Expanding on their infectious disease deal, Sanofi turns to Evotec for its drug discovery expertise

French pharma giant Sanofi has turned to Evotec for some help in creating new translational efforts out of a slate of discovery programs.

Toulouse location (Evotec)

The contract research group, which has forged a series of deals with biopharma partners, is setting up a new team called LAB031 for the collaboration work. The group will be responsible for the translational work behind “multiple small molecule programs through the lead optimization.”

The deal marks the latest development in a major relationship between these two groups. Sanofi paid Evotec $74 million last summer in order to unload its infectious disease unit to its partner, complete with a pipeline and 100 staffers. That deal underscored Sanofi’s troubled history of trying to get workers off its payroll — a situation often fraught with problems for the company.

Evotec has a well-known history for early-stage work, with a rep as one of the top groups worldwide for providing expert assistance to a whole host of biotechs and pharmas. It recently set up a discovery deal with Novo Nordisk on obesity and diabetes. And just days ago Evotec also allied with the Fred Hutch and Arix to launch LAB591, focused on cancer and infectious diseases.

Why call it LAB031? That’s the departmental code of a region in France that includes Toulouse as its capital, where the partners work together.

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