Evotec jumps into biologics through $90m Just.Bio acquisition

By Vassia Barba contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Kkolosov)
(Image: Getty/Kkolosov)

Related tags: Evotec, Biotherapeutics, acquisition, CDMO

Evotec to join the emerging biologics market through Just Biotherapeutics’ smart technology platforms, machine learning tools and low cost manufacturing facilities.

The German drug developer signed a definitive agreement according to which it will offer up to $90m (€80.45m) in cash, including potential performance-based earn-out components expected within the next three years, to the shareholders of Just Biotherapeutics (Just.Bio).

Specifically, the offer is addressed to a syndicate of institutional investors of ARCH Venture Partners, Merck & Co., Lilly Asia Ventures and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Just.Bio, a Seattle-based biologics contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) founded in 2014, owns J.Design, an integrated platform that consists of:

- J.Mdtm, a computer-aided tool enabling selection of the best molecules for development,
- J.P3, an early clinical manufacturing facility and
- J.Pod, a technology that allows modular larger scale manufacturing of clinical and commercial stage biologics.

A spokesperson of Evotec told us that the company plans to further invest in expanding Just.Bio’s activity and facilities in the US.

“Broadening our platform into biologics has always been key to our strategy,”​ Evotec’s CEO Werner Lanthaler said in a statement.

“With this acquisition we finally found the perfect match to complement our leadership in small molecules,”​ he added.

James Thomas, CEO of Just.Bio will become the global head of biotherapeutics and president of US operations at Evotec and all of Just.Bio's employees will join Evotec's team.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by August 2019.

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