Evotec & Sanofi in talks to create open innovation R&D platform

pharmafield logo - pharma news
Evotec and Sanofi enter into exclusive negotiations for Evotec to accelerate infectious disease research and development through a new open innovation platform in France

In support of this platform, Sanofi will license most of its infectious disease research and early-stage development portfolio and transfer its infectious disease research unit to Evotec. The transaction excludes the vaccine R&D unit and related projects. Evotec will combine its drug discovery and development expertise with these new assets and experts, committing to the expansion and acceleration of anti-infective drug discovery and development through open collaborations with other pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, foundations, academia, and government agencies. More than 150 scientists within the Evotec platform will be active in this field.

Sanofi will pay Evotec an initial, one-time, cash upfront payment of €60 million and provide significant further long-term funding to ensure support and progression of the portfolio. Sanofi will retain certain option rights on the development, manufacturing and commercialization of anti-infective products and will continue to be involved in infectious disease through its vaccines research and development and its global health programs.

Under the agreement, Evotec will integrate Sanofi’s infectious disease research unit, which includes more than 100 employees, into its global drug discovery and development operations. The transferred positions will be associated with specific commitments of employment for five years and will continue to be based near Lyon, taking advantage of the location’s scientific and medical ecosystems.

Evotec will expand its existing long-term initiatives focused on innovation to fight infectious diseases including the maintenance of a portfolio of projects aimed at diseases affecting the developing world. The focus of drug discovery will at the outset be on new mode-of-action antimicrobials.

This transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2018, subject to finalization of definitive agreements and completion of the appropriate social process. This project will be conducted in full respect of social dialogue with employee’s representatives.