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New company aims to accelerate drug discovery process

Pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and UCB have announced the formation of an innovative technology company, Cyclofluidic

Pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and UCB have announced the formation of an innovative technology company, Cyclofluidic.

Co-funded by the government's Technology Strategy Board, Cyclofluidic aims to develop new technology that will automate existing drug development processes, which can take between 12 and 15 years and cost up to £500m.

Pfizer, the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical company, and UCB, a global leader in the biopharmaceutical industry, will jointly own Cyclofluidic. Each company will have a seat on the board as well as scientific observer rights.

A key part of Cyclofluidic's success will come from collaboration between the two companies and with component manufacturers and key academics. The new company plans to develop a closed loop platform allowing researchers access to the very latest expertise in flow chemistry, flow screening and microfluidic engineering.

"Cyclofluidic's entry into the rapidly evolving microfluidic technology area has the potential to radically transform the medicinal chemistry and biology interface," said Dr Neil Weir, senior vice president of research at UCB.

Dr Annette Doherty, vice president and research head at Pfizer's European R&D headquarters said: "We are extremely pleased to collaborate with UCB and the Technology Strategy Board to help improve efficiency in the drug development process. We are excited by the potential of this new partnership to help us identify the most effective medicines for later stages of development and – ultimately – create new and improved therapies for patients."

Cyclofluidic will be located in the South of England, and will also provide training for flow chemistry and biology scientists.

20th October 2008

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