AMRI inks 5-year CDMO deal with Ono

AMRI ($AMRI) has locked down another 5-year partnership with Japan's Ono Pharmaceutical, agreeing to provide development and manufacturing services for the company's treatments, which include a promising multiple sclerosis drug.

The agreement follows an existing partnership between the two, covering AMRI's SmartSourcing platform, and the new deal tasks AMRI with lead optimization for two new molecules, the companies said. SmartSourcing allows sponsors to conduct some research in-house and ship other work to AMRI, a customizable offering that maximizes value, the company said. The method has already spelled success for Ono and other clients, CEO Thomas D'Ambra said.

"During the past few years, Ono has become a very important client for AMRI, and we would like to acknowledge the deepening relationship between our companies," D'Ambra said in a statement. "Our project management teams and the scientists on all the Ono projects, from Singapore to the United States, enjoy working with our counterparts at Ono and they are a valuable customer and partner."

The new deal is all part of AMRI's big plans for 2013, in which it expects 12% revenue growth thanks to increasing demand for large-scale manufacturing and more deals through SmartSourcing. Last quarter, the company brought in $59.1 million in contract revenue, up 50% over the previous year. AMRI recently re-signed with GE Healthcare ($GE), its largest client, and launched a collaboration with Codexis ($CDXS) to pool their resources on API manufacturing.

Ono is moving in the right direction with ONO-4641, an oral MS treatment co-developed with Merck KGaA that performed well in Phase II results released this month.

- here's the announcement