The acquisition values Rigenerand at 23 million euros ($24.7 million) and, in return, Evotec will receive a manufacturing plant, as well as various other assets. One of the additional assets is a gene therapy, known as RR001, which the company had explored for the treatment of solid tumors.
Other articles on Rigenerand’s books include Isocult, which is a bioreactor platform that was developed to support 3D tissue-like cultures. Part of this portfolio includes Vitvo, a ready-to-use and portable 3D cell culture 3D bioreactor product.
However, when announcing the deal, Evotec focused on the benefits of integrating a good manufacturing practice (cGMP) compliant manufacturing facility for cell therapy into the business, as well as on the addition of the Rigenerand team managing the facility.
The Rigenerand site in Medolla, Italy covers 1,200 square meters, which includes the 450 square meter manufacturing plant, as well as offices, R&D and quality control laboratories.
The manufacturing plant contains clean rooms (three Class B BSL2 rooms, two Class B BSL3 rooms, a Class C warehouse, dedicated access corridors and a Class D material transfer area), a laboratory quality control, a GMP controlled warehouse and a cryogenic room for the cell bank. According to Rigenerand, the facility is capable of producing both somatic and genetically modified cell therapies.
Evotec noted in its announcement that the site has the potential for “significant further expansion”.
In terms of using the facility within its manufacturing network, Evotec was clear that it would be part of the company’s EVOcells platform. The platform is an end-to-end process that moves cell therapies from discovery to GMP manufacturing, with the company “currently seeking partners” to help develop projects in the region.
Evotec said this was its strategic angle in acquiring Rigenerand, emphasizing that it does not expect the deal’s revenue contribution to be “significant at first”, but believes manufacturing capabilities will “strengthen [the company]the ability to successfully win new integrated partnerships.
Since Evotec entered the development of biologics a few years ago, the company has focused on building its manufacturing capacity.
Last year, Evotec invested 150 million euros in the construction of a manufacturing plant for biological products in Toulouse, France. A few months after this decision, the company was able to announce the opening of a factory in Washington, USA, which would also be able to manufacture biologics on a clinical and commercial scale.