German life science company Evotec has announced plans to shut down its gene therapy business as Q1 2024 group revenues are down by 2%. 

Evotec said it will exit the gene therapy business, shutting down Evotec GT, and will streamline focus on its “core modalities.” As part of the restructuring, a site in Austria will be closed – a move that will affect 40 employees. The company ventured into the gene therapy arena in April 2020, when it teamed up with Takeda to utilise its gene therapy approaches.  

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As per its latest Q1 2024 financial report, group revenues decreased by 2% compared to the same period last year, excluding currency effects, to €208.7m ($226.6m).  

This latest update comes after Evotec announced its FY 2023 financials on 24 April 2024. At that time, the company’s shares dropped nearly 35% as it revealed a “priority reset” to its business plan. The company also announced new CEO Christian Wojczewski would be joining the company in July, replacing interim leader Mario Polywka.  

Evotec said it will simplify its organisational structure and operating model while optimising footprint and capacity, aiming to lift earnings by at least €40m per year. However, shares have failed to recover since the April announcement. 

It’s been a tricky year for the company, following the sudden departure of former CEO Werner Lanthaler in January 2024. Lanthaler cited personal reasons for leaving, however, Evotec disclosed in a business call that the supervisory board agreed on termination with immediate effect following “his late disclosure of transactions in company shares” made over three years. Evotec announced a US listing in November 2021. 

However, Evotec has a positive business outlook for full year 2024, with chief financial officer Laetitia Rouxel saying in the 22 May announcement: “The strategic reset we announced last month has set us on a dynamic path back to sustainable profitable growth.” 

Aside from this, Evotec has struck several deals since the start of the year. This includes a partnership with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation for irritable bowel disease therapies in January, and an agreement with Variant Bio aimed at detecting a treatment for ailments caused by fibrosis. 

Most recently, Evotec teamed up with pharma giant Bayer to develop precision cardiology therapeutics. Evotec’s human-induced pluripotent stem cells will be used to develop new therapies. The financial terms of this agreement were not disclosed by either company.