Evotec buys a U.K. CRO with an eye on anti-infectives

CEO Werner Lanthaler--Courtesy Evotec

German researcher Evotec has signed a deal to pay as much as $5.3 million for specialty CRO Euprotec, a company focused on anti-infective drug discovery.

Under the agreement, Evotec will hand over £1.9 million ($3.2 million) up front and another $2.1 million after two years, depending on business performance. The deal, expected to close this month, will bring a fleet of discovery services to Evotec's platform, the company said, including anti-infective screening and a range of disease models for characterization of antibacterials, antifungals and antivirals.

The buyout falls in line with Evotec's core business, which revolves around risk-splitting projects with drug-developing sponsors, in which the company often handles early work on an external candidate in exchange for CRO fees and a cut of future profits. Adding Euprotec's capabilities in infectious disease will only make Evotec a more attractive development partner for biotech and pharma, CEO Werner Lanthaler said.

"Importantly, we acquire highly innovative approaches, within our core competence along the discovery value chain, to open new therapeutic routes in the major market of infectious diseases," Lanthaler said in a statement. "There is a pressing need for new agents to treat key infections due to emerging resistance to current therapies."

The Euprotec deal also benefits the other side of the company's business: EVT Innovate, which out-licenses internal candidates. Two of those in-house efforts, TargetPicV and TargetPGB, target infectious diseases, and Euprotec's technology will help advance those programs and, ideally, attract future partners, the company said.

Last quarter, Evotec brought in about $24.1 million in revenue on the quarter, good for about 3% growth.

- read the statement

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