Under the agreement, contract research organisation (CRO) VivoPharm will for the first time market German-based EPO’s new technology to US pharmas and biotechs looking to characterize their therapeutic compounds.
Ralf Brandt, CEO and managing director of VivoPharm, told Outsourcing-Pharma that the use of tumours as predictive models – rather than their more common use in late-stage development – is a more “clinically relevant” method of validating drug candidates in cancer therapy.
“This is a model with growing demand and excellent sales prospects,” he said.
“Patient-derived tumours can be more predictive for the clinical outcome of novel drug, yet are used in late-stage preclinical drug development. Therefore more different models are needed and VivoPharm will fill in some of the gaps.”
VivoPharm says the new offering complements its own services for preclinical developers, which runs from compound libraries to a comprehensive set of in vitro and in vivo data. The firm also currently offers toxicology and safety testing through a partnership it has with MPI Research.
Brandt added: “We see this as an excellent opportunity to combine our highly specialised and orthotopic models with a new product. The combination will create a new quality level to evaluate new drugs before they enter clinical trials."
Jens Hoffmann, CEO of EPO added US developers will for the first time have the "most relevant" method for validating drug candidates.
"The combination of EPO’s primary patient-derived low passage tumors in concert with vivoPharm’s specialized and orthotopic models brings drug development to a new level," he added.
Big Pharma a target
However Brandt said he hopes its current bonds with pharma giants in the US and Europe, as well as small to mid-sized companies, will serve as a good stepping stone for the marketing push.
Brandt said: “Our reputation with an attractive pricing will attract new customers to work with VivoPharm.
“We just commenced marketing and therefore have no new partnerships yet.”
As for what’s in store for VivoPharm later in the year, Brandt added the firm will expand its GLP (good laboratory practice) safety and toxicology platform by April 2012, saying “look out for news to follow.”