Epistem grows as large EU biopharm get collaborative

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Inflammatory bowel disease Europe

Collaboration with large European biopharm helped Epistem post double-digit growth in preclinical services sales and operating profit.

Demand and pricing across the preclinical services industry have struggled to recover from the 2009 downturn​ but full year results at Epistem were positive. Double-digit sales growth underpinned a 34 per cent increase in operating profit.

Matthew Walls, CEO of Epistem, said: “Whilst market and industry conditions remain challenging, our specialist preclinical services maintained solid growth with its larger pharmaceutical clients​.”

Walls said “a growing bias towards collaborative business​” with large biopharm is driving growth in Europe. Epistem

singled out demand for inflammatory bowel disease and immunohistochemistry models as being particularly strong.

Increasing business with biopharm in mainland Europe helped Epistem cut reliance on UK business. In 2011 the UK accounted for five per cent of consolidated sales at the contract research services unit. Renewal of a contract with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) also helped.

Big pharma work

No contract research clients were named but other units at Epistem are known to work with Sanofi and Novartis. The research phase of collaboration between the novel therapies unit at Epistem and Novartis ended in February. Walls is “confident​” Epistem can win new funding and licensing support.

Work with Sanofi began in March. The biomarker team at Epistem is providing discovery through clinical support for Sanofi oncology programmes under the terms of a three-year collaboration.

Substantial increases

After its third consecutive year of profit growth Epistem is positive about the coming 12 months. “A strengthening operational and financial position confirms our belief that the year ahead will continue to generate substantial increases in our forecast revenues​”, Walls said.

Epistem is looking for “complementary technology, acquisitions and in-licensing​” to support growth, Walls said, but few opportunities have met the “high expectations​” if the company.

We continue to remain alert in our outlook in these uncertain times​”, Walls said.

Related topics Preclinical Research Preclinical

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