A recent FierceBiotech article discussed how Evotec has been awarded a $74 million contract by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to develop monoclonal antibodies against mpox (formerly known as monkeypox), chickenpox, and smallpox. The project aims to create prototype candidates to target a variety of orthopoxviruses. Evotec will leverage its J.DESIGN CDMO platform, using artificial intelligence to develop new antibodies and evaluate existing candidates, overseeing the development process from discovery through phase 1.
The DOD intends to use the finished products as medical countermeasures against future orthopoxvirus outbreaks. This is not the first collaboration between the DOD and Evotec; in 2020, the company was tasked with developing monoclonal antibodies for COVID-19, and in 2022, it received a $50 million contract for antibodies targeting the bacterium Yersinia pestis, aka the bubonic plague.