Evolva (“Evolva”, SIX: EVE) today announced that Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (“Emergent”, NYSE: EBS) has acquired Evolva’s anti-bacterial programme, the EV-035 series. The lead compound in the EV-035 series is the broad-spectrum antibiotic GC-072, which is being developed with US government biodefense funding. For Evolva, this transaction is worth up to USD 70.5 million plus royalties.
GC-072 has shown efficacy in both in vitro and in vivo studies against a wide range of bacterial pathogens, most notably Burkholderia pseudomallei. This bacterium causes the disease melioidosis and is regarded as a potential bio-threat agent. The preclinical development of GC-072 is funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) of the U.S. Department of Defense. Evolva and Emergent are working closely with DTRA on the transfer of the funding contract to Emergent, and expect this process to be completed within the next few weeks.
Evolva will receive from Emergent an upfront payment of USD 1.5 million, an additional USD 4 million after the US government approves transfer of the GC-072 contract to Emergent, development milestone payments up to USD 65 million, and tiered royalties up to a maximum of 10% on product net sales generated from the EV-035 programme. This transaction completes Evolva’s strategic shift of focus towards ingredients for health, wellness and nutrition.
Neil Goldsmith, CEO of Evolva, said “We are very pleased to have found a good home for GC-072. Emergent has extensive experience partnering with the U.S. government through its development, manufacture, and delivery of medical countermeasures, and is perfectly placed to make the EV-035 series a success. This is financially an attractive deal for Evolva, both in the short term and the longer term.”
“Emergent’s acquisition of the EV-035 series of broad spectrum antibiotics further aligns the company with the U.S. government’s strategic objective of combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which the Administration considers a national security priority that requires continued development funding,” said Adam Havey, Executive Vice President and President, Biodefense Division of Emergent BioSolutions.
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