Evotec SE announced that its wholly-owned Seattle-based subsidiary company Just – Evotec Biologics, Inc. has expanded its collaboration with MSD, a tradename of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, regarding the development of innovative technologies for the production of biologics of the highest quality. Under the terms of the agreement, Just - Evotec Biologics grants MSD access to capacity in the J.POD® facility in Redmond, Washington, which is currently under construction.
The J.POD® facility gives MSD access to manufacturing capacity, which is compatible with the innovative manufacturing platform co-developed by MSD and Just - Evotec Biologics under a previous agreement announced in 2015.
J.POD® (manufacturing and plant design) is an integral part of Just - Evotec Biologics’J.DESIGN platform that combines data analytics and machine learning through all activities involved with the discovery, development, and manufacture of biologics. The integrated J.POD® facility will be capable of delivering tens of kilograms to metric tons of the highest quality products in an efficient and flexible manufacturing setting. Highly productive processes will be scaled out without scaling up; fine tuning capital expenditure to demand with no operational scale-up risk.
The terms of the collaboration include an upfront payment of $ 15 m, near term milestone payments based on completion of the construction of the J.POD® facility as well as a broad collaboration around reserved capacities.
Dr James Thomas, EVP Global Head Biotherapeutics Development and President US Operations at Just – Evotec Biologics, commented: “We’re pleased to expand the scope of our collaboration with MSD in the biomanufacturing area to include execution of full-scale continuous (connected) processing in our new flexible commercial J.POD® facility. We’ve greatly enjoyed the synergistic relationship with MSD and look forward to expanding our relationship with them and future partners in the biologics space.”
Dr Joe Miletich, SVP preclinical and process development research at MSD, added: “We are very pleased to continue our work with the Just – Evotec Biologics team to advance our biologics production capabilities at MSD. As we learn together how best to meet the challenging future demands of biologics, access to Just – Evotec Biologics’ platform technology is an integral part of our overall drug development and manufacturing de-risking strategy.”
Dr Craig Johnstone, Chief Operating Officer of Evotec, commented: “We value the strong collaboration between Just – Evotec Biologics and MSD in demonstrating the benefit of collaboration to use innovative technologies, best-in-class execution and smart processes for addressing the most urgent requirements of our partners. Relationships like this will transform industry’s approach to biologics development and manufacturing.”
About Just - Evotec Biologics
Just – Evotec Biologics wholly owned by Evotec SE is a unique platform company that integrates the design, engineering, development, and manufacture of biologics. With deep experience in the fields of protein, process and manufacturing sciences, the Just team came together to solve the scientific and technical hurdles that block access to life-changing protein therapeutics; from the design of therapeutic molecules to the design of the manufacturing plants used to produce them. Our focus is to create access and value for a global market through scientific and technological innovation.
About Evotec SE
Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academics, patient advocacy groups and venture capitalists. We operate worldwide and our more than 2,900 employees provide the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery and development solutions. We cover all activities from target-to-clinic to meet the industry’s need for innovation and efficiency in drug discovery and development (EVT Execute).
The Company has established a unique position by assembling top-class scientific experts and integrating state-of-the-art technologies as well as substantial experience and expertise in key therapeutic areas including neuronal diseases, diabetes and complications of diabetes, pain and inflammation, oncology, infectious diseases, respiratory diseases, fibrosis, rare diseases and women’s health. On this basis, Evotec has built a broad and deep pipeline of approx. 100 co-owned product opportunities at clinical, pre-clinical and discovery stages (EVT Innovate).
Evotec has established multiple long-term alliances with partners including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CHDI, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi, Takeda, UCB and others.