Codexis and Merck enter CodeEvolver licensing agreement

Codexis to receive US$5m upfront payment from Merck

Codexis, a leading developer of biocatalysts for the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries, has signed a CodeEvolver platform technology licensing agreement with Merck worth up to US$18m.

This is the second CodeEvolver licensing agreement between Codexis and a major pharmaceutical company; the first was with GSK just over a year ago.

The deal grants Merck a non-exclusive licence to use the CodeEvolver protein engineering platform technology to develop enzymes for use in pharmaceutical manufacture. Upon completion of the technology transfer a Codexis’ CodeEvolver protein engineering platform will be located at a Merck research site.

Codexis is eligible to receive up to US$18m over the next 15 to 24 months, $5m of which will be paid upfront, and an additional $13m subject to the completion of certain technology transfer milestones.

Codexis will also be eligible to receive payments of up to $15m for each pharmaceutical ingredient (API) using novel enzymes developed by Merck using the CodeEvolver technology and used for commercial manufacturing purposes.

John Nicols, President and CEO of Codexis, said the transaction builds on 'our productive eight-year relationship with Merck and further validates the ability of CodeEvolver to effectively and cost-efficiently improve certain manufacturing processes'.

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