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B-MS pushes back into India with five-year CRO extension deal

By Zachary Brennan , 05-Jun-2014
Last updated on 05-Jun-2014 at 10:49 GMT

Bristol-Myers Squibb (B-MS) announced a five-year extension to its drug discovery and development collaboration in the subcontinent with Syngene International, India's largest CRO.

Since 2007, B-MS has been working with Syngene and its corporate parent, Biocon, in Bangalore, India to develop integrated capabilities in medicinal and process chemistry, biology, biotechnology, biomarkers, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, analytical research, and pharmaceutical development. 

B-MS spokesman Frederick Egenolf told us, “Our collaboration with Syngene has produced achievements across our R&D portfolio, including primary contributions to six therapeutic drug candidates, and also helped us reduce the time and costs associated with advancing new compounds to first-in-human studies.” 

One drug candidate currently in clinical trials was discovered at the Biocon Bristol-Myers Squibb Research Center (BBRC) in Bangalore and early nonclinical development work at the site also has enabled most of B-MS's small molecule assets to advance to later stages of development over the last five years. 

In addition, our ongoing collaboration with Syngene at the BBRC has helped us to enable biologics discovery as well,” Egenolf told us. “As we continue our evolution to a diversified specialty BioPharma, the BBRC will continue to be a source of flexibility in resources, agility in execution, and diversity in ideas ultimately leading to enhanced scientific productivity across the facets of drug discovery, pharmaceutical development and the development of clinical biomarkers.” 

Commenting on the new agreement, Peter Bains, director, Syngene International, added: "This extension reflects the strength of our existing collaboration which has delivered many successful outcomes.” 

BBRC has become B-MS's largest research and development center outside the US, housing more than 400 scientists. CROs Quintiles, LabCorp and Icon are all preferred central labs providers for B-MS. 

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