Hard on the heels of announcing a rapid influx of clients to its drug discovery and development centre in Verona, Aptuit has agreed a multi-year extension of the strategic partnership with GlaxoSmithKline that transferred ownership of the Italian facility to the US-based company in June 2010.

The extended partnership is for dedicated drug development work at The Aptuit Center for Drug Discovery & Development, formerly known as GSK’s Medicines Research Centre.

Aptuit took over the Verona facility after GlaxoSmithKline decided to cut down on its discovery activities in the neurosciences.

Under the original strategic alliance, the two companies agreed that the 500 or so staff working at the Medicines Research Centre would join Aptuit while the latter would provide GSK with R&D services from the Italian facilities.

World-class outsourcing

“Since we finalised our original agreement with GSK in 2010, we have successfully transformed the Verona site from a pharmaceutical research centre to a world-class drug discovery and development outsourcing capability,” said Aptuit chairman Timothy Tyson.

To date, the Verona site has been through around 50 successful audits and has delivered work for more than 90 clients, Tyson noted.

"Aptuit initiatives in Verona, such as Lean Six Sigma [a managerial tool designed to eliminate waste and improve productivity], are resulting in productivity benefits across our business lines,” he added.

Earlier this week Aptuit said it now had 100 clients placing work at The Aptuit Center for Drug Discovery & Development, with customers ranging from large pharmaceutical multinationals to biotechs and start-ups.