Evotec and Sernova Partner on Diabetes Treatment

23.05.2022 - German drug discovery and development company Evotec and Canadian therapeutics company Sernova are collaborating to develop a diabetes treatment based on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). As part of the agreement, Evotec will make an equity investment in Sernova of €20 million.

The partnership will combine Evotec’s iPSC-based beta cells with Sernova’s proprietary implantable Cell Pouch medical device with the goal of developing an off-the-shelf therapy for treating patients with insulin-dependent diabetes, including type 1 and 2.

Evotec’s chief scientific officer Cord Dohrmann commented: “Together we will progress a highly differentiated first-in-class beta cell therapy into clinical development with the common goal to bring a truly transformative therapy to insulin-dependent diabetic patients. The operational synergies of Evotec’s and Sernova’s technologies puts Sernova in position to become the world’s leader in beta cell replacement therapy.”

Under the terms of the deal, Sernova has the option for an exclusive global license to Evotec’s iPSC-based beta cells for use with the Cell Pouch system to treat diabetes. Evotec will contribute cell manufacturing through commercialization and will decide in the future on joint funding of clinical development. The companies will share profits upon commercialization, with the split dependent upon Evotec’s participation in the clinical development program.

Sernova’s president and CEO Philip Toleikis described Evotec as “an iPSC powerhouse” in developing high-quality and stable stem cell technologies for multiple therapeutic applications.

In separate news, Evotec is also linking up with Spanish biopharma Almirall to develop novel therapies for severe skin diseases, including immune-medicated inflammatory conditions such as atopic dermatitis and non-melanoma skin cancer such as basal cell carcinoma.

Under the agreement, Evotec receives an undisclosed payment payment, as well as research payments, success-based milestones of potentially up to €230 million per program and royalties on net sales in the high single-digit percentage range.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist