HARLOW, U.K.—CRO Argenta Discovery announced the signing of a lead-optimization collaboration with Finnish pharmaceutical company BioTie Therapies that will see the British company apply its expertise in medical chemistry, computational drug design, and early ADME to undisclosed BioTie therapeutic candidates. Financial terms of the deal were also not disclosed.
"Argenta has a good reputation in contract drug discovery, and we anticipate their skills and know-how will help accelerate this important 'first-in-class' late discovery programme into full pre-clinical development," says Dr Timo Veromaa, BioTie president and CEO.
The deal comes at a time when the European CRO market is in rapid expansion. According to a recent report by Frost & Sullivan, the market reached $4.8 billion in 2005 and should more than double to $10.21 billion by 2012. Said Frost analyst Dr. Amarpreet Dhiman: "Even as current pharmaceutical and biotechnology R&D spending levels surpass $36 billion and blockbuster drug development plateaus off, CROs are expanding in the direction of becoming either niche-specific or large service providers."