Germany-based Evotec has signed an agreement with French drugmaker Sanofi for a major multi-component strategic partnership over the next five years.
As part of the deal, Sanofi will provide around €250m to Evotec, including more than €40m upfront cash payment. The five-year deal includes initiatives from Evotec’s two business units, comprising EVT Execute and EVT Innovate.
Evotec CEO Dr Werner Lanthaler said: “This transaction supports our long-term strategic growth plans for our EVT Execute and EVT Innovate segments and brings significant value to Evotec’s shareholders without the need for dilutive financing.”
“This transaction supports our long-term strategic growth plans for our EVT Execute and EVT Innovate segments and brings significant value to Evotec’s shareholders without the need for dilutive financing.”
Based on strategic growth plans, Evotec is planning to expand its capabilities in drug discovery by incorporating a 20,000m² modern facility in Toulouse of France. It will include around 200 highly qualified and experienced employees.
Evotech will use the expanded capabilities to support collaborative research in drug discovery from screening to identification of pre-clinical candidates with its pharma, biotech, venture capital and academic partners.
Sanofi global R&D president Dr Elias Zerhouni said: “We highly value this collaboration, which will reinforce Toulouse Biopark as a major biomedical research platform in Europe and create a field of opportunities for our employees, while contributing to the vitality of the local ecosystem.”
Under the deal, Evotec will offer a wide range of long-term drug discovery services to Sanofi, including core small-molecule discovery platforms in Toulouse.
The company will also take over the management of Sanofi’s global screening compound library.
Both firms will integrate their libraries and provide them to business partners of Evotec for screening, under the first-in class open innovation initiative. The integrated libraries will include around 1,700,000 compounds, one of the largest sources of starting points for drug discovery.
The deal will also allow both firms to work on oncology related projects, including five advanced pre-clinical projects and further discovery-stage assets to investigational new drug (IND) status.