Evotec SE announced that it will regain global development and commercialisation rights to the iPSC-based programme for the treatment of diabetes developed under collaboration agreement with Sanofi.
Evotec has built a unique platform for iPSC-based drug discovery and cell therapy covering the generation of iPS cell lines, up to cell manufacturing of various cell types for drug screening as well as GMP production of clinical material for cell therapies. Evotec produces human beta cells in islet-like clusters from a GMP-compliant iPS cell line in a scalable bioreactor format, with extensive quality control (“QC”) procedures. The beta cell programme has already achieved pre-clinical data demonstrating that they are functionally equivalent to primary human islets in their ability to normalise blood glucose levels in in vivo models over several months.
Evotec will continue the development of the beta cell programme on its own within its EVT Innovate initiative “QRbeta Therapeutics”. In parallel, Evotec will explore the best strategic options for further long-term development and commercialisation. An off-the-shelf beta cell therapy product has the potential to revolutionise the treatment of insulin-dependent diabetic patients and therefore could represent a major therapeutic opportunity.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “Evotec and Sanofi have developed the beta cell replacement therapy programme since 2015 in a highly productive partnership. During this time, we have made tremendous progress towards bringing a potentially game-changing treatment option to the clinic. We would like to thank Sanofi for the collaboration and its contributions. Regaining full control of this innovative and promising programme to treat diabetes is of great value for Evotec. While we are continuing to move this programme forward, we are exploring partnering options to bring this therapy to patients.”