Southern Research gains bioanalytical lab assets in BioCryst acquisition

By Alexandria Pešić

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Drug discovery, Pharmacology

Southern Research Institute is acquiring BioCryst Pharmaceuticals’ bioanalytical laboratory assets and personnel in a move towards expanding its bioanalytical service offerings.

In what Dr Andrew Penman, vice president of Drug Development at Southern Research described as “a win-win situation for both companies​,” the non-profit Scientific Research Institute will acquire BioCryst’s bioanalytical lab to enhance the existing Bioanalytical Sciences unit at its Southside Birmingham, Alabama, US, campus.

Furthermore, Penman told Outsourcing-Pharma, “It greatly enhances our capability in providing small molecule clinical trials with bioanalytical support because of the experience of the new employees who will be joining us.”

The firm will initially gain five bioanalytical lab personnel who will continue to work in BioCryst’s research facility in Birmingham until early next year when they will be relocated early to Southern Research’s Southside Birmingham campus, where most of the firm’s life sciences work is conducted.

The new staff members will work with Southern Research to support the liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) component of clinical studies in all phases of research, as well as performing clinical and statistical analysis through in-house and partnered relationships.

Penman mentioned that for over five years, the Southern Research has supported clinical trials by analysing serum for influenza specific antibodies using the Hemagglutination Inhibition Assay (HAI) and Microneutralisation (MN) assays under GLP conditions.

Offering clinical isolates from influenza season

According to Penman, the infectious disease group at Southern Research has “a multitude of clinical isolates”​ from recent influenza seasons along with various clades of H5N1 viruses, all of which he says are available for use in assays.

“We strongly believe this area will be growing as the number of biological therapeutics in development increases,”​ said Penman who added that Southern Research’s experience in toxicology, infectious diseases, and cancer research makes the company a firm candidate for outsourcing all aspects of a bioanalytical program.

Believing there to be “significant opportunities within the bioanalytical arena,” ​Southern Research aim to bring new drugs therapies and vaccines to the market, with a particular onus resting on small molecule therapeutics.

Already successful in securing a place in the market for seven of its anti-cancer drugs, Southern Research has a further seven in various stages of preclinical and early clinical development, though Penman says, “more rewarding is working with our clients to help make crucial decisions about drugs in their development pipelines.”

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