Under the contract, which builds on the firms’ existing relationship, BioDuro will provide early-stage discovery chemistry and biology services for Roche’s early R&D programmes at sites in China and elsewhere.
BioDuro’s claim that its expertise can bring a renewed focus to R&D efforts and help reduce discovery timelines, could be a major boost for Roche which, like most drug majors is under pressure to restock dwindling product pipelines.
Robert Goodnow, Roche’s global head of medicinal chemistry outsouring explained that: "Presently, there is intense competition within the CRO industry for outsourcing and drug discovery services, and the expectation is that they will deliver problem solving skills and innovation in both chemistry and biology."
"We selected BioDuro due to their demonstrated excellent performance in synthetic chemistry and ability to deliver integrated medicinal chemistry services," he added.
Goodnow’s thoughts were echoed by BioDuro CEO John Oyler who said that the firm is “pleased to build upon this existing collaboration and work closely with the experienced team at Roche to aid in the development of novel therapeutics.”
Oyler went on to say that the “partnership demonstrates the strength of our innovative, fully integrated R&D service platform, and is a true testament to the caliber of scientists that have joined our team."
BioDuro has a team of 580 researchers and technicians at its facility in the Chinese capital Beijing. It currently has a roster of 40 pharma and biotech clients that it claims include 10 of the top 12 worldwide.
With Big Pharma increasingly cutting R&D budgets and in-house expertise being scaled-back there is considerable scope for contract research organisations (CRO) to expand their businesses.
BioDuro appears to have positioned itself well to take advantage of the burgeoning contract research market, with Frost & Sullivan predicting Asian CROs will be doing $2bn (€ 1.5bn) worth of business a year before 2010.