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More discovery outsourcing at AstraZeneca with Pharmaron deal

16-Oct-2012
Last updated the 16-Oct-2012 at 12:35 GMT

Sino-US CRO Pharmaron has signed a drug discovery partnership with Anglo-Swedish drug major AstraZeneca.

Under the deal -financial terms of which were not disclosed - Pharmaron will provide AstraZeneca with chemistry, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK), and efficacy screening services.

Work will be conducted at the contract research organisation's (CRO) recently expanded site in Beijing.

Manos Perros, Head of Infection iMed and sponsor of the collaboration for AstraZeneca said: ā€œWe are pleased to enter this strategic partnership with Pharmaron which we believe will help us progress projects through our R&D pipeline more efficiently" adding that "Pharmaron scientists will be integrated into our project teams."

Boliang Lou, Pharmaron CEO, said: ā€œThis partnership is an important milestone for Pharmaron as we are strengthening our capacity in the area of fully integrated services as a highly competitive and global player.ā€

AstraZeneca's use of outsourced drug discovery service rather than in-house research over the last few years is very well documented .

From its discussion with Almac in 2010 - relating to the firm's Flexyte system - to its deals with BioFocus and Argent earlier this year to its more recent agreement with Wuxi which involved some preclinical development support, AstraZeneca's efforts to restock its pipeline have involved collaboration.

Whether the comments about integration will see AstraZeneca take a similar to the approach to other Pharmaron customers that have embedded teams with the Beijing CRO - most recently generics firm Merck Serono - is unclear as further information has not been disclosed.

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