Bristol taps drug chemistry whizzes at Scripps

Scripps Research Institute has found a new long-term pharma partnership. Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) and the La Jolla, CA, research center have inked a 5-year agreement to join forces on synthesizing and discovering new drugs.

Scripps says that its deal with the New York-based drug giant involves its scientists doing the chemistry research needed to fashion compounds to test against Bristol's drug targets. No financial details of the collaboration were given, unlike the 5-year tie-up between Scripps and Pfizer ($PFE) notched in 2006 that was valued at $100 million.

Though no specific therapeutic targets or disease areas were noted in the deal, Scripps says that this arrangement is indicative of other pacts it would like to have with pharma. "This arrangement is exemplary of our forward-looking corporate partnership strategy, as the first of what we hope will be many such agreements existing in parallel," Scott Forrest, vice president for business development at Scripps Research, said in a statement.

For Bristol, Scripps is one of many external research partners. Last month the drugmaker announced a broad collaboration with 10 institutes and universities in the U.S. and Europe focused on immunotherapies against cancer, building on the success of the company's approved immunotherapy Yervoy for melanoma and others in its pipeline. 

- here's the release