Pfizer opts to keep running Accelrys software in its labs

Accelrys ($ACCL) employees can let out a collective "phew." Their company has extended its "long-standing" customer relationship with Pfizer ($PFE), meaning the San Diego-based scientific software provider will keep getting business from one of the largest drugmakers in the world.

It's tough to stay aboard the Pfizer R&D ship as the company casts out low-priority programs and technologies. The New York-based pharma giant reported a 13% cut in R&D spending to $7.9 billion for 2012 from $9.1 billion in spending the previous year.

Pfizer and Accelrys inked a three-year agreement for the drug company to use the software outfit's flagship Enterprise Platform as well as other marquee products such as Pipeline Pilot, Cheminformatics Suite and Modeling & Simulation, Accelrys said in a release on Tuesday. The agreement makes the software products available to Pfizer researchers around the world. Accelrys left out the financial details of the pact.

Accelrys has been hustling to adapt its products to the changing needs of global pharma companies such as Pfizer as it alters its business strategies, emphasizing more research with external partners and using information technology to manage growing amounts of scientific data. For instance, Pipeline Pilot is designed to help scientists automate the process of accessing, analyzing and reporting data from experiments and sharing them with collaborators.

"From externalization to cost pressures to regulatory compliance, today's industry trends are making it more difficult for pharmaceutical organizations to deliver innovative products to market quickly and cost-effectively," Accelrys CEO Max Carnecchia said in a statement. "As Pfizer well knows, overcoming these challenges demands both disease area and technology expertise."

- here's the company's release