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COTI signs research technology provision deal with Merck Serono

Canada-based Critical Outcome Technologies has signed a deal with German-based pharmaceutical company Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA.

Canada-based Critical Outcome Technologies (COTI) has signed a deal with German-based pharmaceutical company Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA.

The company has developed a proprietary computer platform called Chemsas,  which can identify promising chemical compounds and speed up the development time of new drugs.

COTI has focused on small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), multiple sclerosis (MS) and HIV infection, conditions which are currently underserved by the pharmaceutical market.

The tie-up with Merck Serono will identity four to six compounds which can be tested and built into cancer drugs.

Director of business development and marketing at COTI, Michael Barr, said that the public will benefit from faster drug approvals: "That's the goal that pushes us all. If we can accelerate the process, we can get drug candidates to clinical trials and to market faster.

Barr said that Merck could spend up to two years examining various chemical compounds just to identify a few which could be used in drug development. COTI says its technology can reduce the time taken to identify compounds to three to five months, while it also identifies the efficacy and toxicity of a compound to progress the compound to further testing.

Barr concluded that COTI's Chemsas program will be attractive to pharmaceutical companies needing to get new products onto the market quickly in the face of depleted pipelines and generic competition.

30th September 2008

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