News Feature | October 10, 2014

AstraZeneca, Charles River Partnership Turns Out New Respiratory Drug

By Estel Grace Masangkay

Charles River Laboratories announced that its partnership with British drug firm AstraZeneca has led to the advancement of an oral respiratory drug candidate into preclinical development.

The company reported it has been working with AstraZeneca and BioFocus on the integrated drug discovery partnership since 2012, which has now successfully produced an oral respiratory drug candidate to move into preclinical development.

David Smith, Corporate VP of Early Discovery at Charles River, said, “We are extremely pleased AstraZeneca chose to partner with Charles River for its early drug discovery work. The recognition this project received from the AstraZeneca Innovative Medicines team is a testament to our collaborative approach to partner programs.”

The relationship between the two companies also reached another milestone in 2012, when Charles River announced a second partnership with AstraZeneca for outsourced regulated safety evaluation and development drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK). The three year partnership centered around delivering toxicology, development DPMK, and safety pharmacology studies. AstraZeneca and Charles River agreed to remain partners until 2015.

The 2012 deal was heralded as good news for Charles River, reports Outsourcing-Pharma. Garen Sarafian, VP of healthcare technology and distribution at Citi Research, told Outsourcing-Pharma at the time, “While today’s news is encouraging… What will be important for CRL now is to ensure the two publicly announced partnerships are up and running smoothly and exceed expectations.” Sarafian added that this good news will help establish AstraZeneca as a reference for Charles River for other preclinical collaboration opportunities in the future — a likely possibility given the achievement of this most recent milestone.

Earlier this year, Charles River announced its acquisition of BioFocus, along with Argenta, for their drug discovery services.