Evotec lays down $90m to buy Just for kickstarting biologics biz

German services firm Evotec has jumped into the biologics development space through the acquisition of Just.Bio, a platform company working to reduce the cost of goods for proteins.

Hamburg, Germany-based Evotec uses its expertise and technologies to help pharma firms discover and develop new small molecule therapies and names Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, CHDI, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi, Takeda, and UCB among its partners.

Through the addition of Just.Bio for $90 million (€81 million) cash, Evotec has increased its drug discovery and development arsenal, and propelled itself into the large molecule space.

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Just’s J.DESIGN

Evotec’s CEO Werner Lanthaler described Just.Bio as “the perfect match to complement our leadership in small molecules,” adding a devloment and manufacturing facility in Seattle, Washington, and the technology platform J.DESIGN.

J.DESIGN, developed inhouse, aims at centralizing and integrating complex data sets generated from the distinct activities encompassing the development and manufacture of biologics into a common design space.

These include molecular design, process and product design, and manufacturing design, which Just.Bio has previously told us helps speed up development and reduces manufacturing cost.

Speaking at the Bioprocess International East event back in 2017, the firm’s founding partner and CSO Dean Pettit told delegates that his firm hopes to slash the cost of goods for proteins by using the platform to address every area in the development and manufacture of biological products from around $150-200 to as little as $10 per gram.

Other platforms

The deal brings other platforms to Evotec’s offerings, including:

J.MDTM, a technology-based process development tool using Abacus™ as machine learning-based computer-aided design tool to predict and select optimal molecules for further development.

JP3, a lab and computational tool for rapid development of a high-yielding manufacturing process along with a cGMP early clinical manufacturing facility.

J.POD, a flexible and modular manufacturing platform for production of clinical and commercial stage biologics.

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