Evonik to Introduce New Class of rPEG Lipids for Enhanced Immunogenicity in Drug Delivery

Evonik to Introduce New Class of rPEG Lipids for Enhanced Immunogenicity in Drug Delivery

(IN BRIEF) Evonik has partnered with the University of Mainz to commercialize a new class of polyethylene glycols (PEGs) called randomized polyethylene glycols (rPEGs). These rPEGs will be integrated into Evonik’s specialized lipid platform for drug delivery in nucleic acid-based medicines. The collaboration aims to enhance formulation options and offer improved immunogenicity profiles, addressing the growing need for sustainable solutions in the pharmaceutical industry.

(PRESS RELEASE) ESSEN, 20-Feb-2024 — /EuropaWire/ —  Evonik (ETR: EVK), one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals, announces that it has entered into a license agreement with the University of Mainz to bring a novel class of polyethylene glycols (PEGs), known as randomized polyethylene glycols (rPEGs), to market. These rPEGs will be integrated into Evonik’s specialized lipid platform, enhancing the company’s capabilities in drug delivery for nucleic acid-based medicines. The technical-grade rPEG-lipids are expected to be available in the second half of 2024.

As part of Evonik’s Health Care business line within the Nutrition & Care life sciences division, this collaboration underscores the company’s commitment to expanding its portfolio in nucleic acid drug and vaccine delivery. By tapping into the expertise of the University of Mainz, where rPEGs were initially developed, Evonik aims to offer customers a wider range of formulation options for nucleic acid-based therapeutics.

Thomas Riermeier, head of the Health Care business line at Evonik, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, “When scientists at the University of Mainz approached us with their groundbreaking work on rPEGs, we immediately recognized the potential for broader formulation options and the benefits this could bring our customers.”

rPEGs, a novel variant of PEGs, are designed to possess similar beneficial properties while offering an improved immunogenicity profile. They are particularly well-suited for pharmaceutical applications such as in lipid nanoparticle carriers (LNPs) used for drug delivery.

Prof. Dr. Holger Frey from Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, who led the development of rPEG polymers, expressed confidence in the partnership with Evonik, saying, “With Evonik, we have found an enthusiastic and experienced partner to bring rPEG-lipids globally to the pharmaceutical industry.”

This collaboration with the University of Mainz marks another strategic milestone for Evonik in advancing nucleic acid drug delivery solutions. In recent years, the company has initiated partnerships with leading institutions like Stanford University to scale up the synthesis and formulation of an innovative tissue-specific delivery platform for nucleic acids. Just over a year ago, Evonik opened a new cGMP facility in Hanau, Germany for the development and manufacture of smaller batches of specialized lipids. This was followed by the start of construction of a global-scale production facility for pharmaceutical specialty lipids in Lafayette, Indiana, in partnership with the U.S. Government.

PEG lipids are used today in commercial COVID-19 vaccines. Along with cholesterol and ionizable and structural lipids, PEG lipids form the LNPs needed to deliver nucleic acids, such as mRNA effectively into the cell.

Evonik’s expertise in advanced drug delivery extends beyond lipids, encompassing comprehensive services for pharmaceutical companies worldwide. With a focus on innovation, sustainability, and customer-centric solutions, Evonik continues to lead the way in shaping the future of pharmaceuticals and life sciences.

Company information

Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of €18.5 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €2.49 billion in 2022. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable, and sustainable solutions for customers. About 34,000 employees work together for a common purpose: We want to improve life today and tomorrow.

About Nutrition & Care

The focus of the business of the Nutrition & Care division is on health and quality of life. It develops differentiated solutions for active pharmaceutical ingredients, medical devices, nutrition for humans and animals, personal care, cosmetics, and household cleaning. In these resilient end markets, the division generated sales of €4.24 billion in 2022 with about 5,700 employees.


In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.

Media contact:

Janusz Berger
Head of Market Communications
Health Care
Phone: +49 6151 18-4984

Dr. Jürgen Krauter
Head of Market Communications
Phone: +49 6181 59-6847


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