Partnering will “make the best use of capabilities in [the] region”, according to Richard Furneaux, general manager of Industrial Research Limited (IRL) industrial biotechnologies, and help drive biotech development.
Furneaux added that the companies “have complementary expertise that is valuable for biotechnology companies in taking their products forward for commercialisation”.
Clients outsourcing to the partnership will have access to the carbohydrate chemistry and GlycoSyn teams at New Zealand-based IRL and Epichem’s synthetic and medicinal chemistry expertise.
These capabilities are being used in the alliance’s first collaborative project, which is co-funded by New Zealand Pharmaceuticals. Using this funding the research team has developed a range of chiral scaffolds for use in creating drug discovery libraries.
Future projects could be focused on a number of areas, with the respective strengths of IRL and Epichem potentially allowing a client to use the alliance from discovery through to current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) compliant production.
Epichem can synthesise known and novel compounds at scales ranging from milligrams to 1kg. Furthermore, the Australia-based company can quickly produce analogue libraries using its parallel synthesis and purification equipment.
These capabilities are supplemented by expertise in drug design. Using its drug discovery and medicinal chemistry capabilities Epichem claims it can improve the biological activity of lead compounds.
Companies approaching the alliance will also have access to IRL’s capabilities. The New Zealand-based business offers services covering chemical synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), specialist fine chemicals and multi-step small molecule chemistry.