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Evotec, Boehringer Ingelheim, and bioMérieux launch Aurobac

Evotec, pharma giant Boehringer Ingelheim, and IVD specialist bioMérieux have launched a €40m joint venture to fight Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

Aurobac Therapeutics SAS goal is to create next-generation antimicrobials and diagnostics to fight Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). Decades ago, drug developers  left the antibiotics market, due to high-risk development and lack of return-on investment. However, the first state-financed pay models suggest that developing new classes of spare antibiotics that can fight AMR, particularly in Gram-negative bugs, might become a sustainable business case. mRNA vaccine specialist BioNTech SE recently announced it will also enter this market.

Aurobac Therapeutics SAS is set to combine the capabilities of the three founding companies towards developing a class of targeted antimicrobials and diagnostics. Just this May, Evotec signed a transaction agreement with Sanofi to integrate Sanofi’s infectious disease unit into its organisation. According to Michel Pairet, Head of Boehringer Ingelheim’s Innovation unit, “antibiotic resistance kills about 1.27 million people globally every year and it has been estimated that by 2050, as many as 10 million worldwide deaths could result from AMR, making it potentially deadlier than cancer.” bioMérieux is a world-leading supplier of integrated diagnostic solutions to support the appropriate use of antibiotics. According to Alexandre Mérieux, bioMérieux Chairman and CEO, “our role within the joint venture is to develop and commercialise diagnostic tests, including Companion Diagnostics, which deliver rapid, reliable and actionable results.

Funded by Boehringer Ingelheim as lead investor with €30m and by Evotec and bioMérieux with €5m each, the €40m joint venture will be headquartered in Lyon, nearby Evotec’s 200-strong anti-infective discovery team.