Operational Venturing

 

Since 2016, Evotec is applying its operational venturing model, which started with the creation of Evotec’s first spin-off Topas Therapeutics. Since then, Evotec’s equity investment portfolio has grown steadily. We have more than 20 investments with more than 90 active projects in our EVOequity pipeline.

Our investment focus spans predominantly early-stage biotechnology companies that benefit from an experienced drug discovery partner at both operational and strategic level and where operational synergies provide a strong additional value-add for both parties.

By providing access to Evotec’s industrialised and integrated technology platforms and expertise, Evotec facilitates acceleration of early-stage scientific projects and supports product development up to IND-readiness and beyond. 

We are committed to stay a true long-term partner to start-ups. We provide technology expertise and capital, and we use the possibilities of sharing Evotec’s international investor and partner network. 

We invest predominantly in early-stage biotechnology companies that have strong operational synergies with Evotec’s in-house areas of expertise. We focus on multi-modalities, including biologics, small molecules (extension to difficult targets), gene therapy, iPSCs and scalable cell therapy. We have a strong interest in patient-data-based discovery projects.

Evotec takes both minority as well as majority stakes, between 1-50%.

We draw our investments from our broad biotech customer base, realise investments from a growing number of academic partnerships through BRIDGEs, and access deal-flow from expanding external networks in Europe and US. In addition, Evotec accelerates innovation via risk-shared venture creation through spinning out new companies based on in-house platforms. 

To date, Evotec has invested in early-stage life sciences companies with more than € 90 m and this is expected to accelerate in the upcoming years. EVOequity has the potential to become an important pillar of Evotec’s long-term value generation.

Aeovian Pharmaceuticals

Aeovian develops therapeutics for the treatment of rare and age-related diseases. Developing compounds that modulate molecular pathways that address the underlying causes of disease initiation and progression, such as oxidative, cellular and environmental stress. Aeovian`s lead programme is a novel and highly selective therapeutic that potently inhibits the mTORC1 pathway.

Evotec and Aeovian have entered into a drug discovery partnership and Evotec supports Aeovian’s R&D project with Evotec’s fully-integrated clinical-enabling service INDiGO as well as Evotec’s process development for the production of the active pharmaceutical ingredient.

Aeovian is based in San Francisco, USA. Here you can find more information about Aeovian

Initial investment year: 2019

Argobio

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In March 2021, Argobio SAS, a newly-created start-up studio dedicated to life sciences, announced its launch with € 50 m of committed capital.

Argobio will create and launch at least five ambitious biotech companies over the next five years sourcing innovative early-stage projects from renowned European academic research institutions. Argobio will focus on selected therapeutic areas, including rare diseases, neurological disorders, oncology, and immunology. It will also source for promising platform technologies for therapeutic products. The investors will have the opportunity to invest in the biotech companies created by Argobio.

Argobio was initiated by Kurma Partners and Bpifrance and were joined by complementary strategic investors, Angelini Pharma and Evotec. Evotec as collaborative investor provides access to its technology platforms and expertise.

Here you can find more information about Argobio  

Initial investment year: 2021 

Blacksmith Medicines

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Blacksmith Medicines creates novel medicines for immuno-oncology and inflammatory diseases by targeting human metalloenzymes. Blacksmith is a spin-out of Forge Therapeutics. Evotec is continuing to support the development of the metalloenzyme platform, which was developed by Forge Therapeutics, and its therapeutic application. Early 2021, Blacksmith announced a target discovery agreement with Eli Lilly, accompanied by an equity investment.

Here you can find more information about Blacksmith

Initial investment year: 2021

Breakpoint Therapeutics 

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Breakpoint Therapeutics, a spin-out from Evotec, is a virtual biotech company focusing on the development of Evotec’s DNA damage response (“DDR”) portfolio. Breakpoint Therapeutics’ mission is to develop first- and best-in-class oncology drugs that interfere with DNA repair and replication stress pathways to facilitate the cure of therapy-resistant cancers. Its drug discovery programmes are conducted and advanced by Evotec using Evotec’s fully established, validated and industrialised platforms in oncology.

Here you can find more information about Breakpoint

Initial investment year: 2019

Carrick Therapeutics

Carrick is building an innovative portfolio of first-in-class and best-in-class treatments that target multiple mechanisms of the most aggressive forms of cancer. Its lead asset, samuraciclib, is a small molecule inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinase 7 (CDK7) currently in Phase IIa studies in patients with hormone receptor positive breast cancer. Encouraging initial clinical Phase IIa data was presented at ESMO 2021 demonstrating clinical activity and tolerability in combination with Fulvestrant in HR+ HER2- breast cancer patients previously treated with a CDK4/6 inhibitor, supporting further clinical development. Carrick is looking to progress multiple programmes through hit-to-lead and lead optimisation with the goal of delivering multiple development candidates. Evotec provides its full range of discovery and oncology services, through its discovery and pre-clinical platform.

Carrick is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland and has offices in the UK and Boston, USA. Here you can find more information about Carrick

Initial investment year: 2016

Celmatix

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Celmatix has the mission to transform reproductive health care through genomics and big data. Celmatix has amassed the largest structured dataset on ovarian health in the world forming the basis for developing transformational therapeutics in previously understudied areas in Women's Health.

Celmatix and Evotec entered into a drug discovery partnership in 2017 to discover and develop pre-clinical programmes in prevalent but underserved conditions affecting women's reproductive health

In early 2020, Evotec and Bayer announced a partnership in Women’s Health indications with a new five-year, multi-target collaboration with participation from Celmatix to develop multiple clinical candidates for the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome.

Celmatix is based in New York, USA. Here you can find more information about Celmatix

Initial investment year: 2019

Curexsys

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Curexsys focuses on the development of iPSC-derived exosomes as highly promising next generation therapeutics for regenerative and anti-aging purposes. Curexsys delivers a proprietary isolation technology for exosomes based on a traceless immune-affinity process. This process is different from commonly used antibody-based processes and enables the company to overcome a key hurdle in exosome preparation, i.e. remaining antibodies in the final preparation.

In December 2020, Evotec and Sartorius announced that they have entered into a partnership with Curexsys. The collaboration combines Evotec’s industry-leading induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (“iPSC”) platform with Curexsys’ proprietary technology to selectively isolate exosomes. Sartorius will support Curexsys to set up a GMP-compliant and scalable manufacturing platform.

Curexsys is based in Göttingen, Germany. Here you can find more information about Curexsys

Initial investment year: 2020

Dark Blue Therapeutics

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Dark Blue develops targeted first-in-class therapeutics designed to transform oncology treatments. Dark Blue grows its portfolio of new product development through the scouting and acceleration of highly innovative academic projects in oncology at the Oxford University, one of the leading universities in the world.

Evotec supports Dark Blue by providing access to Evotec’s comprehensive drug discovery and development platforms and expertise to form the basis for the successful partnering of Dark Blue`s assets.

Founded in 2020 as first NewCo of LAB282, one of Evotec’s academic partnership initiatives, and based in Oxford, England. 

Initial investment year: 2020

Eternygen

Eternygen’s therapy offers small molecule inhibitors for the treatment of dietary-related metabolic diseases via targeting the underlying metabolic failure. Eternygen`s lead programme, a NaCT-inhibitor is currently developed through pre-clinical development as a treatment for NASH. The sodium-coupled citrate transporter NaCT is predominantly expressed in the liver and a key regulator of lipid metabolism involved in the pathogenesis of fatty liver, diabetes and obesity. 

Eternygen will rely on Evotec's best-in-class drug discovery platform and metabolic disease expertise to conduct all work to the selection of pre-clinical development candidate and possibly beyond.

Eternygen is based in Berlin, Germany. Here you can find more information about Eternygen

Initial investment year: 2016

Exscientia

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Exscientia is the world leader in developing and applying AI approaches specifically to design new and better therapeutic molecules in a faster and more cost-effective manner. Exscientia's approach fuses the power of AI with the discovery experience of seasoned drug hunters and chemistry experts. Since inception Exscientia has developed a broad pipeline of wholly owned and partnered AI-based products of which three AI-designed drugs have begun phase 1 clinical trials

Exscientia’s lead programme in immune-oncology entered the clinic in May 2021. This programme targets the A2a receptor antagonist, which is in development for adult patients with advanced solid tumours, co-invented and developed through a JV between Evotec and Exscientia, including application of Exscientia’s next generation 3-D evolutionary AI-design platform as part of Centaur Chemist®.

Evotec became the first strategic shareholder in the UK-based company. Exscientia and Evotec have cooperated since early 2016 to advance small molecules and bispecific small molecules in immuno-oncology. The ongoing success of this partnership was the basis for an expanded and deepened corporate relationship. 

In October 2021, Exscientia closed its Nasdaq IPO, the company will use the financial backing to advance its proprietary pipeline through clinical testing and to expand its AI-based technology platforms and capabilities.

Exscientia is based in Oxford, UK. Here you can find more information about Exscientia

Initial investment year: 2016

Facio Therapies

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Facio Therapies solely focuses on finding a safe, effective, and affordable cure for FSHD. FSHD is a progressive muscle-wasting disease and there is currently no treatment option available. The key event in FSHD is the undue expression of the so-called DUX4 protein in skeletal muscle, which leads to muscle atrophy and oxidative stress. Facio uses robust phenotypic and biophysical DUX4-based platforms to develop a complementary portfolio for a rare disease with limited competitors. 

By providing flexible access to specific R&D capabilities Evotec has been Facio’s longstanding partner in establishing the basis of its current focused portfolio strategy.

Facio is based in Leiden, Netherlands. Here you can find more information about Facio

Initial investment year: 2017

Fibrocor Therapeutics

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In January 2017, Evotec and Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners ("TIAP", formerly MaRS Innovation) announced the launch of Fibrocor Therapeutics LP ("Fibrocor"), a Toronto-based company focused on developing first-in-class therapeutics targeting fibrotic diseases. Fibrocor uses its exclusive access to longitudinal tissue-specific patient samples to tackle the underlying cause of fibrosis and discover a pipeline of novel and best-in-class products to treat patients with fibrotic diseases. Fibrocor brings together clinical expertise and access to disease tissue with high-throughput molecular analysis infrastructure and expertise in clinically-predictive animal models of fibrosis.

Evotec provides Fibrocor with key drug discovery activities.

In 2020, Fibrocor announced expansion of its global partnership with Galapagos. Galapagos receiving the exclusive option to in-license additional target programmes and taking an equity stake in Fibrocor.

Fibrocor is based in Toronto, Canada. Here you can find more information about Fibrocor

Initial investment year: 2016

Forge Therapeutics

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Forge develops novel antibiotics intended to treat multi-drug resistant bacteria. The company's platform develops small molecule inhibitors targeting metalloenzymes using gram-negative bacteria. 

In December 2016, Evotec and Forge announced a strategic alliance to advance its novel Gram-negative antibiotic programme targeting 'LpxC' for the treatment of bacterial infections including those caused by drug resistant 'superbugs'. LpxC has been recognised as an attractive antibacterial target for more than the past 15 years; however, a lack of suitable chemical starting points has hampered its progress. Forge has been applying its proprietary metal-binding pharmacophores ("MBP") library and processes and has been able to identify potent drugable inhibitors of LpxC. 

In April 2019, Forge and Basilea entered into a research collaboration and license agreement to discover, develop, and commercialize novel antibiotic classes.

In March 2020, Forge announced a research collaboration and option agreement with Roche to license one of its novel antibiotics for the treatment of hospital-based lung infections.

Forge is based in San Diego, USA. Here you can find more information about Forge

Initial investment year: 2017

Immunitas Therapeutics

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Immunitas is a single cell genomics-based drug discovery company founded by Longwood Fund, and plans to use this funding to advance its first programmes, monoclonal antibody therapeutics with single agent activity in pre-clinical models of oncology, to clinical studies. Lead programme is IMT-009, a first-in-class monoclonal antibody that inhibits CD161 and disinhibits T cells and NK cells in the tumour microenvironment.

In August 2021, Immunitas announced the completion of its $ 58 m Series B financing to bring its pipeline into the clinic and expand its single cell analysis platform for immune-oncology and other diseases.

Immunitas is based in Waltham, USA. Here you can find more information about Immunitas

Initial investment year: 2017 

Leon Nanodrugs

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Leon Nanodrugs is the leading enabler of nanoparticle-based drug delivery technology in the pharmaceutical industry. Leon’s proprietary technology is aimed at suspending active pharmaceutical ingredients (“APIs”) in especially tailored nanoparticles to enhance solubility, bioavailability and stability in order to improve drug efficacy and safety. The platform is suitable for a broad range of particle types, including LNPs, which can be formulated for mRNA and other nucleic acid-based therapeutics.

In April 2020, Evotec announced a strategic partnership and equity investment with Leon. Under the terms of the agreement, Evotec will leverage Leon’s proprietary technology through the Company’s API manufacturing and CMC capabilities. Evotec and Leon will leverage their combined expertise in nano-medicine development services, providing clients with world-class, end-to-end opportunities.

Leon is based in München, Germany. Here you can find more information about Leon  

Initial investment year: 2020

Mission Biocapital

Mission BioCapital (MBC) is a venture firm focused on making pivotal, early-stage investments in life science companies. MBC provides early stage capital to early ideas and sources new opportunities via exclusive innovation centres: MBC BioLabs, LabCenral, and BioLabs.

MBC is based in Cambridge and San Francisco, USA. Here you can find more information about MBC  

Initial investment year: 2020 

NephThera

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In November 2019, Evotec announced the formation of NephThera, a new 50:50 joint venture with Vifor Pharma Group focusing on the discovery and development of novel nephrology therapeutics. NephThera aims to identify new targets for renal therapies, and sharpen existing product profiles of an innovative pipeline by analysing the clinical data provided by Evotec that is mining a unique UK kidney biobank, NURTuRE. 

Initial funding of € 25 m for pre-clinical development is covered by Vifor Pharma so that multiple targets or candidates can be moved forward simultaneously. The use of Evotec’s proprietary EVOpanHunter platform, combined with high-quality data sets from thousands of human kidney disease patients will lead to the discovery of a number of promising therapeutic options in the kidney disease space.

Initial investment year: 2019

OxVax

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OxVax is developing an innovative next generation cancer vaccine platform based on a unique and proprietary population of dendritic cells capable of inducing a potent anti-tumour immune response overcoming limitations of current approaches. The company's technology allows the proprietary bulk GMP manufacture of anti-tumour targeting iPSC-dendritic cells, generated from donor blood derived stem cells. By ex vivo loading of these cells with tumour antigens, OxVax creates a vaccine which can train the body to target and potently eliminate tumours.

OxVax is based in Oxford, UK. Here you can find more information about OxVax  

Initial investment year: 2021

panCELLa

Watch the pancella intro video

PanCELLa provides a proprietary pluripotent stem cell-based platform as source for safe off-the-shelf cell therapies. panCELLa has built on two exclusive platforms; FailSafe™ and induced Allogeneic Cell Tolerance (iACT or Stealth Cells™) that allow for the development of safe, universal, cost-effective, “off-the-shelf” therapeutic cell products for medicine. PanCELLa secures partnerships with biotechnology partners to provide access to its exclusive platform systems.

In April 2020, Evotec and panCELLa Inc. announced that the companies have entered into a licensing and investment agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, Evotec will receive a non-exclusive licence to access panCELLa’s proprietary iPS cell lines “iACT Stealth Cells™”, which are genetically modified to prevent immune rejection of derived cell therapy products (“cloaking”). Furthermore, Evotec will also have access to a new-generation cloaking technology known as hypoimmunogenic cells. In addition, the “FailSafe™” mechanism effectively addresses a key challenge in iPSC-based cell therapy, potential tumour formation by residual undifferentiated cells. 

PanCELLa is based in Toronto, Canada. Here you can find more information about panCELLa

Initial investment year: 2020

QUANTRO Therapeutics

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QUANTRO aspires to discover and develop novel small molecule drug candidates interfering with disease-causing transcriptional programmes in cancer and other diseases, with unprecedented precision and sensitivity. QUANTRO applies time resolved transcriptomics coupled with dedicated, proprietary, computational analysis.

Evotec has taken a role as seed investor, supporting QUANTRO together with other partners to shape, build and grow the company in a highly competitive field. At operational level Evotec brings a large network of scientists and technological expertise complementary to that of QUANTRO. Evotec provides hit identification services for QUANTRO’s proprietary anti-tumour projects.

QUANTRO is based in Vienna, Austria. Here you can find more information about QUANTRO

Initial investment year: 2020

Topas Therapeutics

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Topas Therapeutics GmbH ("Topas") is the first spin-out company from Evotec and is focused on the development of cutting-edge small-peptide loaded conjugated-nanoparticles targeting the liver for immune tolerance induction, thereby addressing areas of major unmet need, including autoimmune diseases, allergies and anti-drug antibodies. Lead programme TPM203 targets Pemphigus Vulgaris, an orphan and autoimmune disease and is currently tested in a Phase I clinical trial. Second programme TPM502 is planned to enter the clinic by year end for celiac disease.

Evotec has a collaboration agreement with Topas on a number of pre-clinical development studies.

In July 2021, Topas announced the extension of its Series B financing round, raising a total of € 40 m, which included participation from all of Topas’ existing investors. 

Topas is based in Hamburg, Germany. Here you can find more information about Topas

Initial investment year: 2016 

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