanofi will license out its infectious disease research unit and transfer 100 employees to Evotec.

The Lyon, France-based “open innovation” platform provides open access to pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, academic institutions, foundations and government agencies in order to promote industry collaborations.

Sanofi, which is licensing more than ten assets to Evotec, will preserve its rights to develop and commercialize potential candidates, “and if Sanofi doesn’t take them, everyone else should benefit from these efforts,” ​Evotec CEO Werner Lanthaler said to investors today.

The deal does not include Sanofi’s vaccine R&D portfolio.

Terms

Under the terms of the agreement with the French drugmaker, Evotec will receive an upfront payment of €60m ($74m) to cover research and development (R&D), administrative, and facility-based costs.

Additional payments – paid throughout the duration of the agreement – will cover facilities, development costs and capital expenditure, said Evotec.

The five-year alliance is expected to begin in the first half of 2018.

“We have an initial term of five agreement, you shouldn’t assume any extension at this stage​,” Lanthaler added.

Partnerships

Sanofi and Evotec have a history of drug discovery-focused partnerships.

In March 2015, the firms signed​ a strategic partnership, under which Sanofi gave Evotec €250m to develop new drug candidates to treat cancer indications.

Later that year​, the firms launched another strategic collaboration – in diabetes drug development – to develop a beta cell replacement therapy derived from human stem cells.

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