Fulcrum Pharma, one of six companies merged last month to create Aptiv Solutions, a US-based provider of biopharmaceutical and medical device development services, has formed a strategic partnership with preclinical contract research organisation (CRO) Ricerca Biosciences.

The alliance gives biopharmaceutical clients access to “unique, value-added capabilities” by creating a streamlined and efficient process for moving drug candidates from preclinical trials through to clinical evaluation, the companies said.

Fulcrum’s speciality is strategic and operational support for clients putting together regulatory submissions and filing them for approval.  Ricerca offers a full range of preclinical services, from medicinal chemistry, compound screening, profiling and lead optimisation to drug safety, metabolism and efficacy development support.

Coupled with Aptiv’s expertise in adaptive clinical trial design, these capabilities will enable clients to “accelerate the development of their products and stay ahead of the competition”, commented Patrick Donnelly, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Aptiv Solutions.

The merger that gave birth to Aptiv Solutions late last month brought Fulcrum Pharma together with five other biopharmaceutical and medical device services companies, namely Averion International, Trio Clinical Research, ClinResearch, Niphix and ADDPLAN.

The move was led by an investor group including SV Life Sciences, The Halifax Group and the Comvest Group. Donnelly was formerly the CEO and one of the founders of US-based CRO PRA International.

In February 2010, Ricerca Biosciences acquired discovery and preclinical operations in the US, France and Taiwan from Canadian life sciences company MDS, which was selling off the assets of its MDS Pharma Services unit in a retreat from the contract research sector.