Lee’s Pharm selected the contract research organisation (CRO) to provide services including chemistry analytical services, in vitro and in vivo biology, oncology, immunology, in vitro ADME, pharmacokinetic / pharmacodynamic studies, toxicology, and clinical bioanalysis, for its entire R&D programme.
WuXi CEO Ge Li said his firm has been “building a comprehensive and integrated R&D enabling platform,” and this is an example of the platform delivering.
Outsourcing-Pharma.com asked the CRO whether this exclusive deal constitutes a strategic partnership. Spokesman Ron Aldridge said the firm didn’t have a strict definition for the term, but he told us “the Lee's Pharm partnership is important for our Laboratory Testing Division.”
Lee’s Pharm is developing four in-house drug candidates: a cardiovascular product at the Phase II stage, a dermatology product at the IND submission stage, and two ophthalmology candidates undergoing preclinical studies.
While financial terms of the partnership remain confidential, Aldridge was able to divulge details as to why Lee’s Pharm – headquartered in Hong Kong with operations in China - selected WuXi:
“There are many China-based CROs with international clients, but we are much bigger than all of them, with many more capabilities. So we are often the first choice of a customer wanting the services of a premier China-based CRO.”
News of the partnership comes as a group of investors, shareholders and executives are taking WuXi private in a deal worth around $3.3bn.
“The latest on the going private transaction is that the board agreed to the consortium's proposal, and a merger agreement was reached,” Aldrige told us. “We expect the transaction to close in the fourth quarter.”