Pfizer and UCB Announce Formation of New Company 'Cyclofluidic' to Accelerate Drug Discovery Process
News Nov 17, 2008
Pfizer Ltd and UCB announced the formation of Cyclofluidic, a technology company established with the aim of significantly accelerating the drug discovery process by allowing researchers to test a greater range of potential new medicines in a shorter time.
The UK Government's Technology Strategy Board has helped facilitate this arrangement between Pfizer and UCB and will continue to support Cyclofluidic by co-funding its R&D.
The aim of Cyclofluidic is to develop technologies that automate and integrate processes known as flow chemistry and flow biology to help pharmaceutical companies shorten timelines within the drug development process.
"Cyclofluidic's entry into the rapidly evolving microfluidic technology area has the potential to radically transform the medicinal chemistry and biology interface." Says Dr Neil Weir, Senior Vice President Research at UCB. "It's an exciting opportunity for UCB and Pfizer to collaborate and offers real potential for improved productivity, underlining our commitment to innovation for patients."
Peter Luke, Senior Director, Worldwide Business Development at Pfizer said, "This is a great example of how public-private partnerships can provide innovative technologies to speed medicines to market. We are impressed by the way the Technology Strategy Board has initiated a novel and creative deal structure."
Cyclofluidic will be jointly owned by Pfizer and UCB, with each company having both a seat and scientific observer rights on the board.
Currently, it takes between 12-15 years and a cost of up to £500 million to develop a new medicine. One of the most time-intensive and skilful parts of pharmaceutical research is the screening of potential medicines against therapeutic targets.
Cyclofluidic will develop a microfluidic closed loop lead optimization platform which will enable researchers to access state of the art expertise in flow chemistry, flow screening and microfluidic engineering. This will be addressed through extensive collaboration with key academics and component manufacturers
Cyclofluidic will also provide training for both flow chemistry and biology scientists at its facility, to be located in the South of England.
Researchers say they have discovered a gene mutation that slows the metabolism of sugar in the gut, giving people who have the mutation a lower risk of diabetes, obesity, heart failure, and even death. The researchers say their finding could provide the basis for drug therapies that could mimic the workings of this gene mutation.
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