More discovery outsourcing at AstraZeneca with Pharmaron deal

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Astrazeneca signs discovery deal with Pharmaron
Sino-US CRO Pharmaron has signed a drug discovery partnership with Anglo-Swedish drug major AstraZeneca.

Under the deal -financial terms of which were not disclosed - Pharmaron will provide AstraZeneca with chemistry, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK), and efficacy screening services.

Work will be conducted at the contract research organisation's (CRO) recently expanded​ site in Beijing.

Manos Perros, Head of Infection iMed and sponsor of the collaboration for AstraZeneca said: “We are pleased to enter this strategic partnership with Pharmaron which we believe will help us progress projects through our R&D pipeline more efficiently​" adding that "Pharmaron scientists will be integrated into our project teams.​"

Boliang Lou, Pharmaron CEO, said: “This partnership is an important milestone for Pharmaron as we are strengthening our capacity in the area of fully integrated services as a highly competitive and global player​.”

AstraZeneca's use of outsourced drug discovery service rather than in-house research over the last few years is verywell documented​.

From its discussion with Almac in 2010​ - relating to the firm's Flexyte system - to its deals with BioFocus and Argent earlier this year​ to its more recent agreement with Wuxi​ which involved some preclinical development support, AstraZeneca's efforts to restock its pipeline have involved collaboration.

Whether the comments about integration will see AstraZeneca take a similar to the approach to other Pharmaron customers that have embedded teams with the Beijing CRO - most recently generics firm Merck Serono​ - is unclear as further information has not been disclosed.

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