News Feature | July 17, 2014

GSK, Codexis Announce $25M Tech And License Partnership

By Estel Grace Masangkay

Biocatalyst developer Codexis announced that it has signed into a platform technology license agreement with pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline.

The agreement centers around Codexis’ proprietary CodeEvolver protein engineering platform, which it will license to GSK for the development of novel enzymes to use in the pharmaceutical company’s medical and health care products. GSK may also use the CodeEvolver to develop new therapeutics, diagnostics, or prophylactic products. The CodeEvolver protein engineering platform will be installed in GSK’s Upper Merion, Pennsylvania R&D site.

Codexis will receive up to $25 million in payment over the next two years from GSK. Six million dollars will be put down as an upfront payment and $19 million will follow upon completion of technology transfer milestones. Additional milestone payments ranging from $5.75 million to $38.5 million per project may also be paid to Codexis upon GSK’s application of its licensed technology. Codexis will also be eligible to receive royalties depending on net sales of a limit number of products resulting from the CodeEvolver.

John Nicols, President and CEO of Codexis, said, “We are very pleased that GSK has selected our CodeEvolver platform technology to support innovation and reduce costs in its manufacturing and product development organizations. 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.”

The licensing agreement is a first for Codexis in the healthcare field and follows the appointment of Dr. Patrick Yang to its board of directors. Dr. Yang previously served as EVP and global head of Technical Operations for F. Hoffmann-La Roche as well as EVP of product operations at biotech Genentech.

Commenting on the agreement with Codexis, GSK Platform Technology and Science SVP John Baldoni said, “We look forward to our collaboration with Codexis and deploying their protein engineering technology at GSK. Our goal is to manufacture small molecules more efficiently and sustainably and this platform will assist us to do that.”

The company held a live conference call and webcast with its investors discussing the agreement with GSK.