The contract research organisation (CRO) has installed x-ray powder diffraction and Raman spectroscopy at its R&D facility in Sunderland as part of an expansion into solid-form polymorph investigation, salt selection and crystallization studies.
Onyx' CEO Tony Flinn said that the investment was motivated by the recognition that the drug industry is demanding more of its contracting partners.
Dr Flinn suggested that: “The pharmaceutical industry will increasingly align with trusted outsourcing partners for solid-state and custom synthesis services to reduce costs, risks and time-to-market.
“Squeezed by escalating R&D costs, the [drug] industry will accelerate its strategy to outsource non-core chemistry services and will no longer use contract services simply as a tactic to overcome near-term capacity shortage.”
Flinn’s prediction of greater drug industry use of outsourced chemistry services is supported by recent developments at fellow UK contract services firm Peakdale Molecular.
Earlier this week the Derbyshire, UK firm partnered with Pfizer to set up a dedicated chemistry outsourcing services group at the a R&D facility owned by the UD pharmaceutical giant.
And, just yesterday, Belgium-based Galapagos NV acquired Argenta Discovery for €16.5m ($23.1m), adding computational chemistry and ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion) services to its contract offering .
All of which suggests that Onyx is not the only CRO to expect the pharmaceutical industry to seek more specialised services from contractors over the next few years.