The collaboration – financial terms of which were not disclosed – will see the firms develop cell lines for pharmaceutical companies and other users of chemicals to test the toxicity of the compounds they are developing.
The motivation for the deal is reducing the number of animals used in safety testing according to a BASF spokesman, who told us “both partners bring to the table extensive, global R&D experience and a shared commitment to sustainability.”
BASF entered the preclinical toxicology services space in 2012 when its subsidiary Metanomics Health made the firm’s in-house testing system available to pharmaceutical industry firms on a contractual basis.
The service – called MetaMap Tox- is comprised of a list of 100 metabolic fingerprints based on data from 500 chemical entities analysed over the last seven years.
In May the German chemicals firm completed the sale of the majority of its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) business and its custom synthesis operation to Switzerland’s Siegfried Holding.
In October, BASF outlined a two programme of spending reductions – that included possible job cuts - as part of an effort to save €1bn ($1.01bn) a year.
The focus of the cuts programme – called DrivE – is BASF’s manufacturing business rather than to increase revenue generated through its services business.
BASF’s spokesman confirmed this, reiterating that: “The project is focused on developing sustainable alternatives to animal testing to ensure chemical safety – it is not related to DrivE.”