An inside look at how Big Pharma and CROs partner in early drug discovery.

One needn’t look far to find examples of BioPharma and CROs collaborating on early drug discovery. How these partnerships are structured and how well they function is not always as clear, however. So we invite readers to check out an indepth article in Drug Discovery World that highlights the origins and evolution of a 10-year partnership forged between Argenta (acquired by Charles River Labs last year and now part of its Discovery Services Division) and California-based Genentech. The article was written by John Montana, Executive Director, Strategic Alliances of Charles River Discovery Services’ Division and Cornelis E.C.A Hop, who leads the Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetic Department at Genentech.  As Montana and Hop point out in their piece, this partnership began in 2005 with a single project involving medicinal chemists, but soon grew to include multiple projects—largely in the realm of oncology and immunology—drawing on the extensive expertise of dozens of chemists and biologists as well as scientists representing drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, pharmaceutical sciences and structural biology. As biopharmaceutical companies continues to outsource its early drug discovery projects, it will be interesting to see how CROs, which have historically operated in the more predictable arenas of clinical and pre-clinical testing, climb onto this latest wave in drug development and how they manage the shifting tides. If you find the article in Drug Discovery World interesting, check out these recent blogs, herehere and here on how CROs are contributing to early discovery.