BioFocus bags compound management and Chiesi deals

By Alexandria Pešić

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Compound management Chemistry

BioFocus has sealed two compound management deals with the National Cancer Institute and eMolecules, while extending its relationship with Chiesi Farmaceutici for $3.5m (€2.5m).

Galapagos’ affiliate, BioFocus, will provide compound management services to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) under a three-year agreement which nets the biotech firm up to $5m (€3.7m).

As part of the deal, BioFocus will establish a Small Molecule Repository for the NCI Chemical Biology Consortium (CBI). This will complement Compound Focus, the firm’s pre-existing San-Francisco, USA-based compound management operation which serves several industrial and US government customers.

BioFocus will establish and manage a set of compounds which are suitable for high-throughput screening (HTS) for the NCI’s Chemical Biology Consortium (CBC). This will provide a platform for the discovery and development of new oncology therapeutics

Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos, told Outsourcing-Pharma, “These compounds will help to validate new targets for drug therapy and enhance the discovery of small molecules for molecular imaging.”

eMolecules join to offer compound ordering service

Under the second agreement this week, Compound Focus has been selected by chemical structure search engine founder, eMolecules, as its preferred partner for forming a client compound ordering service.

BioFocus say this pairing will provide clients with a convenient compound shipping service, allowing compounds to be directly transported from a vendor to Compound Focus facility for storage, quality control analysis and eventual distribution.

Van de Stolpe said, “The demand for compound management services has been increasing steadily over the past five years,” ​explaining that this​and the need for “drug [industry] discovery efforts to focus more on science and less on the supporting activities,” ​are the main drivers for the trend.

He argued that clients “can make best use of their funds by spending less money on non-core activities,” ​and so they can “spend more of their money on research and discovery.”​ This redistribution of money “better leverages their overall investments of time and money without compromising quality, and in many cases, improving quality,”​ he said.

According to van de Stolpe, the long-term NCI deal will enable BioFocus to “anchor certain investments” ​for the company in the future, while he claims the services offered through the eMolecules deal will reach a greater number of clients. This he says will “allow us to compete more directly with some of our competitors regarding manual services.”

Chiesi’s new therapeutic program

Additionally, BioFocus has extended its collaboration with Italy’s Chiesi by another year. The companies paired up December 2009, and BioFocus has since decided to continue lending medicinal chemistry and biology services, with a possible option for ADME services for a new Chiesi therapeutic program.

Although Chiesi’s therapeutic expertise has leaned towards respiratory pathologies, special care medicine and cardiovascular disease in the past, the latest program remains undisclosed.

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