Liverpool Pharma company signs £8m deal with life sciences specialist

15th September 2020

Liverpool City Region based drug development company Evgen Pharma has clinched a licensing deal worth an initial £8m, with more payments further down the line.

Portrait of young Middle-Eastern scientist looking in microscope while working on medical research in science laboratory, copy space

Evgen has signed the deal with Juvenescence for its sulforaphane stabilisation technology in a number of non-pharmaceutical applications.

In particular, Juvenescence intends to market and sell a high-end nutritional health product containing a defined dose of sulforaphane extracted from natural sources.

Under the terms of the license agreement, Evgen will receive milestone and option payments of up to £8m and will also receive royalties on future product sales.

Evgen is developing sulforaphane-based medicines, known as SFX-01, for the treatment of breast cancer and multiple other diseases.

Sulforaphane is a sulfur-rich compound found in vegetables like broccoli.

However, trials could show that it can help to alleviate respiratory problems in patients, commonly known as ARDS, or acute resipiratory distress syndrome.

This condition affects many COVID-19 patients.

The agreement with UK company Juvenescence monetises one element of Evgen’s sulforaphane technology platform within a timescale considerably shorter than that typical of pharmaceutical development.

Evgen’s focus will remain on progressing its therapeutic programmes, and the agreement contains provisions which ensure a clear differentiation between potential nutritional health products and pharmaceutical products, including limitations on daily dose.

Juvenescence is a life sciences company based on a completely new understanding of the underlying biological causes of ageing, creating evidence-based and science-backed therapies, focused on increasing how long people live in health by preventing the diseases of ageing in the first place.

The license with Evgen is for exclusive rights to exploit certain patents and know-how for all non-pharmaceutical applications in the US, with options for the other major markets namely, Europe, Asia and the rest of the world.

Evgen will receive upfront and milestone payments of up to £8m, and in addition, royalties on sales. Evgen received an initial payment of £195,000 on signing of the agreement.

Barry Clare, Evgen executive chairman, said: “This deal is a strong demonstration of the broad potential for our sulforaphane platform and achieves monetisation in an area which is outside our focus of therapeutic development.

“Juvenescence has a science-driven approach to nutritional health products and brings in-depth experience in this sector. We are delighted to have them as a partner.”

Colin Watts, chief executive of JuvLife Division, said: “We are pleased to reach an agreement with Evgen to leverage their scientific technology and expertise to create a differentiated and innovative new product for the global consumer nutritional health market.

“Juvenescence has built a reputation as a broad-based healthcare company in the longevity space through strong partnerships with scientific leaders in their specific areas and we are delighted to have such a partner in Evgen.”


15th September 2020