Kalexsyn Inc., a Kalamazoo-based drug discovery and development company, has entered an agreement to provide medicinal chemistry services to help drive BioRelix Inc.’s ongoing research activities.
KALAMAZOO – Kalexsyn Inc., a Kalamazoo-based drug discovery and development company, has entered an agreement to provide medicinal chemistry services to help drive BioRelix Inc.’s ongoing research activities.
BioRelix is a New Haven, Conn.-based company working to discover new anti-biotic drugs to treat infectious diseases. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“They are a leader in the technology they have. We are a leader in medicinal chemistry and our collaboration is a perfect example of the new way that drugs will be developed in the future,” said David Zimmermann, chief executive officer of Kalexsyn, which stands for “Kalamazoo experts in synthesis.”
It has been working with BioRelix for the past four years.
“We chose to work with Kalexsyn because of their expertise and their ability to fully engage in the scientific discovery process with our research team,” Brian Dixon, chief executive officer of BioRelix, said in a press release.
BioRelix has been looking to develop products that serve unmet medical needs, including compounds to treat strains of bacteria that have become resistant to other medicines. It uses RNA targets called riboswitches.
Kalexsyn, which was started in 2003 by former Pharmacia Corp. executives Zimmermann and Robert Gadwood, and now located at Western Michigan University Business Research and Technology Park, prepares new compounds and develops new analogues for them that assess their safety and efficacy, getting them closer to the stage where they can be tested on people. It has about 34 workers.
“We lay out the strategy (that allows compounds to progress in development),” Zimmerman said, “and do the implementation of that strategy.”
While BioRelix, which employs about 30 people, accounts for only a fraction of Kalexsyn’s business, Zimmerman said it reflects the company's client base — the smaller pharmaceutical and biotech business.
The new collaboration also “demonstrates the model that we’re evolving to in the pharmaceutical industry — a collaborative model where you bring together the best in order to develop drugs,” Zimmerman said. “The old way was the automotive industry way — everything was in-house.”
He said 15 to 20 years ago, Ford Motor Co. and other car makers, built all of their own manufacturing tools and did all of their own design work in-house. Large pharmaceutical companies did the same. But in recent years large drug companies have been jettisoning services that can be more inexpensively purchased. That allows former big-pharma executives like Zimmerman and Gadwood, who is president and chief scientific officer of Kalexsyn, to supply such companies with medicinal expertise and provide evaluations of potential drug compounds on a contract basis.
By Al Jones | firstname.lastname@example.org
on April 01, 2011 at 2:14 PM, updated April 01, 2011 at 2:29 PM