Under the terms of the agreement, Massachusetts-based contract manufacturer Microtest will be in charge of the formulation and aseptic fill/finish of Antisoma's AS1411 drug for forthcoming Phase II trials. In addition, the firm will conduct stability testing of the product. "This agreement provides a strategic opportunity for us at Microtest to form a strong working partnership with an important category leader like Antisoma," said Steve Richter, Microtest's president. This latest contract comes just five months after Microtest completed the expansion of its contract parenteral manufacturing services with a $7.5m (€5.6m) investment at its Agawam, Massachusetts headquarters facilities. The investment has enabled the firm to substantially expand its aseptic processing capacity and double the size of its facilities. The expansion included constructing and equipping new pharmaceutical testing laboratory facilities, a series of segregated virology testing laboratories, and new aseptic fill/finish manufacturing facilities, along with the hiring of additional staff. Microtest's pharmaceutical and virology test services can support full in-process and product release testing as well as product stability testing, raw material qualification and assay development/validation. Richter claims that Microtest can deliver fill/finish services integrated with stability and testing services for a complete solution that lowers cost, improves quality, and compresses time to revenue. "The result is immediate project start-up, a single technology transfer, easier regulatory submissions, and accelerated time to clinical trials," he said.