Eisai, Charles River double down on drug discovery pact

The pair are looking to work on new malaria treatments as part of the research pact

Eisai and partner Charles River have clearly enjoyed their two-year R&D deal, as the pharma-CRO pair have signed up to extend that partnership for another year.

According to a statement from the two, this boosted pact “strengthens the ongoing partnership between the two companies,” which centers around early-stage work for the discovery of new medications for tropical and neurological diseases at Eisai’s so-called European Knowledge Centre in the U.K.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to continue our good work with the Charles River scientists at our European Knowledge Centre, in order to address the unmet medical needs of patients and their familie,” said Gary Hendler, Chairman & CEO Eisai EMEA.

“As a collaborative partner, Charles River has a proven track record of success in drug discovery and innovative chemistry capabilities. This partnership supports Eisai's commitment to investigating and developing innovative treatments, in line with our human health care mission.”

The initial research was funded by the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, but will now also see researchers working closely with the Medicines for Malaria Venture as both double down on their work in malaria.

“With a strong heritage in research, Eisai continues to be the ideal partner as we step up to take on malaria, which continues to infect over 200 million people a year worldwide,” said Birgit Girshick, corporate SVP of global discovery at Charles River.

“Our scientists have integrated seamlessly into Eisai’s existing team, bringing together extremely talented researchers to work on this complex disease.”

The original pact, signed last February, involved Charles River supporting Eisai scientists from Japan, U.S. and the U.K. on a range of synthetic and medicinal chemistry projects.