Press Release  |  October 10, 2019

Just – Evotec Biologics & Biocon Biologics

Sign Licensing Deal for a Biosimilar Asset

 

  • BIOCON BIOLOGICS IN-LICENSES AN EARLY-STAGE BIOSIMILAR ASSET, WILL UNDERTAKE DEVELOPMENT, MANUFACTURING AND COMMERCIALISATION UNDER ITS OWN LABEL
  • JUST – EVOTEC BIOLOGICS HAS RECEIVED A LICENSE FEE AND WILL RECEIVE MILESTONE PAYMENTS

 

Hamburg, Germany, Seattle, USA, and Bengaluru, India, 10 October 2019: Evotec SE (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) and Biocon Limited (“Biocon Ltd”) (BSE code: 532523, NSE: BIOCON) today announced that Biocon Biologics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Biocon Ltd, and Just – Evotec Biologics, wholly owned by Evotec, have entered into a strategic licensing agreement for an early-stage, pre-clinical biosimilar asset.

Biocon Biologics will take this biosimilar asset through end-to-end development, IND filing, manufacturing and commercialisation post-regulatory approval, under its own label in global markets. Biocon Biologics aims to address the needs of a large patient pool through this differentiated therapy. Through this in-licensing deal, Biocon Biologics has expanded its current therapeutic basket of biosimilars going beyond diabetes, oncology and immunology.

Just – Evotec Biologics has a unique platform with deep experience in the fields of protein, process and manufacturing sciences, which it has leveraged to develop this complex molecule. Just – Evotec Biologics has received an undisclosed license fee from Biocon Biologics and will be eligible to receive development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments.

Dr James N. Thomas, EVP, Global Head Biotherapeutics & President US Operations at Just – Evotec Biologics, said: “We are excited to enter into this partnership with Biocon Biologics, a multinational company with a strong presence in biosimilars. Just – Evotec Biologics’ optimised product and process platform has generated an excellent early-stage product candidate which we have licensed to Biocon Biologics for further development using their late-stage development, manufacturing and commercial capabilities to bring a compelling treatment to patients. We look forward to providing support to the Biocon Biologics team as their programme advances towards the clinic.”

“This is the beginning of a great relationship between Just – Evotec Biologics and Biocon Biologics,” Dr Thomas added.

Dr Christiane Hamacher, CEO, Biocon Biologics, said: “We are extremely confident of the quality of the biosimilar asset developed by Just – Evotec Biologics and this collaboration will provide a head start for Biocon Biologics to commercialise a biosimilar under its own brand. Leveraging our R&D skills and manufacturing expertise, we aim to take this differentiated therapy from ‘bench to bedside.’ This product expands our therapeutic basket and will enable us to address unmet patient needs for a high quality affordable therapy.”

Under the agreement, Biocon Biologics will now assume all development and commercialisation responsibilities for the programme. Biocon Biologics will benefit from Just – Evotec Biologics’ vast experience in the process development domain particularly with respect to optimised manufacturability.

R&D is at the core of Biocon Biologics’ journey towards meeting its strategic long-term goal of addressing the needs of millions of patients worldwide. Biocon Biologics’ scientific expertise and world class R&D and manufacturing facilities have enabled it to bring multiple biosimilar therapeutics to the US and Europe.

Biocon Biologics has a product pipeline of 28 molecules, including 11 with Mylan, several with Sandoz, and is developing many independently. The company’s therapeutic basket includes molecules from diabetes, oncology, immunology, dermatology, ophthalmology, neurology, rheumatology and inflammatory diseases.

Financial details of the licensing transaction have not been disclosed.

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ABOUT BIOCON BIOLOGICS

Biocon Biologics is a subsidiary of Biocon Ltd, an innovation led global biopharmaceuticals company. Biocon Biologics is engaged in developing high quality, affordable biosimilars that can expand access to a cutting-edge class of therapies to patients globally. It is uniquely positioned as a fully integrated ‘pure play’ biosimilars organisation in the world and aspires to transform patient lives through innovative and inclusive healthcare solutions. The Company has a large portfolio of biosimilars under global clinical development with three of these commercialised in at least one of the developed markets of EU, U.S. and Japan. Biocon Biologics has a product pipeline of 28 molecules, including 11 with Mylan, several with Sandoz and is developing many independently. Biocon Biologics believes that strong partnerships offer enormous opportunities to co-create the future of healthcare, building a patient ecosystem beyond the product, which can transform millions of lives.

ABOUT BIOCON LIMITED

Biocon Limited, publicly listed in 2004, (BSE code: 532523, NSE Id: BIOCON, ISIN Id: INE376G01013) is an innovation-led global biopharmaceuticals company committed to enhance affordable access to complex therapies for chronic conditions like diabetes, cancer and autoimmune diseases. The Company has developed and commercialised novel biologics, biosimilars, and complex small molecule APIs in India and several key global markets as well as generic formulations in the US and Europe. It also has a pipeline of promising novel assets in immunotherapy under development. For further information, please visit www.biocon.com & follow Biocon Limited on Twitter @bioconlimited

ABOUT JUST – EVOTEC BIOLOGICS

Just – Evotec Biologics wholly owned by Evotec SE is a unique platform company that integrates the design, engineering, development, and manufacture of biologics. With deep experience in the fields of protein, process and manufacturing sciences, the Just team came together to solve the scientific and technical hurdles that block access to life-changing protein therapeutics; from the design of therapeutic molecules to the design of the manufacturing plants used to produce them. Our focus is to create access and value for a global market through scientific and technological innovation. Learn more at www.just.bio.

ABOUT EVOTEC SE

Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academics, patient advocacy groups and venture capitalists. We operate worldwide and our more than 2,800 employees provide the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery and development solutions. We cover all activities from target-to-clinic to meet the industry’s need for innovation and efficiency in drug discovery and development (EVT Execute). The Company has established a unique position by assembling top-class scientific experts and integrating state-of-the-art technologies as well as substantial experience and expertise in key therapeutic areas including neuronal diseases, diabetes and complications of diabetes, pain and inflammation, oncology, infectious diseases, respiratory diseases and fibrosis. On this basis, Evotec has built a broad and deep pipeline of approx. 100 co-owned product opportunities at clinical, pre-clinical and discovery stages (EVT Innovate). Evotec has established multiple long-term alliances with partners including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, CHDI, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi, Takeda, UCB and others. For additional information please go to www.evotec.com and follow us on Twitter @Evotec.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

Information set forth in this press release contains forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgement of Evotec as of the date of this press release. Such forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based

Press Release  |  July 3, 2019

Evotec Completes Acquisition

of Just Biotherapeutics

 

  • ACQUISITION EXTENDS EVOTEC’S MULTIMODALITY OFFERING, WITH INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS FOR SMALL MOLECULES AND BIOLOGICS
  • EXPANDS EVOTEC’S US FOOTPRINT IN SEATTLE AND MACHINE LEARNING CAPABILITIES
  • DEAL VALUE OF $ 90 M INCLUDING POTENTIAL EARN-OUTS

 

Hamburg, Germany, 03 July 2019 – Evotec SE (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) today announced that the strategic transaction to acquire Just Biotherapeutics (“Just.Bio”), signed on 20 May 2019, has been completed. The acquisition accelerates Evotec’s long-term strategy to be the industry partner of choice for external end-to-end innovation, strengthening Evotec’s multimodality approach to R&D.

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Evotec acquired Just.Bio to integrate their cutting-edge machine-learning technologies and agile, flexible methods for the design, development, and manufacturing of biologics into Evotec’s drug discovery offerings. Just.Bio’s approx. 95 employees and its state-of-the-art biologic development and manufacturing site located in Seattle, WA, USA, will expand Evotec’s US footprint. Just.Bio’s capabilities and expertise comprise an in-house, integrated technology platform, J.DESIGN, enabling smart and efficient biologics’ drug development from design and lead optimisation to manufacturing:

  • J.MD™ is a technology-based process development tool using Abacus™, a machine learning-based computer-aided design tool, to predict and select optimal molecules for further development
  • JP3® includes lab and computational tools for rapid development of a high-yielding manufacturing process along with a cGMP early clinical manufacturing facility
  • Significant further potential lies in the company’s J.POD® technology for flexible and modular, larger scale manufacturing of clinical and commercial-stage biologics

Transaction structure summaryIn less than four years, Just.Bio has been able to build their J.DESIGN platform and attract a diversified customer portfolio resulting in strong financial growth with reported 2018 revenues of approx. $ 20 m. Evotec will pay a total consideration of up to $ 90 m including potential earn outs in the next three years. The initial consideration upon closing is $ 60 m subject to customary net debt and working capital adjustments. The acquisition of 100% of the issued and outstanding equity interests of the company will be paid in cash to a syndicate of institutional investors of ARCH Venture Partners, Merck & Co., Lilly Asia Ventures and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The acquisition will add to Evotec’s revenue growth and will strengthen Evotec’s overall strategic vision. A guidance update will be given upon reporting of half-year 2019 figures. Just.Bio will be financially fully consolidated under the Evotec Group.

Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, said: “We are pleased to have been able to swiftly close the acquisition of Just.Bio. With the integration of Just.Bio’s expertise in biologics and their outstanding human talent, we will accelerate our ability to build better molecules with cutting-edge technologies for our customers as well as our own pipeline. We warmly welcome the Just.Bio employees to the Evotec Group.”

Dr James Thomas, EVP, Global Head, Biotherapeutics, President US Operations of Evotec, commented: “Starting with a small group of creative and passionate employees, we’ve made remarkably fast progress building a state-of-the-art technology platform for expanding global access to biologics. Joining forces with Evotec will build upon these accomplishments and accelerate expansion of our advanced capabilities in Seattle, a growing hub of technology innovation. We are thrilled to be part of the excellent Evotec global team.”

ABOUT EVOTEC SE

Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academics, patient advocacy groups and venture capitalists. We operate worldwide and our more than 2,800 employees provide the highest qualitystand-alone and integrated drug discovery and development solutions. We cover all activities from target-to-clinic to meet the industry’s need for innovation and efficiency in drug discovery and development (EVT Execute). The Company has established a unique position by assembling top-class scientific experts and integrating state-of-the-art technologies as well as substantial experience and expertise in key therapeutic areas including neuronal diseases, diabetes and complications of diabetes, pain and inflammation, oncology, infectious diseases, respiratory diseases and fibrosis. On this basis, Evotec has built a broad and deep pipeline of approx. 100 co-owned product opportunities at clinical, pre-clinical and discovery stages (EVT Innovate). Evotec has established multiple long-term alliances with partners including, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, CHDI, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi, Takeda, UCB and others. For additional information please go to www.evotec.com and follow us on Twitter @Evotec.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

Information set forth in this press release contains forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgement of Evotec as of the date of this press release. Such forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Press Release  |  June 28, 2019

Just Biotherapeutics And Teva Enter An

Agreement For The Design And Development

Of A High Productivity (HP)

Biomanufacturing Process

 

SEATTLE, WA, June 28, 2019 – Just Biotherapeutics, Inc. (Just), an integrated design company focused on technologies for accelerating the development and manufacture of biotherapeutics, announced today that they have entered into an agreement with Teva for the design and development of a high productivity (HP) biomanufacturing process.

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With the goal of significantly lowering the cost of manufacturing, Just will use its extensive knowledge and technological expertise on the design and development of a high yielding manufacturing process for one of Teva’s more complex products in development. Both companies firmly believe that innovation in both biologics development and manufacturing can play a role in increasing patient access.

“Just’s deep expertise in engineering and manufacturing of biotherapeutics combined with their unique technology platform will enable Teva to work toward developing processes that will help achieve greater efficiencies and improved outputs. We value our partnership with Just in that it will help accelerate our ability to advance our Teva mission of improving the lives of patients”said Steffen Nock, Senior Vice President of Teva Specialty R&D.

“We are delighted to leverage our deep experience to assist Teva in their biologics efforts,” said Dr. James Thomas, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Just. “Working with a multinational company, like Teva, will create greater access to biologics through the technological innovation that Just will deliver.”

The collaboration will be enabled by a cross-functional team based at Just’s facility in Seattle, WA working together with Teva’s Specialty R&D team based in West Chester, PA.

About Just Biotherapeutics          

Just is a unique platform company that integrates the design, engineering, development, and manufacture of biologics. With deep experience in the fields of protein, process and manufacturing sciences, the Just team came together to solve the scientific and technical hurdles that block access to life-changing protein therapeutics; from the design of therapeutic molecules to the design of the manufacturing plants used to produce them. Our focus is to create access and value for a global market through scientific and technological innovation. Just has recently signed a definitive agreement with Evotec SE to become a fully owned subsidiary, and part of the Evotec family.  Learn more at www.just.bio

About Teva

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. has been developing and producing medicines to improve people’s lives for more than a century. We are a global leader in generic and specialty medicines with a portfolio consisting of over 35,000 products in nearly every therapeutic area. Around 200 million people around the world take a Teva medicine every day, and are served by one of the largest and most complex supply chains in the pharmaceutical industry. Along with our established presence in generics, we have significant innovative research and operations supporting our growing portfolio of specialty and biopharmaceutical products. Learn more at www.tevapharm.com

Contacts:

Just Biotherapeutics Media Contact: media@just.bio

Teva Media Contact: GraceAnn.Arnold@tevapharm.com

Press Release  |  May 20, 2019

Evotec jump-starts biologics with acquisition 

of Just Biotherapeutics

 

  • EVOTEC’S OFFERING OF INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS EXTENDED TO BIOLOGICS
  • ADDITION OF LONGSTANDING BIOLOGICS EXPERTISE BASED ON KEY TALENTS, INNOVATIVE ML (MACHINE LEARNING) DRIVEN TECHNOLOGIES AND SOPHISTICATED PROCESSES
  • EXPANDING EVOTEC’S US FOOTPRINT IN SEATTLE, A BIOLOGICS HUB
  • ACCRETIVE TO EVOTEC’S REVENUE GROWTH
  • CONSIDERATION OF UP TO $ 90 M (APPROX. € 81 M) INCLUDING POTENTIAL EARN-OUTS 2019 – 2022 (E)
  • TRANSACTION PAID IN CASH
  • CONFERENCE CALL SCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY, 21 MAY 2019, AT 01.30 PM (CEST) TO INTRODUCE THE TRANSACTION

Hamburg, Germany, 20 May 2019: Evotec SE (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) announced today the signing of a definitive agreement under which Evotec will acquire Just Biotherapeutics, Inc. (“Just.Bio”), for up to $ 90 m including potential performance-based earn-out components expected within the next three years. Just.Bio is a unique technology company that integrates highly synergistic scientific expertise and ML driven technologies for design, development, and manufacturing of biologics. Founded only in 2014/15, Just.Bio has approx. 90 employees, mainly scientists, all working at a state-of-the-art discovery, development and manufacturing facility in Seattle, WA, USA. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter 2019.

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Opens new growth opportunites as Evotec diversifies into biologics

The acquisition of Just.Bio will add considerable business opportunities for further acceleration of Evotec’s long-term strategy to be the industry partner of choice for external end-to-end innovation. Evotec’s drug discovery and development value proposition today is to offer the highest quality integrated services mainly in the field of small molecules. The acquisition grows Evotec’s business into a comprehensive offering including biologics in therapeutic areas such as oncology, CNS, pain, inflammation, metabolics, and infectious diseases. Like Evotec in small molecules, Just.Bio is defined by its excellence in science and technology, defined outcomes, smart and highly efficient solutions for developing and manufacturing of biologics at highest standards, thus making an excellent fit.

Just.Bio’s capabilities and expertise comprise an in-house, integrated technology platform, J.DESIGN, enabling smart and efficient biologics’ drug development from design and lead optimisation to manufacturing:

  • J.MD™ is a technology-based process development tool using Abacus™ as machine learning-based computer-aided design tool to predict and select optimial molecules for further development
  • JP3® includes lab and computational tools for rapid development of a high-yielding manufacturing process along with a cGMP early clinical manufacturing facility
  • Significant further potential lies in the company’s J.POD® technology for flexible and modular larger scale manufacturing of clinical and commercial stage biologics

Transaction structure reflects value potential

During recent years, Just.Bio has been able to attract a diversified customer portfolio resulting in strong financial growth. With reported 2018 revenues of approx. € 20 m, Just.Bio was able to achieve revenue growth rates that are above the general market growth. Evotec will pay a total consideration of up to $ 90 m (approx. € 81  m; €/$ fx rate of 1,117) including potential earn outs in the next three years.  The initial consideration upon closing is $ 60 m1) (approx. € 54 m; €/$ fx rate of 1,117). The acquisition of 100% of the issued and outstanding equity interests of the company will be paid in cash to a syndicate of institutional investors of ARCH Venture Partners, Merck & Co., Lilly Asia Ventures and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The acquisition will add to Evotec’s revenue growth and will strengthen Evotec’s overall strategic plan. The potential guidance update will be given latest upon reporting of half-year 2019 figures. Just.Bio will be financially fully consolidated under the Evotec Group.

Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, said: “We are excited about the acquisition and warmly welcome Just.Bio’s expert team as a new part of the Evotec family and also welcome Dr Jim Thomas in his new management role EVP, Global Head, Biotherapeutics, President US Operations. Broadening our platform into biologics has always been key to our strategy. With this acquisition we finally found the perfect match to complement our leadership in small molecules.”

Dr James Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of Just.Bio, commented: “Combining Just.Bio with Evotec creates a technological powerhouse that will fuel our long-term mission to make important biologics accessible to patients worldwide. We are thrilled to be part of the Evotec family.”

1) Subject to customary adjustments for net debt and net working capital.

Webcast/Conference CallEvotec invites you to join a conference call to provide information regarding the acquisition of Just.Bio. The conference will be held in English.

Conference call details

Date: 21 May 2019Time: 01.30 pm CEST (07.30 am EDT/ 12.30 pm BST)

From Germany: +49 69 20 17 44 220From France: +33 170 709 502From Italy: +39 0 236 006 663From the UK: +44 20 3009 2470From the USA: +1 877 423 0830Access Code: 75781959#

A simultaneous slide presentation for participants dialling in via phone is available at https://webcasts.eqs.com/evotec20190418/no-audio.

Webcast details

To join the audio webcast and to access the presentation slides you will find a link on our homepage www.evotec.com shortly before the event.

A replay of the conference call will be available for 24 hours and can be accessed in Europe by dialling +49 69 20 17 44 222 (Germany) or +44 20 3364 5150 (UK) and in the USA by dialling +1 844 307-9362. The access code is 3155459882#. The on-demand version of the webcast will be available on our website:  https://www.evotec.com/financial-reports.

About Just Biotherapeutics

Just.Bio is a unique platform company that integrates the design, development and manufacture of biologics. With deep experience in the fields of protein, process and manufacturing sciences, the Just team came together to solve the scientific and technical hurdles that block access to life-changing protein therapeutics, from the design of therapeutic molecules to the design of the manufacturing plants used to produce them.  Our focus and passion is to create access and value for a global market through scientific and technological innovation. For more information visit http://just.bio.

About Evotec SE

Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academics, patient advocacy groups and venture capitalists. We operate worldwide and our more than 2,600 employees provide the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery and development solutions. We cover all activities from target-to-clinic to meet the industry’s need for innovation and efficiency in drug discovery and development (EVT Execute). The Company has established a unique position by assembling top-class scientific experts and integrating state-of-the-art technologies as well as substantial experience and expertise in key therapeutic areas including neuronal diseases, diabetes and complications of diabetes, pain and inflammation, oncology, infectious diseases, respiratory diseases and fibrosis. On this basis, Evotec has built a broad and deep pipeline of approx. 100 co-owned product opportunities at clinical, pre-clinical and discovery stages (EVT Innovate). Evotec has established multiple long-term alliances with partners including, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, CHDI, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi, Takeda, UCB and others. For additional information please go to www.evotec.com and follow us on Twitter @EvotecAG.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS Information set forth in this press release contains forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgement of Evotec as of the date of this press release. Such forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Press Release  |  September 18, 2018

Just Biotherapeutics Announces Product Development and

Manufacturing Agreement with Pandion Therapeutics

Just will apply its fully integrated technology platform to accelerate Pandion’s promising drug candidates through development and into the clinic

SEATTLE, WA and CAMBRIDGE, MA, September 18, 2018 – Just Biotherapeutics, Inc. (Just), an integrated design company focused on technologies that will accelerate development of biotherapeutics and substantially reduce their manufacturing cost, and Pandion Therapeutics, Inc. (Pandion), a biotechnology company developing novel therapeutics for the tissue-specific treatment of patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and organ transplants, announced today that they have entered into an agreement for the development and cGMP clinical manufacturing by Just of Pandion’s lead program.

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Just will provide Pandion with a suite of services leveraging Just’s fully integrated technology platform, J.DESIGN™. The services include cell line development, process development, and Phase 1 cGMP clinical manufacturing of a selected drug candidate to expedite Pandion’s IND filing by the end of 2019.

“We value our partnership with Just to accelerate our product candidates through development and into the clinic,” said Dr. Jo Viney, Chief Scientific Officer of Pandion. “Just’s expertise and guidance combined with their unique technology platform will play a critical role in the successful production of our molecules.”

“We are delighted to be working with the experienced and dynamic team at Pandion on the development and manufacturing of Pandion’s lead program, PT101,” said Dr. James Thomas, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Just.“

About Just Biotherapeutics

Just is a unique platform company that integrates the design, development and manufacture of biologics. With deep experience in the fields of protein, process and manufacturing sciences, the Just team came together to solve the scientific and technical hurdles that block access to life-changing protein therapeutics, from the design of therapeutic molecules to the design of the manufacturing plants used to produce them.  Our focus and passion is to create access and value for a global market through scientific and technological innovation. For more information visit http://just.bio.

About Pandion Therapeutics

Pandion Therapeutics is a biotechnology company developing bispecific antibody therapeutics to achieve localized immunomodulation at the site of disease for durable, tissue-specific treatment of patients with autoimmune and inflammatory disease and organ transplants. Our localized approach represents a significant change from the systemic immunosuppression of conventional medicines, which often have dose-limiting safety concerns and can cause serious infections and cancer. Furthermore, through tissue-specific therapeutic targeting, Pandion’s approach has the potential to more effectively induce and sustain response and remission in patients with many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. We aim to shift the paradigm and create a new generation of drugs with transformative efficacy and improved safety. Please visit pandiontx.com.

Contacts

Just Biotherapeutics, Inc.Debbie Banner, media@just.bioorPandion Therapeutics, Inc.Anthony Coyle, info@pandiontx.com

Press Release  |  February 22, 2018

ATUM and Just Biotherapeutics Team Up to Accelerate Drug Discovery

ATUM licenses Company’s Leap-In Transposase® Technology to Just

NEWARK, Calif. BUSINESS WIRE | February 22, 2018 – Dedicated to creating technologies and tools to improve peoples’ lives, ATUM today announced a patent licensing agreement giving Just Biotherapeutics access to the company’s Leap-In cell line development tools.

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“We love everything about Just’s mission, and we are delighted that our Leap-In technology will be used to help democratize access to life-changing, life-saving drugs,” said Jeremy Minshull, PhD, CEO of ATUM.

Just creates new cost-effective discovery and manufacturing platforms to make biologic medicines accessible to global markets. The Leap-In system enables researchers to quickly and efficiently produce stable, high producing cell lines, therefore moving promising therapeutics to the market faster and less expensively than other methods.

“We are pleased to be working with innovative technology solutions like those provided by ATUM,” said Jim Thomas, CEO of Just. “The Leap-In Transposase system fits well with our biologics platform, helping us achieve higher expression levels more rapidly than conventional cell line development methods.”

Just was granted the R&D and commercial license after previewing the technology via an evaluation license from ATUM.

About the Leap-In Transposase® Technology

ATUM has discovered, characterized and patented two new families of transposases. These have been engineered using ATUM’s ProteinGPS technology for complex genome engineering of mammalian cells, including the rapid generation of high titer protein expression lines.

The Leap-In Transposase® rapidly catalyzes the stable integration of genes into a target genome. In contrast to slower more traditional “random integration” methods where the introduced DNA is randomly fragmented and often rearranged, Leap-In perfectly maintains the structure of the integrating genes. Leap-In thus produces more stable, higher producing lines. ATUM’s Leap-In technology is protected by over a dozen pending and issued patents.

About ATUM

ATUM, formerly DNA2.0, offers an integrated pipeline of tools including gene design, optimization and synthesis, expression vectors, and platforms for protein and strain engineering and production. ATUM exploits the dependence of biological activity on well-designed sequences. ATUM’s tools and solutions are fueling the transformation of biology from a discovery science to an engineering discipline. By collaborating with our clients, ATUM accelerates breakthroughs and moves research further faster. The company is privately held and is headquartered in Newark, California. For more information, please visit https://www.atum.bio.

About Just Biotherapeutics

Just is a unique platform company that integrates the design, development and manufacture of biologics. With deep experience in the fields of protein, process and manufacturing sciences, the Just team came together to solve the scientific and technical hurdles that block access to life changing protein therapeutics; from the design of therapeutic molecules to the design of the manufacturing plants used to produce them. Our focus and passion is to create access and value for a global market through scientific and technological innovation. For more information visit http://www.justbiotherapeutics.com/.

For ATUMLisa Lilienthal, 404-661-3679lisa@iconatl.com

Press Release  |  September 30, 2017

Just Biotherapeutics adds Carolina Garcia Rizo as Chief Business Officer

 

Seattle, WA | September 30, 2017 – Just Biotherapeutics, an integrated design company focused on the technologies that will accelerate development of biotherapeutics and substantially reduce their manufacturing cost, today announced the appointment of Carolina Garcia Rizo as Chief Business Officer. Carolina will join the executive management team and will be responsible for corporate strategy, business development, finance and business operations.

“Carolina brings an impressive breadth of leadership and experience to Just. Her global business development, commercial and strategic planning background coupled with her incredible depth in data-driven solutions will be vital as we continue to develop our technology platform,” said Jim Thomas, Chief Executive of Just Biotherapeutics. “We look forward to her contributions as we build Just and strive to dramatically expand global access to biotherapeutics.”

“I am very excited to join the knowledgeable and forward-thinking team at Just. What drew me to the organization was the mission and the team’s approach to solving the problem of biologics access through the design and application of in silico tools. It is an amazing opportunity to be part of an organization that will democratize biotherapeutics and make a difference in the lives of patients worldwide.”

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Carolina brings more than 15 years of strategy, business development, commercial and operational experience within the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries. Carolina joins Just from Thermo Fisher Scientific, where she most recently was Global Managing Director, Business Development. In this role, she was responsible for developing strategic partnerships across the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries for the commercialization of oncology-based diagnostics and companion diagnostics. Carolina also contributed to the organization’s efforts in precision medicine by developing data-driven business models and bioinformatics strategy.

Previously, Carolina worked for Roche Molecular Diagnostics and managed all oncology and genomics business development efforts focusing on companion diagnostics with external pharmaceutical companies. Prior to Roche Molecular Diagnostics, she served as Director, Worldwide Strategic Market Development at Cepheid, demonstrating her successful track record of turning around underperforming markets and new market penetration.

Carolina’s diverse experience also includes strategic consulting at Monitor Group (Deloitte), technology commercialization at MIT, and working as a research scientist at UCSF and Max Planck Institute. Carolina has a M.B.A. from MIT Sloan School of Management and a Ph.D. performed in Atomic and Molecular Physics at C.S.I.C. (Spanish National Research Council), C.N.R.S. (French National Center for Scientific Research) and University of California, Berkeley, where she was Fulbright Scholar.

About Just Just is an integrated design company focused on the technology of biotherapeutics from molecule through manufacturing plant. We believe that technological innovation will accelerate development and dramatically reduce the cost of these vital medicines. Just is developing a portfolio of molecules that best leverages our technological strengths. The Just mission: design and apply innovative technologies to dramatically expand global access to biotherapeutics. Come join our team of experts to help shape a better future.

Press Release  |  August 8, 2017

Hangzhou Just Biotherapeutics, Ltd. receives $57M to

Further Advance Biologics Development and Clinical Trials

Hangzhou, China | March 28, 2017 – /PRNewswire/ — Dedicated to developing global antibody and recombinant protein bio-therapeutics, Hangzhou Just Biotherapeutics, Ltd. (Just China), today announced the completion of its Series B funding round.

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Temasek, an investment company headquartered in Singapore, leads the financing followed by existing investors Lilly Asia Ventures (LAV) and ARCH Venture Partners. New investors also include Taikang, Hangzhou Economic & Technological Development Area (HEDA), Bank of China (BOC) and Bank of Hangzhou.

“The successful Series B financing indicates the continual faith of existing investors in Just China. We are also thankful to our new investors for their strong support,” said Dr. Yining ZHAO, Co-founder and CEO of Just China. “Healthcare innovation in China has already entered into a new era. With joint efforts from all parties, Just China is committed to demonstrating the innovation in our products and business model, to truly accomplish our mission of providing good quality biotherapeutics for all.”

 Located in the Hangzhou Economic & Technological Development Area, Just China’s world-class R&D and manufacturing facility will be completed by the end of this year and operational in the first quarter of 2018. Construction and operations of the production center strictly adhere to cGMP standards and will be fully compliant with any country’s regulations and guidelines for biopharmaceutical manufacturing.Globally, Just China has already established clinical development and CMC capabilities with a strong pipeline consisting of both bionovel and biosimilar products. Several leading programs will start to enter clinical stage in 2018.Just China was founded in February 2016 as a joint venture with Just Biotherapeutics, Inc. (Just), located in Seattle, Washington, USA. As an affiliate, Just China will have access to Just’s integrated technology platform, J.DESIGN, and will closely partner with Just to evolve the platform. Applying J.DESIGN technology to molecule, process, product, manufacturing and plant design will enable Just China to develop biologics that meet global quality standards, while accelerating the development process and substantially reducing manufacturing cost.

About Just. Founded in 2014, Just is led by an experienced team in the fields of protein, process and manufacturing sciences. The Just team came together to solve the scientific and technical hurdles that block access to life changing protein therapeutics; from the design of therapeutic molecules to the design of the manufacturing plants used to produce them. Our focus and passion is to create access and value for a global market through scientific and technological innovation.

For more information on Just, please visit www.justbiotherapeutics.com.

About Temasek. Incorporated in 1974, Temasek is an investment company headquartered in Singapore. Supported by 10 offices internationally, Temasek owns a S$275 billion (US$197 billion, EUR184 billion, GBP158 billion, RMB1.35 trillion)* portfolio as at 31 March 2017, mainly in Singaporeand the rest of Asia.Our portfolio covers a broad spectrum of industries: financial services; telecommunications, media & technology; transportation & industrials; consumer & real estate; life sciences & agribusiness; as well as energy & resources. Our investment activities are guided by four investment themes and the long term trends they represent: Transforming Economies; Growing Middle Income Populations; Deepening Comparative Advantages; and Emerging Champions.For more information on Temasek, please visit www.temasek.com.sg About Taikang: Founded in 1996, Taikang is a large insurance and financial service conglomerate. The company operates through three main businesses: insurance, asset management and health and elderly care. Taikang Insurance Group has a number of subsidiaries which include Taikang Life, Taikang Asset, Taikang Pension, Taikang Community, Taikang Health and Tk.cn. Its business scope covers a wide range of fields, such as life insurance, pension, enterprise annuity, online property and casualty insurance, asset management, health and elderly care, health management, commercial real estate and offshore businesses.

For more information on Taikang, please visit www.taikang.com

SOURCE Hangzhou Just Biotherapeutics, Ltd. http://www.justbiochina.com 

Press Release  |  March 28, 2017

LabKey Releases Software Solution for Accelerating

Large Molecule Development

Designed in partnership with the pharma & biotech community, LabKey Biologics aims to streamline biotherapeutic research operations

Seattle, WA | March 28, 2017 – LabKey and collaborator Just Biotherapeutics, Inc. (Just) are excited to announce the initial release of LabKey’s newest software solution, LabKey Biologics. Built in collaboration with Just and designed with input from an advisory council of leading pharma and biotech organizations, LabKey Biologics provides drug research teams tools for biological entity registration, assay data integration, and workflow management through a single, intuitive interface. The solution is unique in this space because of its flexibility to adjust and extend to meet the rapidly evolving needs of biotherapeutic research.

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Just first approached LabKey about the development of the product in mid-2015, after their evaluation of available software products left them looking for a tool that was designed specifically to meet the needs of large molecule development.

The LabKey Biologics system was designed to accelerate lab workflows and automate project management and tracking, reducing the manual process burdens that scientists are facing and giving them the ability to spend more time on data analysis. Utilizing the mature data integration and management capabilities of the LabKey Server platform, LabKey’s flagship software solution, the LabKey team was able to build an intuitive new tool with a proven foundation, available as a hosted or on-premise solution.

This first version of the software platform has been implemented at Just Biotherapeutics, and will be refined throughout 2017 according to user feedback. The team is using LabKey Biologics for end-to-end management of their pre-clinical therapeutic development process and using insights gained through the system’s reporting capabilities to refine their workflows.

About LabKey – LabKey provides software solutions to help teams overcome the data management and workflow challenges faced in today’s biomedical research environment. LabKey works hand-in-hand with clients to understand the complex needs of modern labs and develop flexible, scalable, extensible systems to address them. To learn more visit http://www.labkey.com.

About Just. Founded in 2014, Just U.S. is led by an experienced team in the fields of protein, process and manufacturing sciences. The Just U.S. team came together to solve scientific and technical hurdles blocking access to life-changing protein therapeutics, ranging from the design of therapeutic molecules to the design of the manufacturing plants used to produce them. Its focus and passion are to create access and value for a global market for compelling biotherapeutics through scientific and technological innovation. To learn more visit http://justbiotherapeutics.com

Press Release  |  March 13, 2017

Just Biotherapeutics, Inc., Hangzhou Just Biotherapeutics, Ltd.

and G-CON Manufacturing Announce Collaboration on

State of the Art Bioprocess Facility in China

Collaboration furthers Just Biotherapeutics’ and Hangzhou Just Biotherapeutics’ shared mission to design and apply innovative technologies to dramatically expand global access to protein therapeutics

College Station, TX | March 13, 2017 – Just Biotherapeutics (Just), its affiliated company, Hangzhou Just Biotherapeutics (Just China) and G-CON Manufacturing today announced that the companies are working together on Just China’s state of the art biologics facility in the Hangzhou Economic & Technology Development Area (HEDA) in China.

Currently under construction, the cGMP facility is expected to be completed and operational in early 2018.

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This will be the first commercial facility for Just, a company formed to significantly reduce the cost of biologics to make them more accessible to a global population. In support of that goal, the Just China plant employs a flexible, rapidly deployable and efficient design that creates a new standard for bioprocessing industry facilities. A key feature in the plant will be the use of G-CON prefabricated cleanroom PODs®. In this application G-CON PODs will be referred to as J.Pods™, representing the fully equipped processing units capable of running highly intensified bioprocesses. G-CON will simultaneously build multiple PODs® in the U.S. in parallel with construction of the host facility in Hangzhou, to significantly reduce the overall project timeline and facility readiness. Off-site pre-qualification will help abbreviate on-site qualification work once the J.Pods™ arrive in Hangzhou. Additional PODs® can be quickly deployed, redeployed or repurposed to meet increasing product demand or flexibility requirements. Finally, the facility model will be the foundation for future Just facilities, reducing the costs and timeline for each subsequent biomanufacturing plant.

The PODs will also feature AES’s Pharma Wall System, an aluminum framed, non-combustible composite panel, featuring a uPVC finish. Such panels will provide a well-known interior finish that will absorb no moisture and is impact resistant. This project will be the first time that G-CON and AES have provided a joint solution since the announcement of their collaboration in April 2016.

The facility will be in the Hangzhou Economic & Technology Development Area, an area founded in 1993 as one of China’s first state level development zones. The HEDA is a international industrial, scientific and manufacturing zone producing a number of high value products including biologic drugs, microelectronics, mobile telecommunications, optical equipment products, automobile products, chemicals and computers.

Maik Jornitz, CEO and President of G-CON Manufacturing, stated “We are seeing that our flexible, compact PODular cleanroom systems are becoming an attractive and cost efficient alternative for the industry, compared to traditional brick and mortar or stick built systems. Just Biotherapeutics has recognized that those traditional approaches are too inflexible and a principal driver to the higher manufacturing costs. We very much appreciate the teamwork together pursuing our facility innovation for their inaugural commercial scale facility. And we look very much forward continuing the team work to help change the drug manufacturing paradigm,” Jornitz added.

“Utilizing G-CON’s POD technology enables our mission of increasing access to important biologics worldwide. By creating J.Pods™ we focus our molecular and process technologies into an efficient, integrated design that enables low cost, flexible manufacturing,” said Jim Thomas, President and CEO of Just Biotherapeutics.

“J.Pod™ represents the next-generation smart manufacturing platform, providing unique advantages in fast-growing markets like China. Our aspiration is to become an innovation leader and by working with G-CON, we are confident that we will deliver high quality and affordable biologics to more patients worldwide,” added Yining Zhao, CEO of Just China.

About Just. Founded in 2014, Just is led by an experienced team in the fields of protein, process and manufacturing sciences. The Just team came together to solve the scientific and technical hurdles that block access to life changing protein therapeutics; from the design of therapeutic molecules to the design of the manufacturing plants used to produce them. Just’s focus and passion is to create access and value for a global market through scientific and technological innovation. For more information about Just and its affiliated company Just China, visit the Company’s website at http://www.justbiotherapeutics.com/.

About G-CON G-CON Manufacturing founded in 2009 designs, produces and installs prefabricated, autonomous cleanroom PODs®. G-CON’s cleanroom POD® portfolio encompasses a variety of different dimensions and purposes, from laboratory environments to personalized medicine and production process platforms. The POD® cleanroom units are unique from traditional cleanroom structures due to the ease of scalability, mobility and the ability to repurpose the PODs® once the production process reaches the end of its lifecycle. For more information, please visit the Company’s website at www.gconbio.com.

Contact: G-CON Manufacturingemail: media@gconbio.com www.gconbio.com

Just Biotherapeuticsemail: media@justbiotherapeutics.com

Hangzhou Just Biotherapeuticsemail: media@justbiochina.com

Just news  |  March 6, 2017

Just Biotherapeutics, Inc. Forms Affiliate Company in China

Hangzhou Just Biotherapeutics, Ltd. will share in mission to expand worldwide access to biotherapeutics

Seattle, WA | March 6, 2017 – Just Biotherapeutics, Inc. (Just), an organization dedicated to designing and applying innovative technologies to expand global access to biotherapeutics, announced the formation of its partially owned affiliated company, Hangzhou Just Biotherapeutics, Ltd. (Just China) in Hangzhou, China. The construction of Just China’s world-class R&D center and manufacturing facility is expected to be completed and operational by early 2018.

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Just China will have access to Just’s dynamic tools for molecular design (Abacus™), process and product design (JP3®), and manufacturing plant design (J.Pod™), through services or license agreements with Just, to build an integrated platform for the accelerated development of low cost, high quality biotherapeutics.

“China’s biotechnology industry is innovating rapidly and Just China will bring the most advanced process and product design concepts and manufacturing processes to China, while at the same time continuing to develop high quality biotherapeutics and expand low-income populations’ access to potentially lifesaving medicines,” Dr. Yining Zhao, Co-Founder of Just and CEO of Just China added.

“Just strongly values its relationship with Just China in pursuit of our mission and will share in Just China’s success,” said Dr. Jim Thomas, Co-Founder and CEO of Just.

Just China‘s headquarters is located in the Hangzhou Economic & Technological Development Area (HEDA) – one of the key provincial development projects in the Zhejiang Province. HEDA hosts other high-tech companies in the biopharmaceutical and technology industries, as well as higher education academic institutions. Once completed, the Just China facility will be home to approximately 100 scientists and engineers.

To link to the Hangzhou Just page, click here: http://www.justbiochina.com

Just news  |  February 14, 2017

Just Releases J.Struct as Open Source

Seattle, WA | February 14, 2017 – Just is pleased to make available its first open source stand-alone software tool for the storage and retrieval of public and proprietary three-dimensional macromolecular structures – JStruct.

“Designed by our Molecular Design group, JStruct is an excellent example of the innovation and spirit of collaboration we have at Just. It is our hope users will find this software tool of value and continue to improve its depth of functionality and breadth of impact,” said Jim Thomas, President and CEO of Just.

The JStruct open source code is available via Bitbucket and is licensed under the GNU General Public License.

To learn more about J.Struct and to download the source code: www.justbiotherapeutics.com/jstruct

Press Release  |  July 25, 2016

Just Biotherapeutics, Inc. Secures $14M Series A2 Funding

To Build Laboratory, Pilot Plant And GMP Capabilities

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Merck, Lilly Asia Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners back company’s
mission to expand access to biotherapeutics

Seattle, WA | July 25, 2016  – Just Biotherapeutics, Inc., an organization dedicated to expanding global access to important protein therapeutics, today announced the closing of a $14M Series A2 financing round. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation led the financing with an $8M investment followed by $2M each from existing investors Merck, Lilly Asia Ventures and ARCH Venture Partners. The proceeds will support the completion of new lab space, pilot plant and GMP capabilities that will enable Just to accelerate the development of lower cost biologics.

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“We are grateful for this significant investment from the foundation, and for the loyal support of our Series A investors,” said Jim Thomas, CEO and co-founder of Just. “With this infusion of capital we will complete the buildout of our integrated lab infrastructure and add critical pilot plant and GMP manufacturing capabilities to Just.”

Previously, Just was awarded grant funding from the foundation (up to $24M, over 4 years) to develop novel technologies to lower the commercial cost of monoclonal antibodies (“mAbs”) in low income markets and to develop sequence optimized broadly neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies for low cost manufacture and improved stability. The foundation’s equity investment will enable its partners to test new low-cost products that may have a significant impact on fighting infectious diseases that disproportionately affect the world’s poorest people.

The initial Series A investment of $15M by Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, LAV and ARCH was to advance development of a novel technology platform for biologic medicines.

About Just. Founded in 2014, Just is led by an experienced team in the fields of protein, process and manufacturing sciences. The Just team came together to solve the scientific and technical hurdles that block access to life changing protein therapeutics; from the design of therapeutic molecules to the design of the manufacturing plants used to produce them. Our focus and passion is to create access and value for a global market through scientific and technological innovation.

Media Contact: media@justbiotherapeutics.com

Press Release  |  November 6, 2015

Just Biotherapeutics, Inc. Receives Grant To Develop Sequence

Optimized Broadly Neutralizing Anti-HIV Antibodies for Low Cost

Manufacture and Improved Stability

Company will Receive up to $9.4M Over 4 Years From the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Seattle, WA | November 6, 2015  – Just, an organization dedicated to designing and applying innovative technologies to expand global access to biotherapeutics, today announced it has received additional funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Under terms of the agreement, Just will receive up to $9.4M in funding over 4 years to develop sequence optimized broadly neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies for clinical evaluation. Building on the discovery efforts of several leading laboratories, partially funded by the Gates Foundation, Just will improve candidate molecules to lower the cost of manufacturing and to simplify distribution in low and middle-income countries by developing more stable therapeutics. “

Just will partner with some of the best laboratories in the field of HIV research, developing biologics for HIV prevention that could potentially reduce the spread of AIDS in low and middle-income countries,” said Jim Thomas, CEO of Just. “We are grateful for this exciting opportunity”.

About Just. Founded in 2014, Just is led by an experienced team in the fields of protein, process and manufacturing sciences. The Just team came together to solve the scientific and technical hurdles that block access to life changing protein therapeutics; from the design of therapeutic molecules to the design of the manufacturing plants used to produce them. Our focus and passion is to create access and value for a global market through scientific and technological innovation.

Media Contact: media@justbiotherapeutics.com

Media Coverage  |  September 25, 2015

Puget Sound Business Journal.

These former Amgen scientists just got $30M.

Here’s how they plan to change the world

By Annie Zak

Access to lifesaving drugs can sometimes be difficult to attain in the areas where the need for those medicines is highest. Some drugs might be too expensive for use in developing countries, and those countries don’t always have the infrastructure needed to support drug manufacturing facilities.

A young Seattle company is hoping to change that.

Click here for the rest of the story.

Media Coverage  |  September 18, 2015

Timmerman Report.

Just Snags $15M From Merck, Lilly, ARCH for Low-Cost Biotech Drugs

By Luke Timmerman

Startup biotech drugmakers usually aspire to make something innovative, and someday be rewarded with sky-high prices. Just Biotherapeutics wants to do the innovation piece, but it has different ideas about price. 

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Seattle-based Just Biotherapeutics, a startup led by some highly regarded biologics manufacturing veterans from Amgen Seattle, is planning to announce today it has lined up some well-known for-profit investors who want to develop new biologic drugs that people around the world can afford. Just has secured $15 million in its Series A equity financing from Merck, Lilly Asia Ventures, and Arch Venture Partners. That cash comes a few weeks after Just obtained a five-year, up to $15 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Just, as the name suggests, wants to make drugs for a more just world. This team spent years working together on the intricate processes of biologics manufacturing, improving yields, lowering costs. When Amgen said in July 2014 that it was shutting down its R&D in Washington, it forced many of these people with rare talents in biotech drug manufacturing to look in the mirror and think about their life’s work.

What to do next? What if they could squeeze out another order of magnitude in cost savings, making a drug for 10 cents that costs $1 today? Could they still make a reasonable profit, and pass on the cost savings to consumers?

This might sound to some like heresy, or gauzy do-gooder sentiments, but Merck, Lilly Asia Ventures and ARCH are all profit-driven businesses. This isn’t a bunch of ex-Amgen burnouts looking for some rest at a cushy nonprofit. Just CEO Jim Thomas is “among the best in the world in understanding mammalian gene expression and implications for manufacturing,” said ARCH managing director Steve Gillis, a former chief scientist at Immunex, where Thomas worked. The team, which now has 30 employees, has worked together for years. Besides Thomas, the group includes chief operating officer Victor Fung and chief scientist Dean Pettit.

While the Gates Foundation grant is clearly focused on extending Just’s protein process sciences abilities into markets of the developing world, the other investors see cost savings opening up new markets, and potentially new scientific frontiers.

“The ability to produce recombinant proteins (antibodies) at heretofore unprecedented levels could allow for commercialization of a number of products that previously were deemed impossible (multiple antibodies covering a range of pathogen strains, to name one),” Gillis said.

Just’s founding team, in an interview at their cramped startup quarters in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, didn’t say much about what diseases they plan to go after first.

The company’s executives did talk about how Amgen, while winding down the Seattle facility, supported some work on Ebola, in partnership with MappBio and the Gates Foundation. Like many people at pharma companies, they saw the Ebola crisis unfold in Africa on TV, and heard about the ZMapp antibody cocktail that appeared to help one of the early American aid victims. It became clear that the tobacco plant-based manufacturing system could not produce the levels of ZMapp that might be required to blunt the spread of the virus. This provided a big opportunity to work with both Amgen and the Gates Foundation to potentially meet a world health concern while launching the new venture, Just.

That led to a frenzied few months of work together, while the group was still in transition.

By February, the team had 2,000 liter manufacturing bioreactors lined up and ready go, with mammalian cell lines and vectors in place necessary to express the proteins of interest. They were in contact with the FDA, ready to scale up if necessary. “We were pressing regulatory limits. We were on the envelope,” Pettit said.

As the Ebola epidemic subsided, Thomas thought of it more as a case study he could show to the Gates Foundation and investors. The team worked well together, had scientific chops, and the necessary startup tenacity to pursue more projects like Ebola.

Just isn’t actively working on Ebola anymore, but it is interested broadly in infectious disease, Thomas said. Multi-drug resistant bacteria are an area of interest. The company’s expertise could easily be applied to making lower-cost biosimilar knock-offs of established products, but Fung, the chief operating officer, said that’s not what the company wants to do. The team is more interested in working hand-in-glove with molecular biologists on getting the upfront biology right, or at least the proper ducks in a row, for the most efficient next steps in biologics manufacturing.

Working on exciting areas of science, and pairing it with biologics manufacturing science in the early days, could be one way to crack open markets that have been traditionally ignored, Thomas said. “We think there’s going to be a flip-flop in how companies look at these opportunities and the world market,” Thomas said.

“We believe the world will be different in 10 years or 20 years, as economies progress. It won’t be like Western economics. We need to drop the cost of therapeutics–not just the manufacturing cost, but the development cost. We need to meet in the middle. It will create markets. When we ignore the majority of the world as markets, there is a compassion element to this, but there’s an economic drive here, too.”

Thomas, who has spent his entire career in the behind-the-scenes work of process sciences, is a low-key, understated personality – not the kind of CEO who seeks to dominate the room. He specifically wanted his fellow co-founders to sit in on the interview with me, and patiently watched them do most of the talking. But he’s also no shrinking violet. He’s competitive about the science, and business, at Just. “We want to be the absolute best we can possibly be in this space. The Harvard or MIT,” Thomas said.

Press release  |  September 18, 2015

Just Biotherapeutics, Inc. Secures $15M Series A Funding To Advance

Development of Novel Technology Platform for Biologic Medicines

Merck, Lilly Asia Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners back company’s mission to expand access to biotherapeutics

Click here to learn more

Seattle | September 18 | 2015 – Just Biotherapeutics, Inc., an organization dedicated to expanding global access to important protein therapeutics, today announced it has secured $15M in Series A financing. The Series A funding, from Merck, Lilly Asia Ventures and ARCH Venture Partners, will enable the design of innovative technologies that accelerate development and low cost manufacturing of complex biotherapeutics. Most of the world cannot afford the breakthrough medicines of modern biotechnology,” said Jim Thomas, CEO of Just. “Designing integrated product development and manufacturing technologies will lower production costs and expand patient access. We may also enable therapies or approaches previously too expensive for the developed world as well.” In addition to the equity investment, Just and Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, have entered into an agreement to jointly develop innovative technologies for lowering the cost of manufacturing biologics. Aligned with its commitment to expand global access, Just is exploring additional opportunities with LAV and ARCH to create value by use of its technologies to bring products to a broader global population, starting with China. Just also plans to apply its innovations in manufacturing technology toward production and commercialization of new products in developed markets on its own and through collaboration with future partners.

 

About Just. Founded in 2014, Just is led by an experienced team in the fields of protein, process and manufacturing sciences. The Just team came together to solve the scientific and technical hurdles that block access to life changing protein therapeutics; from the design of therapeutic molecules to the design of the manufacturing plants used to produce them. This will create value not only for the developing world, but for the developed world as well.

Media Contact: media@justbiotherapeutics.com

Press release  |  September 2, 2015

LabKey Software Partners with Just Biotherapeutics, Inc.

New software product targets biotherapeutic research and development

Click here to learn more

Seattle | September 2 | 2015 – LabKey Software and Just Biotherapeutics, Inc. have signed a multi-year agreement to develop a new software product that helps biotechnology R&D teams produce more effective and affordable biotherapeutics by optimizing development processes. The new solution will enable preclinical research groups to accelerate lab workflows, automate project tracking, and gain immediate insight into molecules, processes and resources. With data intelligence on hand, teams can focus on developing high-quality therapeutics instead of battling bottlenecks in data entry, integration and analysis. “LabKey builds software solutions that help research scientists integrate, analyze and share biomedical data, speeding their efforts to treat and cure diseases. We’re thrilled to be working with a team focused on innovation in biotherapeutics,” says Michael Gersch, CEO of LabKey Software. “We are very impressed with the Just team and their inspiring vision of bringing biologic medicines to global markets. We’re delighted to partner with them on this new product.” The two companies will design, develop and implement a LabKey Software product for biotherapeutics R&D development based on Just’s specifications and requirements. The product will also be available for other companies to use. “Today’s software solutions aren’t geared toward the problems that Just and other companies are working to solve with large molecule development,” says Jim Thomas, CEO of Just. “This partnership and resulting innovative product will make it easier for companies to accelerate the development of biotherapeutics.”

About Labkey Software. LabKey Software develops secure data solutions that help biomedical organizations integrate, analyze and share complex research and clinical information, opening doors to new modes of insight and collaboration. LabKey solutions build on the LabKey Server open source platform, so users benefit from more than a decade of past investment. LabKey Software originated at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and has offices in Seattle and San Diego.

About Just. Founded in 2014, Just is led by an experienced team in the fields of protein, process and manufacturing sciences. The Just team came together to solve the scientific and technical hurdles that block access to life changing protein therapeutics; from the design of therapeutic molecules to the design of the manufacturing plants used to produce them. This will create value not only for the developing world, but for the developed world as well.

Media Contact: media@justbiotherapeutics.com

Press release  |  August 9, 2015

Just Biotherapeutics, Inc. Receives Grant To Develop

Novel Technologies To Lower The Commercial Cost Of

Monoclonal Antibodies In Low Income Markets

Company will Receive up to $15M Over 5 Years From the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Dramatically Expand World-Wide Access to Biotherapeutics

Click here to learn more

Seattle | August 9 | 2015 – Just, an organization dedicated to designing and applying innovative technologies to expand access to biotherapeutics, today announced it has received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Under terms of the agreement, Just will receive up to $15M in funding over 5 years to develop technology platforms to manufacture innovative and cost effective biologic medicines for diseases in low income markets. “Just believes that no matter where you live or what your income, every person should have access to life changing medicines,” said Jim Thomas, Just CEO. “The foundation has given us an opportunity to design innovative technologies that will help remove cost barriers to biotherapeutics.”

About Just. Founded in 2014, Just is led by an experienced team in the fields of protein, process and manufacturing sciences. The Just team came together to solve the scientific and technical hurdles that block access to life changing protein therapeutics; from the design of therapeutic molecules to the design of the manufacturing plants used to produce them. This will create value not only for the developing world, but for the developed world as well.

Media Contact: media@justbiotherapeutics.com