GSK signs licensing agreement with Codexis

Codexis will receive up to US$25m of initial payments

Codexis, a US developer of biocatalysts for the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries, has signed a US$25m licensing agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

The deal will allow GSK to use Redwood City, CA-based Codexis' CodeEvolver technology to develop novel enzymes for use in the manufacture of pharmaceutical and healthcare products.

GSK may also use the licensed technology to develop new therapeutic, diagnostic and prophylactic products in the area of human health.

The UK-headquartered pharmaceutical company will install Codexis' CodeEvolver protein engineering platform at its research and development site in Upper Merion, Pennsylvania, US.

GSK will pay Codexis up to $25m over the next two years, $6m of which will be paid up front, and up to $19m in potential milestone payments.

Codexis could also receive numerous additional milestone payments ranging from $5.75m to $38.5m for each project that successfully applies the licensed technology. In addition, Codexis will receive royalties based on net sales of a limited set of products developed by GSK using the CodeEvolver technology.

Our goal is to manufacture small molecules more efficiently and sustainably

Codexis says this is the first time that the company has licensed its protein engineering platform technology to any company in the healthcare field, and reinforces both companies' belief that biocatalysts, engineered by Codexis' CodeEvolver technology, may increasingly be deployed to reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of pharmaceutical manufacturing. Biocatalysts have the potential to reduce manufacturing steps, cut the use of hazardous chemicals and the production of toxic waste, and reduce the energy intensity of the process.

'We look forward to replicating this new technology licensing model with other potential partners and expanding the network of innovative companies that may select our CodeEvolver technology to accelerate their in-house protein engineering capabilities,' said John Nicols, President and CEO of Codexis.

John Baldoni, Senior Vice President, Platform Technology and Science of GSK, added: 'Our goal is to manufacture small molecules more efficiently and sustainably and this platform will assist us to do that.'

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