Along with its drug discovery technologies business, Evotec provides contract services for the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), and will now combine the latter unit with ProPharma's activities in pharmaceutical formulation development and the small-scale sterile manufacture of pharmaceuticals for use in clinical trials.
Evotec has been trying to build up its development services business as a way to fund its in-house drug development activities in central nervous system therapies.
ProPharma has started to operate under the Evotec banner since the start of September 2005, will be fully integrated into the Evotec Services Division over the coming months, according to the firm.
Evotec has been the majority shareholder in ProPharma since it was formed as a spin-out enterprise from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2000. Evotec invested start-up capital and have continued to provide investment since then to support the successful expansion of the business.
By combining the businesses, Evotec will be able to offer a more comprehensive range of services to its pharmaceutical and biotechnology company clients, said the firm. This ties in with the current trend for outsourcing companies to expand their offerings to provide services along the length of the drug development pathway.
Dr Mark Ashton, executive vice president, business development services at Evotec, said: "We continue to see an upturn in the market for pharmaceutical development and strongly believe that we can significantly help our clients bring new medicines to the marketplace quicker and more efficiently using our formulation and chemical development capabilities."
The company's outsourcing business got a lift in July when it won a contract to provide a broad range of pharmaceutical discovery and chemical development services to US drugmaker Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals. It also has a two-year screening collaboration with Spanish drug company Almirall, and ongoing medicinal chemistry collaborations with Switzerland's Roche and Belgium's Solvay, amongst others.
ProPharma offers a range of development services, including analytical method development, drug preformulation, drug formulation development, manufacture of aseptic clinical supplies, quality control testing and stability trials.