BARCELONA, Spain—Harlan Laboratories Contract ResearchServices (CRS) has taken a giant step closer toward emerging as a worldwideleader in preclinical drug development by signing an agreement to enter athree-year program with Ipsen, a global specialty-driven pharmaceuticalcompany, for the development of early preclinical-stage drug candidates,including exclusivity in some specific areas. Financial details of the businessarrangement, announced on April 23, were not disclosed.
The new deal between the Barcelona-headquartered Harlan CRSand Paris-based Ipsen did not surprise many in Big Pharma or small business,and resulted in Harlan consolidating its standing in the early stage of thedrug development process, according to a joint company news release.
The partners in this venture are no strangers to each other.Harlan and Ipsen "were already collaborating in the past in the field ofpharmacokinetics only," says spokesperson Anita Nahal of Nielsen McAllisterPublic Relations Ltd. U.K.
Under the current agreement, Harlan's primaryresponsibilities are "to provide high quality and scientific excellence … toIpsen's drug development projects," Nahal says.
Furthermore, Harlan and Ipsen are on the same page "in termsof their respective teams working together with a common objective—tocontribute to an efficient and proactive drug candidate selection," she adds.
Harlan Laboratories CRS is one of the world's leadingcontract research organizations for the pharmaceutical, agrochemical andchemical industries. The company offers a wide range of pharma services withparticular expertise in inhalation, infusion, reproductive toxicology,neurotoxicology, immunology, genetic toxicology, oncology and central nervoussystem disorders.
Harlan's specialized Pharma Absorption, Distribution,Metabolism and Excretion (ADME) department is primarily based at its site inBarcelona and staffed by scientists with in-depth experience and expertise inpharmacokinetics, in-vitro and in-vivo ADME and population pharmacokinetics, Nahal says.
"This new agreement with Ipsen is in line with our strategyto satisfy the needs of the pharmaceutical industry in the preclinical arena,and underlines our willingness to be close to our customers, helping them tomake their drug candidates successful," stated Dr. Ciriaco Maraschiello, headof the Global General Toxicology unit at Harlan. "We are delighted to beworking with Ipsen and believe this collaboration will offer clients anunrivaled level of expertise and support in the early development of new drugformulations. This is a very important agreement which highlights ourcommitment to the pharma sector and reinforces our presence in the drugdiscovery segment of the drug development process."
Harlan's ADME department is mainly based at Barcelona and issupported by a Swiss facility with expertise in long-term toxicological andenvironmental safety assessment. However, Harlan recently announced that it isin the process of a "strategic reshaping" of its business, resulting in a moveof some activities from Switzerland to other locations, largely because of thecosts associated with "the extremely strong Swiss franc."
"Switzerland will continue to play a crucial role withinHarlan CRS, both now and in the future," said Harlan CRS president ManuelaLeon. "We are taking a responsible and realistic approach, so that we remaincompetitive and high quality in our service delivery. We are already in theprocess of strengthening some key operational areas of our portfolio bybringing in additional, high-level talent into the Swiss business."
Ipsen opens N.J. headquarters
BASKING RIDGE, N.J.—On April 25, Ipsen announced the openingof a new commercial headquarters here, a confirmation of what the companycalled its "commitment to growth for it uniquely targeted neurology andendocrinology therapeutics in the United States and to provide innovativespecialty medicines to U.S. patients."
Relocation of the company's headquarters is expected tocreate more than 100 new full-time jobs in New Jersey, where Ipsen said thegrowing pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries were key factors in itsdecision to establish operations. Fifteen of the world's 25 largestpharmaceutical companies have major facilities in New Jersey.
"For Ipsen, the U.S. is a new market in which we seesignificant opportunity. The move to New Jersey gives us access to the besttalents of the biopharma industry, critical to Ipsen's growth," said Marc deGaridel, chairman and CEO of Ipsen, in a statement. "This new commercialheadquarters in the heart of New Jersey conveys our commitment to provide careto patient communities in the U.S., and will enable us to expand Ipsen'scapabilities and capacity in the U.S. marketplace for our specialty endocrineand neurology products."
Ipsen is also making a $45 million capital investment in itsMilford, Mass., R&D/ technical operations facility, notably inbioproduction. The existing facility serves as a center for Ipsen's U.S.-basedpeptide and toxin R&D platforms, as well as a cGMP manufacturing facilityfocused on production of recombinant proteins for the treatment of hemophilia.