The acquisition is expected to expand Evotec’s cell therapy platform EVOcells, an integrated platform for the discovery, development and manufacturing of cell therapies


Evotec to acquire cell therapy company Rigenerand. (Credit: Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay)

German drug discovery and development company Evotec has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Italy-based Rigenerand for €23m.

Established in 2009 as a spin-off from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Rigenerand is engaged in the cGMP manufacturing of cell therapies.

The cell technology company operates a certified manufacturing facility that combines advanced cGMP production with R&D and QC labs, along with development labs.

Its production facility, dubbed cell factory, includes a suite of fully equipped cleanrooms for the manufacturing of complex cell-based therapies, and a specialised team.

Located in Medolla, Italy, Rigenerand’s production facility contains a total of 1,200m2 of advanced manufacturing space, with potential for significant further expansion.

As part of the acquisition, a team of cell therapy cGMP manufacturing experts will be added to Evotec.

Rigenerand founder and CSO Massimo Dominici said: “The combination of Rigenerand and Evotec is a unique opportunity to grow and a natural evolution for our team.

“The field of cell therapies is rapidly expanding with new products and novel technologies requiring R&D skills, flexibility in manufacturing and experience in pharmaceutical development.

“Evotec’s EVOcells platform and Rigenerand’s technologies and capacity to transform cells into therapeutic products combining an R&D vocation and manufacturing skills.”

The transaction is said to expand Evotec’s cell therapy platform EVOcells by adding a dedicated, high-quality cGMP manufacturing site.

Evotec said that induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC)-derived, off-the-shelf therapeutics are one of the most promising approaches in the cell therapy space.

Based on its years of experience with iPSCs, Evotec has developed EVOcells as an integrated platform for the discovery, development and manufacturing of cell therapies.

Its EVOcells platform covers immuno-oncology, metabolic diseases, heart repair, along with exosome-based therapies, said the German company.

Evotec chief executive officer Werner Lanthaler said: “Cell therapies are an exciting emerging therapeutic modality with broad applicability across many indications.

“Originating from our leading iPSC platform, Evotec’s EVOcells platform enables the delivery of innovative cell therapeutics from inception to the patient.

“The acquisition of Rigenerand adds manufacturing capacity and expertise to the EVOcells platform. Our conversations with our partners as well as our own industry observations have made it clear that horizontal expansion and rapid iteration at the scale-up are critical within the cell therapy space.”