R&D review prompts Evotec to chop 120 discovery staffers in India

After sizing up its chemistry operations in India, Evotec AG says it decided to shutter its facility there and lay off all 120 discovery staffers, shifting the work back to the U.K. And in a separate announcement, Evotec saw its shares (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: $EVT) rise on the news of a $2 million research milestone payment for Boehringer Ingelheim.

Evotec had been looking for a new site for its chemistry operations in Thane, India.

"During the due diligence in finding a new facility and because of growing customer requirements for European-based activities we came to the conclusion to exit our operations in India completely," noted COO Mario Polywka in a statement. "Through this realignment we will be able to most efficiently serve our customers, utilize our UK chemistry resources and capabilities and also realize some cost savings. Unfortunately the impact is that we must say goodbye to a first-class work force in Thane that has so ably supported our customers over the last four years."

Evotec has a wide range of discovery and development partnerships in place with Big Pharma companies. Its latest-stage program is focused on Type 1 diabetes in partnership with Teva ($TEVA). Roche ($RHHBY) and Evotec are working on an Alzheimer's program while Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) is partnered on diabetes and depression.

Evotec's latest payment from Boehringer, meanwhile, is part of a stream of milestones flowing from the pharma outfit over the past 9 years.

"This is the eighteenth milestone achieved as part of our alliance with Boehringer Ingelheim and represents an important transition of a compound into pre-clinical development," said Polywka.

- here's the release on the restructuring in India
- here's the release on the Boehringer milestone

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