Restructured AMRI cuts the ribbon on a drug discovery hub

AMRI ($AMRI), which has backed away from drug discovery in an ongoing restructuring, opened a collaboration-friendly center for early-stage development through a government partnership.

The company's new drug discovery center sits on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in its native New York, part of a state-sponsored endeavor called the Buffalo Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub. Alongside AMRI's shop, the cluster includes PerkinElmer ($PKI) and a host of local research institutions, all gathered to accelerate translational medicine in the area.

For the manufacturing-focused AMRI, the Buffalo site unites its formerly disparate drug discovery operation, offering services in biology, high-throughput screening, medicinal chemistry and pharmacology for early-stage development.

The company has been gradually paring down its efforts in drug discovery over the past few years, shuttering sites and adapting to a dip in demand by betting more and more on drug production. Now, bringing its reformed discovery unit under one roof is an effort to ease the process for clients looking to go from the lab to the clinic, AMRI Vice President Rory Curtis said.

"AMRI is coupling its broad target-class coverage with state-of-the-art equipment to fulfill unmet needs for our customers when it comes to the expertise and experience they should be receiving from their drug discovery CRO partners," Curtis said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the company's years-long restructuring is beginning to pay off. AMRI has returned to consistent profitability after a string of quarters in the red, and the company is expecting more than 50% annual revenue growth in 2015.

- read the statement