Tuesday, October 18, 2022
Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners (“TIAP”) and Evotec SE today announced that the two companies have expanded LAB150, their translational BRIDGE partnership, to include Amgen as a strategic partner. The expansion goes along with a combined investment of US$14M to expedite LAB150 programs towards the formation of new companies.
LAB150 was created by TIAP and Evotec in 2017 to accelerate Toronto’s academic research into market-ready products. The expanded agreement builds upon existing partnerships between TIAP, Evotec, and Amgen to support the development of disruptive therapeutics by TIAP’s member base and draws upon Evotec’s industrialized drug discovery platforms. Amgen will provide financial support for chosen LAB150 projects along with significant mentorship from their drug discovery and development teams. In addition, Amgen Ventures will evaluate LAB150-derived companies for venture investment. These combined efforts will amplify the efficiency and translational potential of academic research to develop Canadian intellectual property, novel therapies, and accelerate commercialization by Canada’s next generation of life science companies.
“As our strategic partner since 2019, Amgen has worked closely with TIAP, and we are thankful for their continued support as we drive the commercialization of breakthrough Canadian innovations. Together with Evotec, we look forward to collaborating with Amgen to bring enhanced expertise and capital to LAB150 to enable life science company creation,” said Parimal Nathwani, President and CEO of TIAP. “To have two globally recognized industry leaders, Amgen and Evotec, come together under the LAB150 umbrella bodes very well for the life science community in Canada and improving global health.”
According to Philip Tagari, Vice President of Research at Amgen, “Amgen’s ongoing four-year partnership with TIAP to support very early innovation in the Greater Toronto biotechnology ecosystem has revealed both the unique expertise within TIAP to curate novel projects with significant future medical and commercial potential, as well as the outstanding quality of the biomedical research performed in the network of world-class institutions that LAB150 accesses. This multi-year investment, in partnership with the long-term collaborators at Evotec, will provide a streamlined path for cutting-edge academic science in Ontario to transition into early-stage company formation and identification of novel candidates for clinical development, with the intent of providing meaningful medicines for patients with grievous illness.”
Dr. Thomas Hanke, EVP Head of Academic Partnerships at Evotec, added: “The LAB150 BRIDGE partnership has demonstrated its ability to successfully identify and validate high-potential therapeutic projects and drive them towards the formation of new companies. We very much look forward to accelerating our efforts further by leveraging Amgen’s impressive track record in the drug development space across therapeutic areas as well as in the formation of successful life science companies.”
With over US$7M invested, more than 150 projects evaluated, and ten projects currently being supported, LAB150 has established a strong track record. Having Amgen as a new partner in this program will ensure a robust 360-degree selection process and scale up LAB150’s capital-efficient investments to fast-track therapeutics. Moreover, the symbiotic partnership between the three partners around LAB150 will bring crucial expertise to the development and financing of emerging technologies.