Citing the trend for more strategic outsourcing relationships with contract research organisations, Anglo-Asian CRO Veeda Clinical Research Group has announced a partnership agreement with Malaysia’s Siogen Biotech to develop a new nanoparticle formulation of the anticancer doxorubicin.

Under the agreement signed at the BIO conference in Chicago, US, Siogen – a specialist in drug delivery and targeting using silicon-based nanoparticles – will use its patented Siosomes delivery technology to encapsulate doxorubicin, while Veeda will conduct Phase I/II clinical trials of the formulation.

Encapsulation of doxorubicin is designed to boost the drug’s efficacy through targeted delivery to the cancer site and to alleviate adverse effects by reducing its impact on tissues and cells. In the past, pegylated liposome formulations of doxorubicin have presented with side-effects that limited their dosage and efficacy, the partners said.

Veeda sees the partnership as a means of adding value to traditional CRO services by acting as “brokers of scientific technology”. In the past, commented group medical director Dr Maurice Cross, CROs “were merely providers of trial services, now we have to bring additional value to our client relationships”.

One way of doing this, Cross added, was “by embracing innovative technologies such as that offered by Siogen and offering them to our client base as solutions to their problems”.