France’s Cerep inks deal with Lilly

Platform includes screening capabilities for 250 targets with assays for a wide range of diseases

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PARIS—Cerep has announced an agreement with Eli Lilly & Co. covering the use of its kinase assay platform to study undisclosed drug targets. Under the terms of the agreement, Cerep will provide Lilly with access to the company's expanded kinase assay platform for research into undisclosed drug targets. The agreement, announced in June, is an extension of an already existing arrangement between the companies covering access to Cerep's GPCR screening portfolio. Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

"This is an example of Lilly's ongoing transformation into a Fully Integrated Pharmaceutical Company, or FIPNet, wherein Lilly is creating a fully integrated gobal network to deliver on priorities, the number one being to speed innovation," says Dr. Lawrence Stramm, director of lead optimization biology at Lilly.

The agreement follows the recently announced expansion of kinases portfolio made available by Cerep in collaboration with partner PerkinElmer Inc. In April, PerkinElmer signed a co-marketing agreement with Cerep to provide custom drug discovery tools and services to customers. Under that agreement, PerkinElmer exclusively markets Cerep's target screening and profiling services to its customers. The firms also will jointly promote PerkinElmer's assay technologies and Cerep's high-throughput screening and profiling services to the drug discovery market.

Cerep's kinase profiling service is based on PerkinElmer's LANCE Ultra kinase assay technology. Cerep's kinase platform includes screening capabilities for 250 targets with assays for cancer, cardiac diseases, central nervous system disorders, inflammation, diabetes, metabolic disorders and other disease states, the company said.

"PerkinElmer scientists have developed an extensive range of biochemical and cell-based kinase assay technologies," says Dr. Martina Bielefeld-Sevigny, vice president and general manager, Drug Discovery and Research Reagents, Bio-discovery for PerkinElmer. "Partnered with Cerep's services, PerkinElmer can offer a complete solution to our customers—helping them to rapidly profile their drug candidates and get them to the clinic quicker."

According to Bielefeld-Sevigny, the latest agreement marks a milestone in the partnership between PerkinElmer and Cerep.

"The Lilly agreement represents a significant milestone in validating the value of the partnership between Cerep and PerkinElmer in that it illustrates high value to a company known for the emphasis it places on strong technologies and methodologies in drug discovery to rapidly identify potential therapeutics," she says.

PerkinElmer's LANCE Ultra kinase assay technology forms the basis of the offering with Lilly.

"This agreement further illustrates that our long-term strategy to broaden our leadership position in drug discovery services, together with key decisions taken over the past few years—such as the collaboration signed with PerkinElmer—are continuously resulting in additional cost effective and high quality services for our customers and partners," says Thierry Jean, chairman and CEO of Cerep.

Bielefeld-Sevigny says that with regard to benefiting patients, Cerep's arrangement with Eli Lilly & Co. is aimed at more efficient and timely profiling of kinase inhibitor leads for faster identification of better and safer therapeutics.

"However, the more immediate benefit is providing preclinical researchers at a leading pharma in the field of kinase research with cost effective profiling—both from a content perspective via Cerep, and a technology perspective from PerkinElmer," she says. "Drug discovery companies such as Lilly that are looking to outsource their kinase profiling work can now access an unprecendented depth and breadth of screening and profiling assays."

The partnership wasn't built overnight and the companies' demonstrated abilities in the field played a role in the developing collaboration, Bielefeld-Sevigny notes, adding that PerkinElmer has built a reputation as a provider in kinase screening and profiling technologies for both drug discovery and basic research.

"Our assays are used to enable research of hundreds of targets in several diseases including cancer, inflammation, diabetes or cardiovascular disorders," she says. "Cerep has world-class profiling services with a compelling value proposition for pharma research organizations. This synergistic value proposition formed the basis of the successful collaboration inaugurated a year ago."


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