DSM has taken a 25 per cent interest in Nijmegen, Netherlands-based Chiralix in a move which both expands DSM's capabilities in early-stage drug development and Chiralix' position in stereochemistry.
The deal is the latest in a series of activities at DSM aimed at improving its services at earlier stages of the drug development process. In February, DSM broadened its existing range of chemically- and biochemically-produced building blocks and active ingredients, as well as the production and packaging of over-the-counter drugs, by acquiring a 30 per cent stake in Dutch contract research organisation Syncom and by expanding its chemical process research activities at ResCom in Regensburg, Germany.
" Our shareholding in Chiralix will speed up our ability to supply the pharmaceutical industry with the molecules and technologies it needs, and thus help further reduce lead times," said Feike Sijbesma, a member of DSM's managing board of directors.
These new activities complement DSM's existing service package of building blocks and active ingredients for pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical products and production and packaging of medicines in finished dosage forms
Apart from investing capital, DSM will also be giving Chiralix access to its chiral technologies, so that Chiralix can build up a strong position in this sector more quickly. The company designs chiral building blocks that are used in the early development stages of new types of drugs, with a particular interest in functionalised amino acids.
DSM said that Chiralix' activities complement the chemical process research performed at ResCom, which makes kilogramme quantities of drugs for use in pre-clinical and clinical testing. The company will be able both to design synthesis routes and to supply product in the quantities that are needed for the initial development stages, said DSM.
The relationship between DSM and Chiralix has already led to the launch of a major research project that also involves a team led by Professor Floris Rutjes of the University of Nijmegen. The three partners working on this project, which has received a €2 million grant from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, are investigating new technologies for use in the production of complex building blocks for glycopeptide drugs.