Evotec will be getting over 10 assets, €60M upfront and about 100 scientists from Sanofi’s infectious disease research unit to work on developing new antimicrobials.
Evotec has entered exclusive negotiations with Sanofi to accelerate infectious disease R&D through a new innovation platform located near Lyon, France, that will be open to academia, private companies, foundations and government agencies. Sanofi, which has already been working with Evotec in other areas like diabetes and cancer, will support the initiative by licensing most of its research and early-stage development portfolio of its infectious disease pipeline, excepting vaccines.
In addition, Sanofi will pay Evotec €60M as well as additional long-term funding, and it will transfer its infectious disease research unit, including over 100 employees. In exchange, Sanofi retains option rights to the development and commercialization of the programs.
Evotec’s main focus will be the development of antimicrobials with new mechanisms of action. Given the alarmingly increasing rates of deaths caused by infections with drug-resistant pathogens, and the lack of innovation in the last 40 years, the company will be targeting a big medical niche. The company will be putting a strong focus on tackling this problem through artificial intelligence, which is starting to prove its potential to make drug discovery much faster and cheaper.
Image via wowomnom /Shutterstock