WILMINGTON, Mass.—Charles River Laboratories International Inc. and AstraZeneca have extended their existing drug development relationship for an additional five-year period. Under this extension, Charles River will remain AstraZeneca's preferred strategic partner for outsourced regulated safety assessment and development drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK).
The original agreement was announced in October 2012, and was slated to run three years. The deal will now extend through 2020. While no financial details were disclosed, Charles River noted in the original announcement that it expected the incremental sales under the agreement to contribute roughly 1 percent to the company's total net sales.
Stefan Platz, vice president of Global Safety Assessment at AstraZeneca, said, “Based on the success of our partnership with Charles River in the first three years, we are very pleased to renew our agreement for an additional five-year period. As we expected, partnering with Charles River to utilize their scientific expertise enabled AstraZeneca to increase our resource flexibility while simplifying the way we work. Our partnership has provided substantial benefits in support of our efforts to deliver safe and effective new treatments to patients more efficiently, and we look forward to continuing to work productively with Charles River for many more years.”
In terms of DMPK screening services, Charles River offers in-vitro and in-vivo ADME screening, in-vivo PK screening, pharmacodynamic screening and discovery bioanalysis.
“We are extremely pleased that AstraZeneca has chosen to extend its relationship with Charles River,” James C. Foster, chairman, president and CEO of Charles River, commented in a press release. “Our combined scientific expertise has been pivotal to enabling AstraZeneca to create a flexible research platform to deliver innovative health solutions. We are proud of the success of our collaboration and look forward to providing ongoing support for AstraZeneca’s early-stage research programs.”
This extension comes a few days after other partnering news from AstraZeneca. The company announced on July 27 that it had established a definitive agreement with Genzyme to divest Caprelsa, which is indicated for the treatment of aggressive and symptomatic medullary thyroid carcinoma. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Caprelsa Orphan Drug Designation in 2005, and it saw global product sales of $48 million last year. Genzyme will pay AstraZeneca up to $300 million, including an upfront payment of $165 million to acquire the global rights to sell and develop Caprelsa and development and sales milestone payments of up to $135 million.
“Caprelsa is a rare disease therapy and the divestment to Genzyme, an expert leader in endocrinology, demonstrates our commitment to ensure patients continue to have access to this medicine while we sharpen our focus on key disease areas,” said Luke Miels, executive vice president of Global Product & Portfolio Strategy and Corporate Affairs for AstraZeneca.