Harlan and Ipsen enter into drug development services agreement

Published: 25-Apr-2012

Three-year programme will consolidate Harlan\'s standing in early stage development

Harlan Laboratories Contract Research Services (CRS) and Ipsen, a global speciality-driven pharmaceutical company, have strengthened their collaboration with a new business agreement.

The two companies have entered into a three-year programme on the development of early preclinical stage drug candidates with exclusivity in some specific areas. As a result, Harlan Laboratories says it has consolidated its standing in the early stage of the drug development process and has established itself as a leader in preclinical drug development.

Harlan Laboratories CRS is a leading contract research organisation, offering a wide range of pharma services with particular expertise in inhalation, infusion, reproductive toxicology, neurotoxicology, immunology, genetic toxicology, oncology and CNS.

The company’s specialised pharma ADME department is primarily based at its site in Barcelona and staffed by scientists with in-depth experience and expertise in pharmacokinetics, in vitro and in vivo ADME and population pharmacokinetics. These capabilities are supported by Harlan’s Swiss facility. The company offers the full range of studies associated with drug pharmacokinetics and ADME, involving cold and radiolabelled drugs.

‘This new agreement with Ipsen is in line with our strategy to satisfy the needs of the pharmaceutical industry in the preclinical arena,’ said Dr Ciriaco Maraschiello, head of global general toxicology, Harlan Laboratories CRS. ‘This is a very important agreement that highlights our commitment to the pharma sector and reinforces our presence in the drug discovery segment of the drug development process.’

The company is currently engaged in a strategic reshaping of its business that could see a move of some of its activities from Switzerland to other Harlan locations. The Swiss facilities offer particular expertise in long-term toxicological and environmental safety assessment.

‘We are committed to continuing to grow our business, developing niche capabilities and further expanding our skills across the CRS domain globally, but we also have to acknowledge the economic realities of operating in Switzerland and the need to get staffing levels right in the right areas,’ explained Harlan CRS’s President, Manuela Leone. ‘The strength of the Swiss Franc is making the export of goods and services from Switzerland very difficult at the moment for all Swiss-based businesses, and this means we have to look at ways of making the most efficient and effective use of our resources.’

At the same time, the company says, it will be investing in further developing niche offerings out of Switzerland. ‘Switzerland will continue to play a crucial role within Harlan CRS, both now and in the future,’ Leone stressed. ‘We are taking a responsible and realistic approach, so that we remain competitive and high quality in our service delivery. We are already in the process of strengthening some key operational areas of our portfolio by bringing in additional, high-level talent into the Swiss business.’

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