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Peakdale and Pfizer team up on chemistry

By Gareth Macdonald , 01-Feb-2010

Peakdale Molecular and Pfizer unveil plan set up a synthetic chemistry services group just days after the US major trimmed its pipeline.

The new group, which will supplement Peakdale’s Chemistry Services unit in Derbyshire, will employ 50 scientists and provide developmental chemistry services for Pfizer and other pharmaceutical developers working in the region.

Tony Wood, vice president of the US drug major’s medicinal chemistry unit, explained that building expertise in organic chemistry through such partnerships is critical to the firm’s wider discovery efforts.

This collaboration will allow Pfizer to continue to develop a strong community of experienced synthetic chemists within its facilities and enhance the overall culture of synthetic chemistry at the Sandwich site.”

Site director David Roblin agreed, explaining that: “The positioning of Peakdale chemists close to the core of our research operations gives a unique opportunity in this outsourced space.”

Pfizer has restructured its R&D operations since buying Wyeth last year, most recently announcing that it will focus development efforts on Alzheimers disease, diabetes, metabolic disorders, pain and cancer.

Prior to that Pfizer said it will cut its global R&D capacity by 35 per cent and focusing activities at five main sites and nine specialised units around the world.

Consequently, Pfizer’s decision to collaborate on the new organic chemistry group means the unit is likely to play an important role in its global R&D operations, which is a point that Peakdale CEO Ray Fisher acknowledged.

This is a great opportunity for Peakdale to contribute to Pfizer’s success as the Pharmaceutical Industry seeks to become more efficient and responsive to the rapidly changing environment of drug discovery”

“We are extremely pleased that Pfizer has chosen us to promote this new initiative and see this model as one way to bring the entrepreneurial spirit of smaller companies to synergise with the expertise and know-how of an established world leader.”

Japanese generics

In other news, Pfizer confirmed its plan to enter Japan’s generic drug sector and said it will aim to be the number one player.

The firm, which floated the idea last year , told Reuters it plans to “capitalize on its brand as a patent drug maker and expertise on Japan business to beat such rivals as Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.”

Hiroshi Matsumori, corporate officer at Pfizer Japan, said that: “The biggest challenge for foreign players starting business in Japan, where standards are exceptionally high, is branding, which we have already achieved as a patent drug maker. We are completely different from those starting from scratch.”

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