Just-Evotec awarded $74m DOD mAb contract

Just-Evotec Biologics has won a deal worth $74 million with the DOD to develop mAb-based drug products for orthopoxviruses.

Millie Nelson, Editor

July 7, 2023

2 Min Read
Just-Evotec awarded $74m DOD mAb contract

Just-Evotec Biologics has won a deal worth $74 million with the Department of Defense (DOD) to develop mAb-based drug products for orthopoxviruses.

Under the terms of the deal, Just-Evotec will develop drug product prototypes for Phase I clinical trials. The firm said its discovery activities will include finding monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) using artificial intelligence (AI)-based antibody de novo design to target orthopoxviruses, such as smallpox.

“We have not disclosed the name or number of the different orthopoxviruses that will be covered under the contract,” a spokesperson for the firm told BioProcess Insider.



Just-Evotec will use its J.DESIGN technology platform alongside molecular optimization and cell line and process development at the company’s J.POD modular and biomanufacturing facility in Redmond, Washington.

The firm’s J.POD facility consists of disposable technologies and intensified processes aimed at reducing the cost of production, with the operations unit identical to Just-Evotec’s nearby ‘J.DESIGN’ clinical-scale site. The J.DESIGN offering aims to centralize and integrate complex data sets generated from the distinct activities encompassing the development and manufacture of biologics into a common design space.

While the program is set to accelerate the discovery of antibodies, the spokesperson said they have not “communicated a time frame for the contract.” However, “as this work is being conducted in the context of the DOD’s Accelerated Antibodies Program, an accelerated timeline is certainly of the essence. Just as an illustrative timeline: Under certain circumstances it is possible to get from antibody discovery to clinic within 3 years.”

Another contract

This is not the first time the DOD has awarded Just-Evotec with a contract. In September 2022, the pair entered a deal where the firm developed antibodies targeting the bubonic plague. In addition, it  was also contracted to produce mAbs against COVID-19 in July 2020.

“We cannot comment on the DOD’s reasoning to enter another contract with Just-Evotec Biologics. By leveraging its technology platform, J.DESIGN, Just-Evotec provides the DOD with a cost-efficient integrated solution for the discovery, development, and manufacturing of safe and efficacious mAb medical countermeasures,” the spokesperson told us.

About the Author(s)

Millie Nelson

Editor, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering global biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing news and host of the Voices of Biotech podcast.

I am currently living and working in London but I grew up in Lincolnshire (UK) and studied in Newcastle (UK).

Got a story? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

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