Evotec SE announced that the U.S. Department of Defense (“DOD”) awarded its Seattle-based subsidiary, Just – Evotec Biologics, Inc. a contract valued up to $ 18.2 m to develop and manufacture monoclonal antibodies (“mAbs”) for treatment and/or prevention of COVID-19. The goal of this programme is to rapidly and efficiently deliver the mAbs to the DOD.
The DOD’s Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (“JPEO-CBRND”) is executing this effort in coordination with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs (“OASD(HA)”) and the Defense Health Agency (“DHA”).
Under the contract, Just – Evotec Biologics will design a highly efficient manufacturing process for the production of Current Good Manufacturing Practice (“cGMP”) clinical supplies of two monoclonal antibodies directed against SARS-CoV-2 antigens. The mAbs will be tested in early-stage clinical trials and ultimately, used for intervention and/or prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Just – Evotec Biologics will use its extensive experience in process development and clinical manufacturing to enable the rapid realisation of these potentially critical protein therapeutic treatments against SARS CoV 2 infections.
Dr James Thomas, Executive Vice President Global Head Biotherapeutics at Just – Evotec Biologics commented: “It is an honour to be working with the Department of Defense on this important and time-critical programme. The response to COVID-19 requires the application of rapid, flexible, scalable and robust development and manufacturing technologies. Our company and our platform were designed for the type of rapid response required to develop safe and efficacious products needed for the fight against COVID-19 and future pandemics.”
Dr Craig Johnstone, Chief Operating Officer of Evotec, added: “Evotec is committed to the global fight against COVID-19 and future pandemic preparedness. We are very pleased to be one of the service providers to the U.S. Department of Defense and to apply our expertise and advanced technologies to respond rapidly to this significant global health crisis.”