Expansion builds on initial strategic collaboration and license agreement
Chicago, April 5, 2022 – Evozyne, Inc., an adaptive biology company pioneering evolution-based design of proteins, founded by Paragon Biosciences, announced today that it has entered into a strategic research collaboration and license agreement with Takeda to research and develop proteins that could be incorporated into next-generation gene therapies for up to four rare disease targets. This new agreement builds upon an earlier, separate agreement with Takeda and demonstrates the potential of Evozyne’s protein engineering platform.
In partnership with Takeda, Evozyne will create novel protein sequences for advancement as gene therapies. At completion and review of certain research deliverables, Takeda has the option to obtain an exclusive license to develop and commercialize the novel protein sequences as part of its gene therapy program. Under the terms of the agreement, Evozyne will receive double-digit million dollars in upfront and research funding payments. The company is also eligible to receive future developmental, regulatory and commercial milestone payments of up to $400 million if all milestones are achieved in target indications over the course of the partnership plus tiered royalties on net sales of any commercial product resulting from the collaboration.
“Our continued work with Takeda affirms Evozyne’s unique capability to provide advanced, targeted novel proteins that have remarkable potential in numerous applications,” said Evozyne Co-founder and CEO Jeff Aronin. “Through these types of innovative collaborations, Evozyne plays a critical role in accelerating the development of gene therapies to potentially help people living with serious medical conditions.”
“Producing highly differentiated transgenes is critical to advancing the next generation of gene therapies,” said Madhu Natarajan, Head of the Rare Diseases Drug Discovery Unit at Takeda. “By expanding our collaboration with Evozyne, we have the opportunity to leverage their novel protein engineering platform across new disease targets with the hope of one day delivering functional cures to patients living with rare genetic diseases.”
Evozyne’s platform harnesses AI and machine learning technologies with the principles of evolution to uncover nature’s rules. The company integrates its closed-loop learning, high throughput gene synthesis, and automated assays to mimic millions of years of natural evolution in the laboratory. This approach offers a new way to identify novel proteins and improve existing proteins to overcome barriers in disease treatment. By bringing together Takeda’s expertise in the rare disease space with Evozyne’s strength in protein engineering, this collaboration looks to bring meaningful treatments to patients suffering from serious and life-threatening genetic diseases.
“Takeda is helping us make a meaningful difference to the considerable challenges to be solved in rare genetic diseases,” said Evozyne Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer Rama Ranganathan, M.D., Ph.D. “This collaboration allows the continued development of next-generation gene therapies that have the potential to make a positive impact on patients suffering from serious and life-threatening genetic diseases.”
Evozyne combines evolution and deep learning technology to create highly functional novel proteins — Natural Machines™ — to solve longstanding challenges in therapeutics and sustainability. By amplifying a protein’s function based on the rules of nature, we address complex, high-impact problems. From developing life-changing patient treatments to finding ways for previously untreatable diseases to be cured safely and effectively, Evozyne is committed to making a healthier world. For more information, visit https://www.evozyne.com/.
About Paragon Biosciences
Paragon is a life science innovator that creates, builds and funds innovative biology-based companies in cell and gene therapy, adaptive biology and advanced biotechnology. The company’s current portfolio includes Castle Creek Biosciences, CiRC Biosciences, Emalex Biosciences, Evozyne, Harmony Biosciences, Qlarity Imaging, and a consistent flow of incubating companies created and supported by the Paragon Innovation Capital™ model. Paragon stands at the intersection of human need, life science, and company creation. For more information, please visit https://paragonbiosci.com/.