Veterinary pharmaceuticals company Zoetis buys adivo from Puchheim

Dr. Kathrin Ladetzki-Baehs and Dr. Markus Waldhuber, founder of adivo GmbH © Adivo GmbH

U.S.-based veterinary drugmaker Zoetis has acquired Adivo, a biotech company developing therapeutic antibodies for companion animals. adivo will remain in Puchheim, Munich, with more than 1,000 m2 of laboratory space. Financial details were not disclosed.

Zoetis, the global leader in veterinary pharmaceuticals, and adivo have been working together since 2021, now the Puchheim-based company will merge with the U.S. company. In addition to successful research collaborations, adivo's own drug development has led to a promising portfolio of antibody drug candidates in oncology and inflammatory diseases, with a first patient study for the treatment of canine solid tumors initiated in early 2023.

Founded in 2018, adivo's technology platform for the development of species-specific therapeutic antibodies for companion animals anitbody pipeline originates from the Munich biotech company MorphoSys. adivo has established two leading technology platforms for the de novo identification of species-specific antibody drug candidates with optimal functionality, developability and low immunogenicity risk.

Both technologies, CEASAR and FELIX, represent the first phage display antibody libraries for the selection of drug candidates against a broad spectrum of diseases in dogs and cats, respectively. The founding team, Dr. Kathrin Ladetzki-Baehs and Dr. Markus Waldhuber, raised seed investments from High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), OCCIDENT and MorphoSys AG. The current team includes around 25 employees.

adivo is excited about the sale to Zoetis: "Joining Zoetis means that together we have multiple approaches to to delivering more gold standard species-specific therapeutic antibodies to companion animals," comments Dr. Kathrin Ladetzki-Baehs, founder and CEO of adivo.

After only five years and with minimal seed financing (by High-Tech Grün-derfonds (HTGF), OCCIDENT and MorphoSys AG), "one could not be more proud of the achievements of the adivo team." Ladetzki-Baehs is "excited to see what the team can achieve as part of a leading organization with global reach as we continue to grow in one of Europe's most important biopharmaceutical centers."

“Adding adivo to our R&D organization brings in unique platforms that may accelerate our research and portfolio to potentially help us address our customers’ unmet needs in oncology, inflammatory diseases and other areas, and we are excited about the possibilities ahead," commented Rob Polzer, Executive Vice President and President of Research and Development at Zoetis.